A history of Grace United Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Benton, Margaret Peake, Author
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Full title:"History of Grace United Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Growth of Methodism in the Niagara Peninsula and the impact of the War of 1812-14 on the congregations". A half-folded brochure issued by Grace United Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
A booklet with soft paper cover and staples in the middle; 36 pages with black and white photographs.
This booklet includes considerable information originally published in a 1974 history book titled "Methodism, Its Origin and Early Days in Niagara" written by Margaret Peake Benton. She extended thanks to all who contributed information: Mrs. Franklin Currie, Mr. Robert Hadley and Mr. Kevin McCabe; Mrs. J. I. Gordon, Mrs. L. N. Abrey , Mrs. Ina Potter, Mrs. France MacKay, Mrs. P.H. Hiscott, Rev. Glenn. Lucas and Mr. Anthony L. Rees.
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  • Ontario, Canada
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  • Ontario, Canada
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This booklet includes considerable information originally published in a 1974 history booklet titled Methodism, Its Origin and Early Days in Niagara written by Margaret Peake Benton. Individuals who assisted Margaret are recognized in the Appendix.
[Image from 1912 postcard]
A History of Grace United Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake
The Growth of Methodism in the Niagara Peninsula and the impact of the War of 1812-14 on the congregations

[Page 1]
Methodism [1] was in its infancy in the early days of this land. It was born in adversity, cradled in hardship, and nourished on persecution, but it appears that the Church has always flourished on persecution: easy times hinder its growth, rather than stimulate it.
John Wesley [2], a graduate of Oxford University, is considered to be the founder of Methodism and perhaps his journey of faith began to form when he returned to Oxford, as a tutor. At the time John, his brother Charles, and a couple of friends met several nights a week, to study the classics and also books on Divinity. This group also began to visit prisoners and preach to them each month. The 'Holy Club' as they were called was subject to much ridicule from the other students at Oxford.
In October 1735, John and Charles set sail for Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A., a journey fraught with violent storms. John wrote of being "full of fear and apprehension" as the vessel pitched and tossed. He also realized that he was not prepared to die and seeing a small group of Germans fearlessly praying and singing hymns during the storms, he was deeply impressed.
When he arrived in Savannah, John, a clergy in the Church of England, described as sincere and devout with an exacting and rigid discipline began to doubt his faith, and felt the need of further conversion. He also saw his time in Georgia was rather unfruitful; so in 1738 he
[1 - The name Methodism was a term of derision given to John Wesley and his followers because of their disciplined habits.
[2 - John, born 1703 and Charles born 1707 were sons of Rev. Samuel Wesley and his wife Susanah Annesley, a remarkable woman who bore nineteen children (6 children survived infancy).]

[Page 2]
returned to England in 1738 and wrote "I, who went to America to convert others, was never myself converted to God". Shortly after returning to England he met Peter Bohler and other friends who had just arrived from Germany and through them, John Wesley found the faith he had longed for. On May 24th, 1738 he wrote, "I found my heart strangely warmed".
Because of his emphasis on sin and the need for rebirth, Wesley was not popular in the Established Church and was asked to leave. As he could no longer preach from inside a church, he began to speak in other locations, often out of doors. In fact, when his home church refused him entry, Wesley preached from his father's tombstone. While Wesley's message centred on spiritual change, it had far-reaching effects which swept England in a great revival, eventually bringing with it many social and economic reforms.

Although not accepted by the Established Church, John Wesley had an ever increasing number of followers, including a group of Palatines, who had been driven from their homes along the Rhine when Louis XIV pillaged and burned their towns and villages, and who had taken refuge in England.
In 1760 Paul and Barbara Heck and her cousin Philip Embury and his wife Mary followed others who were immigrating to the New World to seek further religious freedom, taking with them their new faith. Many of the group who landed in New York found that as a result of living in the big city their faith grew cold. However, this was not the case for Barbara Heck. She urged her cousin Philip to start preaching and when he complained about the lack of church and congregation, she told him to preach in his home and she would supply the congregation, which she did. Later the two families moved to Camden, New York and took up farming. When the American Revolutionary War broke out In 1774, Paul and Barbara Heck, Mary Embury [3] and some other Palatine settlers gathered their possessions and travelled by barge along the Hudson River to Lake Champlain and from there travelled along the St. Lawrence River to Montreal, Canada.
[3 - Philip died in a ploughing accident - in the early 1770.]

[Page 3]
Stopping at Montreal the group found that they had not left the War behind them, nor did city life appeal to them, so when the Revolutionary War ended they moved westward to Adolphustown, near the current town of Prescott, Ontario; Crown Land had been allotted to them in that area. In their new home they began to hold Class Meetings; most often in private homes. This continued until their Blue Church was built. In 1790, Reverend William Lossee was appointed to serve the congregation. Later, some members of the Heck family moved to the Bay of Quinte where they built the first Methodist Episcopal Meeting House, the Hay Bay Church, (which still survives.)

In the book Early Methodism in the Niagara Peninsula, J. S. Moir, writes: "no one will deny the great contribution of Methodism in building our Canadian Nation, but few of our generation are aware of the factors which made Methodism the strongest Protestant Faith in Upper Canada in its early days probably equal numerically to all other Protestant churches combined".
Methodism arrived in Niagara, in the fall of 1786, when Canada's first Saddlebag or Itinerant Preacher [4], Major George Neal, arrived in Queenston. He was born, in 1750, on a family farm in South Carolina; his Scottish parents had come to the Carolina's in 1746.
Neal fought on the British side during the American Revolutionary War and distinguished himself at the Siege of Ninety-six, and the evacuation of Charles Town. However, as he was not on the winning side, in 1783 (as the end of the war drew near) Major Neal's lands were confiscated and his papers ended up in the hands of a fellow soldier who left for Nova Scotia.
As Neal's health was poor he remained in the United States and taught school in Georgia for a year. During this period Neal converted to Methodism and recognized his ability to preach. He became an itinerant preacher and was sent to minister to the Scottish
[4 - The bodies of Rev. Major George and Mary Neal were moved to a crypt in the walls of Neal Memorial Methodist (now United) Church, in Port Rowan, Ontario and a memorial stained glass window was installed commemorating them. The official dedication took place in September 1912.]

[Page 4]
settlers who lived along the Pee Dee River, in South Carolina. By late 1785, it was becoming increasingly dangerous to be a British Loyalist in America, so Neal decided to immigrate to Canada. He planned to sail to Nova Scotia, however upon his arrival in Charles Town, he discovered that the last ship for the season had already sailed. So he changed his plans and for almost a year travelled overland; in October 1786, crossed into Upper Canada at Niagara.
Neal began to preach immediately. However, as the Church of England was the only recognized church in the area, and it was said that Neal's fervour excited his listeners, the garrison commander at Newark (Niagara), ordered Neal to cease his preaching. Before the order could be carried out the Commander died, leaving Major Neal to continue his work. In 1786 in Queenston and in 1788 in St. David's, at the home of Christian Warner, Neal formed the first Class Meetings in Upper Canada.

He was born Christeyan Wanner (reflecting his Swiss roots) in Beaver Dams, New York, USA, on 7 November 1754. On 16 May, 1775 he married Gertrude (or Gertraut) Ecker. They had two children, Mary Elizabeth Warner (1775 - 1841) and Michael Warner, (1776 - 1777), born at Schoharie, New York and baptized at Beaver Dams Reform Church, New York. [6]
In 1777, Christian enlisted in the British Forces, at Fort Orange, Albany, joined General Burgoyne's Army and fought in the American Revolutionary War. That winter, soon after the Battle of Saratoga, he was taken prisoner, in Albany, New York and his lands together with his father's lands were confiscated.
Upon his release, in 1778, Warner crossed into Upper Canada and joined Butler's Ranger's, a group of men or rangers, assembled by John Butler of New York, in 1777. From their base at Fort Niagara the rangers and their Iroquois allies raided the frontiers of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, during the American Revolutionary War and successfully maintained British military power on the frontier and threatened rebel food supplies. In the autumn of 1778, when Fort
[5 - A copy of the booklet "The Story of Christian Warner" compiled by Robert Ironside Warner, in 1924, is available at Grace United Church.]
[6 - More children were born once they settled in Niagara. The children and their spouses are listed in the Annex of this history.]

[Page 5]
Niagara became overcrowded Butler constructed some buildings, to house his Rangers and their families. The Rangers who disbanded in June 1784, at the end of the War, were among the first Loyalists to settle in the Niagara peninsula.
During the summer of 1783, Christeyan changed his name to Christian Warner, when he, his wife, and two children, from Albany, New York crossed into Upper Canada, at Niagara. The story is told of their children being carried in baskets slung across the back of a cow. Apparently, an axe, and an augur were the only equipment available to the family as they began a new life. However, as the tools were the only ones of their kind in the district, they proved invaluable to the pioneer settlers. Later on the government did supply some tools.
Upon arriving in Canada his claim [7] identified him as follows: "Claim of Christian Warner of Albany Co., N.Y., made before commissioners of Montreal 24 August 1787. Claimant says: Albany (Fort Orange); joined General Burgoyne's Army in 1777: taken prisoner soon after at Saratoga. In 1778, came here and joined Butler's Ranger's and served until end of war as Sergeant. ...Had a farm at Pataroons Land (Patroon). Had been settled several years before the war. Cleared 12 acres clear and had begun to clean more. Built a house and barn. Lot 2 cows, 1 ox, 2 horses and 4 sheep, 13 hogs, furniture and utensils".
In 1794 [8], Christian Warner joined the Lincoln Militia and served as a Captain during the War of 1812; resigning in 1819.
In 1795 Christian Warner was appointed General Steward of the newly formed, Niagara Methodist Circuit at its organizational meeting, an office he held for twenty-three years. Christian was widely known in the Niagara area and was active as an exhorter and local preacher; famed for his impressive power in prayer. He insisted on "simplicity of dress and was inflexibly stern to rebuke pride." He was also known as having the soul of hospitality to everyone in the area. It was under his leadership that the first Meeting House was built on his lands in St. David's.
On 9 May, 1797, being a United Empire Loyalist, Christian Warner, petitioned the Honourable Peter Russell for two hundred acres. His
[7 - No 8210 - Abridged from statement in Archives of Ontario, Second Report 1904 - Military Records]
[8 - Details regarding the military service of the Warners was found in the Microfilm records, Canadian Archives.]

[Page 6]
petition was granted on the basis of "very meritorious service and the respectable recommendations which support him". Christian built a log cabin on his homestead, situated just below the mountain west of the current village of St. David's. This first dwelling was soon replaced by stone roughcast house. The stone home burned in the 1870's and was replaced with another residence.[9]

"Descendant, Julia Ann (Warner) Hutt [10] wrote: "Christian Warner was a very big man, weighing between 350 and 400 pounds. He would need two chairs to sit on. When he died a coffin was made to measure in his house. Then it was found necessary to remove the front door frame in order to get the coffin out. Christian died at the home of his grandson, Christian Warner Jr., in a stone house slightly to the north of the Frame House that was occupied by Miss Ella Warner. His wife lived with Christian Jr. for some time before his death. They first lived in a log house at the corner of the farm where a frame house now stands"
OBITUARY (24 April 1833 - The Christian Guardian)
submitted by Rev. Edmund Stoney
'Death of the Oldest Class-Leader in Upper Canada'

The late Christian Warner was born at Beaver-Dams [11], County of Albany, in the State of New York, November 7, 1754. Being strongly to the government of Great Britain, he joined the British Standard in 1777 and came to Canada the Same year. He fixed his residence in the Township of Stamford, where he remained until his decease. During the year 1790, he was led through the preaching of Brother George Neal to discover his lost condition, and embraced the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ. About the same period several of his neighbours were made subjects of the Divine Grace, and Brother Neal united them in a class, of which our deal brother Warner was appointed Leader. In this situation he continued until the Lord was pleased to remove him to the church triumphant. This class, I am informed was the first ever organized in Upper Canada. Since that period, What God hath wrought!"
[9 - The homestead passed to eldest surviving son Peter Warner, who married Mary Van Every, daughter of William and Elizabeth Van Every.]
[10 - Record of Julia Ann (Warner) Butt, undated.]
[11 - Christian's granddaughter, Charity Warner was married to Ashel Durham on 3 April 1932 at Beaverdams Church, Niagara. Rev. Edmund Stoney served as minister of the church during the years 1829-32.]

[Page 7]
For several years previously to his death, he acted as steward of the Circuit where he resided, and his long experience in the affairs of Christ's Church rendered him an able counselor to the preachers. He died in peace, on the 21st March, 1833, aged 78 years, 4 months and a half. His wife, the partner of his joys and sorrows, now more than three score years and ten, is left for a little season, but we trust in patiently waiting the command of her gracious Savior to rejoin him in the place of rest. He left a numerous family; some of whom we hope may yet endeavour to tread in his steps. As a citizen and subject, brother W. was loyal and obedient and justly deserved the strong confidence which was reposed in his, and the respect paid to him by all his fellow citizens. He held a position as captain of Militia since 1797. As a neighbor, he was kind and obliging much beloved while he lived, and now much lamented by those who knew him best. As a Christian he was a firm believer in the doctrines of the Gospel, so taught by the Methodist preachers. Exemplary in his deportment, so that during the period of nearly 43 years he sustained the most irreproachable character as a member and class leader, and as far as I can learn, never had a charge laid against his, for he 'gave none occasion to speak reproachfully'. He saw the church of which he was the first fruits in Canada, pass through many vicissitudes, but he stood in her temple as a pillar never to go out.
Strongly opposed to schismatic measures he remained firm and unshaken amidst surrounding shocks, and succeeded in keeping his flock of one heart and mind. He was a man of fervent spirit in his devotions, never willing to rest without present blessings on himself and his charge. He was remarkable plain and pointed in reproving, but always meek and loving. His last illness, Dropsy [12] , was long and severe, but no murmur escaped his lips. His resignation to the will of heaven was constant; his confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ was unshaken, for he knew in whom he had believed, and that now when old and gray-headed God would not forsake him. He waited patiently for, and looked undismayed at the approach of death, and when at last he bid adieu to all things here, his happy spirit took its flight to a fairer clime. There he 'Found his God, and sits and sings triumphing in Paradise." The church has sustained a loss, but he hath gained, and our duty is to be grateful to God who lent him to us so long.

Christian Warner was buried in the Warner Cemetery. [13]
[12 - In a notation in one of the histories it was suggested that Dropsy was probably the cause or at least a contributing factor to the great weight of Christian Warner. Medical science had not yet discovered methods of controlling fluids in the tissues.]
[13 - Details are included under the headings - Early Methodist Cemeteries in Niagara.]

[Page 8]
By 1795, the New York Methodist Conference had organized a Niagara District [14] which extended over the entire peninsula, Oxford in the west, south to Long Point and east to Little York or Toronto. Rev. Darius Dunham became its first ordained Methodist minister and the congregation, consisted of sixty-five church members who had "attained the rigid membership qualifications" as well as two to three hundred followers who attended services but were not members.
Rev. Dunham was often referred to as "Scolding Dunham" was plain spoken in his tendency to denounce with vigour sin or any disposition toward vanity or conformity to the world". Dunham was followed by James Coleman who had been preaching in Niagara. During Coleman's tenure the congregation doubled and when the Niagara and Long Point Circuits united in 1801 there were three hundred and twenty followers; within two years it had grown to six hundred and fifty parishioners; ten times its original membership.
In Stephenson's book One Hundred Years of Methodism at Lundy's Lane, he wrote: "The first circuit formed was Kingston or Cataraque included also the Niagara country. Two classes are named - one in Augusta and the other in Niagara. The Niagara class, we may be certain, was the class formed three years earlier and meeting in the house of Christian Warner. Rev. Dr. W. S. Blackstock wrote": before William Losee performed that remarkable missionary journey from Lake Champlain which resulted in the regular organization of Methodism in Upper Canada, Major George Neal was at work on the Niagara Frontier.. .If not the first Methodist class, certainly the second ever formed in Upper Canada was that of which Christian Warner was leader".
It was thought that the success of the Methodism Movement came from the democratic and efficient organization of separate Methodist societies, called Circuits; each served by an Itinerant Preacher(s). The preachers, in turn were supervised by an elected district elder. The success of the movement also depended on the self-sacrificing zeal of the men who gave up the comforts of home and of financial security, to carry the Gospel into remote and isolated regions. By 1802 the Niagara Circuit had grown so large that it required 3 itinerant preachers to cover the territory that now had 600 members.
[14 - Modern day Hamilton and Ancaster were within this circuit.]

[Page 9]
One such preacher, Nathan Bangs, came to Upper Canada as a surveyor in 1799, and was appointed an itinerant preacher in the Niagara Circuit in 1801. He continued his Canadian ministry for seven years before returning to the United States where he became a prominent figure in Methodism. He became President of the Connecticut Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut and was also an author of some note.
Bangs recalled that following one of the meetings: Mr. Warner invited me to dine at the house with the preachers. Though I was an entire stranger both to him and to them I gladly consented, for I had an eager desire to converse with them. Soon after this failure (first sermon) I removed my lodgings to another place and boarded with Christian Warner, my class leader, a man of sweet spirit, for whom I shall ever entertain an ardent affection. We conversed till quite late on religious subjects, as was the Methodist custom. Mr. Warner first prayed and without rising called on me to pray. When I ceased, I sank down into an inexpressible calmness. All my inward distress was gone. I certainly was filled at that time with the 'perfect love that casts our fear' for I had no fear of death or judgment.
Being an Itinerant Minister was not an easy calling. Not only were the preachers forbidden to marry during their first four years as circuit riders (to allow them greater mobility), the frontier conditions were difficult. They often slept out in the forest (winter and summer) when their appointments were more than a day's ride apart and as chapels were almost non-existent in the early days, they usually preached in houses, barns, fields, or even forest cleanings. One early preacher describes his experiences: 'Upper Canada was at that time but sparsely populated so that in riding from one appointment to another the preachers had to pass through wilderness from ten to sixty miles, and not infrequently had either to encamp in the woods or sleep in Indian huts. And sometimes in visiting the newly settled place they carried provender for their horses overnight, when they would tie them to a tree to prevent their straying in the woods; while the preachers themselves had to preach, eat and lodge in the same room, the curling smoke ascending through an opening in the roof of the log house, which had not yet the convenience of even a chimney'
However, they persevered and in 1803, largely as a result of Camp Meeting Revivals, which swept the United States, the first revival in Canada, was held in Adolphustown. It was described vividly by Nathan Bangs who told of "whole families arriving on foot and in wagons

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in such crowds as to increase their number from 250 to 2500 in twenty-four hours."

Although the Camp Meeting originated with the Presbyterians in the western States, it was taken over with great enthusiasm by the Methodists in Canada, and later, like the Class Meeting, became associated with them. As the Camp Meeting brought new life into the Church, the Class Meeting helped to preserve it, and the spiritual life and membership of the local Church rose and fell accordingly as these were preserved or disregarded.

1812-14 WAR
The years preceding the war of 1812 were fruitful ones for the cause of Methodism. The combined membership from the three Niagara circuits had reached 1,150 members by 1810. This represented about 45% of the total membership in Upper Canada: a figure which was probably greater than all other protestant denominations combined.
When the War of 1812 threatened the Niagara area, Major Neal moved to take up his land grant in Port Rowan, eventually adding another 2000 acres of land in Port Rowan and the Long Point area, at Cope's Landing, (St. William). From this location Neal, Canada's first Saddlebag Preacher, continued to travel and preach for more than 50 years.
During the war years Christian Warner continued to lead his Methodist Class congregation in St. David's; a role he continued until his death in 1833. In the turmoil of the war years no Methodist membership records were kept as many of the Methodist men in Upper Canada were busy fighting. However, ministers and their congregations continued the Methodist faith during the war years. The fact that most of the Methodist Ministers had been ordained in the United States and later immigrated to Canada, made them unpopular and suspect both during and after the war. So to protect themselves, some, including George Washington Dunsore, took advantage of the Governor General's Proclamation and safely returned to the United States.
Given the close proximity of the three circuits to the many battles, the Methodists suffered the effect of the war battles. In fact, in 1813,
[15 - Some preachers gave up their riding in the circuits and other ministered to the soldiers.]

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during the Battle of Stoney Creek, Americans occupied the Methodist chapel until the night of June 5 when the British, led by Vincent (and outnumbered four to one) succeeded in driving the Americans from the chapel. At least twenty Canadian and many American graves, in and around the church yard, remind us of this battle.
George Ferguson, a Methodist preacher, (and a British soldier) ministered to his fellow soldiers. He was with General Brock when the General died during the battle of Queenston Heights. In 1814 Fergusson himself was wounded at the Battle of Chippewa. He spent the remainder of the war recovering from his wounds at the home of Christian Warner.
By 1815, the Methodist congregation had dropped to 220 adherents. However, after the war, a revival occurred once again, with camp meetings and conferences being held, and by 1820 the membership in the Niagara Peninsula had risen to 2,000 members.

In an effort to appease the Niagara residents who openly opposed the American Preachers during the War, the leadership of the Methodist Church in the United States took care to select very diplomatic ministers to come to Canada.
In 1818, Rev. Henry Pope, a British Wesleyan Minister arrived in Stamford at the invitation of some Wesleyan Methodist soldiers in the Niagara Garrison. At the time, one hundred and six members withdrew from the Methodist Episcopal Circuit and formed a Wesleyan Methodist Circuit, consisting of nine preaching places from five to eight miles apart.
In an extract of a letter from Mr. Pope in the British Methodist Magazine, to the Committee, dated Fort George, Upper Canada, May 28th, 1818, he deplored not only the devastation, but the moral and spiritual condition of the people.
He wrote that the population of Niagara not exceeding 600 but growing, and that he preached once a fortnight to about 200 hearers, who regularly attend, and also at Queenston to large and attentive congregations.
In July 1820 the Genesee Conference met for the first time in the Niagara Peninsula, in the Little Red Meeting House at Lundy's Lane, presided over by Bishop George, with over one hundred preachers in attendance. Many people came from the surrounding countryside to the services, so that they had to move outside. Twenty young men

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were ordained to the Ministry, six of whom had fought on the opposite side in the Battle of Lundy's Lane, but were now united in Christ as they kneeled together.
At this time an agreement was made between the British Wesleyan Conference and the Methodist Episcopal Conference (United States), that the British would confine their work to Lower Canada and Kingston, leaving Upper Canada in the Methodist Episcopal Conference. Consequently, in 1821, the Rev. Thomas Catterick, a Wesleyan Minister, who had come to Niagara, in 1819, withdrew, in spite of protest from the congregation who had already started to build the first Meeting House on Gate Street.

About this time the Methodist Church became involved in the Clergy Reserves Controversy, a lengthy dispute lasting more than a quarter of a century. In July 1825, on the occasion of the death of the Bishop of Quebec, Bishop Strachan, then Archdeacon of York, delivered an address outlining the history of the Church of England in Canada, in which he attacked the non-conformist churches, the Methodists in particular, having the largest membership, blaming them for the difficulties they were encountering in building up their Church, and called them disloyal. His unjust attack on the Methodists roused them to action, and they unanimously called on the youngest preacher in the group, barely twenty-four and not yet finished his first year of probation in the Methodist Ministry, to write their defense for the press.
With reluctance he agreed to do this, and his reply published in the Colonial Advocate at Queenston in April 1826, signed "a Methodist Preacher", delighted his fellow Ministers, but enraged his antagonists who called him "an ignoramus, a crafty politician and a traitor". A select committee was appointed by the Legislative Assembly to look into allegations, and fifty-two witnesses were examined. It was a battle for civil and religious rights, that one church should not have all the priorities; the sole right to own land, to baptize, to marry or to bury, for up to that time the Church of England was not only supported by the Mother Church In England, but owned one-seventh of the land in Upper Canada through Crown grants, and had the sole authority to perform these rites. Similar privileges were given the Roman Catholic

Church in Lower Canada and the Presbyterians also received Crown grants of land in Upper Canada.
The young man who signed himself "A Methodist Preacher", and later "The Reviewer", was no other than Egerton Ryerson, the youngest and most illustrious of the five sons of Col. Ryerson of Long Point, a staunch Loyalist and opposed to Methodism. All five sons however, entered the Methodist Ministry, four in this area, and Egerton, who was appointed editor of the "Christian Guardian," the first Methodist publication, in 1828, when he was only twenty-seven, later became the founder of our educational system.
1828 brought other changes; locally, Niagara became part of the Fort George Circuit, which included Queenston, St. David's, Chippawa and Fort Erie; also the Canada Conference became the Independent Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada, no longer part of the American Methodist Episcopal Church.
The same year, as a result of the ongoing complaints of some of the members who continued to make political capital denouncing the Yankee rebels and Republicans, the last link with the Geneese Conference was severed and the Methodists in Upper Canada under their own leadership held their own conferences. This ended the Canadian connection with the American Methodist Church. Indeed the war had made a major difference to Methodism in Canada. In 1830 Niagara once again was part of the Niagara Circuit, whose location seemed to be constantly changing, and Stamford and Drummondville, which had been part of the Fort George and Queenston Circuit, now became Stamford Circuit. A couple of years later Niagara united with the St. Catharines Circuit, with a peak membership of 850. In 1835 the Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada became part of the Wesleyan Methodist Conference of Great Britain.
There were a number of Classes in the Niagara Circuit, two led by "The Preacher", one by Mrs. Davidson, another by John Campbell, one at Queenston, another at Pine Grove, and one at the Cross Roads, or Lawrenceville as it was sometimes called after the death of George Lawrence, a Palatine and former Butler's Ranger to whom the property had been deeded by the Crown. His brother John had married Mary, the beautiful widow of Philip Embury who had preached to the first

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group of Palatines on their long sea voyage in 1760 until his untimely death a few years later.
Through the years the Methodist Church had undergone numerous changes, from being part of the American Methodist Episcopal Conference to the Canada Conference to the Independent Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada, then as part of the Wesleyan Methodist Conference of Great Britain. In 1874 it became the Methodist Church of Canada and ten years later that included Newfoundland and Bermuda, and now this Union with two other denominations.

In 1875 Brother Albert Andrews wrote "Glad News! A great awakening! Many are brought to Christ, and many more are anxiously seeking salvation". During the year there had been a diphtheria epidemic among the children, Mr. Masson had been seriously ill, followed by a noticeable increase in the evening services.
"The Church was crowded night after night. Not only was there present our usual congregation, but people flocked to the sanctuary from other churches, including numbers of Roman Catholics ...some nights over two hundred stood up to ask for prayer on their behalf."
For three weeks Rev. J. E. Hunter of Ancaster assisted by Mr. Henry P. Cooper and Mr. Masson conducted these special services. Mr. Masson then determined with Mr. Cooper's assistance to conduct Gospel Meetings at the Virgil Appointment.



By 1801, as a result of revival meetings, there were 300 new converts, including Christian's wife Gertrude (who changed her name to Charity upon conversion) and the congregation was able to build a church.
This first meeting house in the Niagara Peninsula (the third in Upper Canada) was traditionally known as the Warner's Church or Chapel; Christian Warner had donated one acre of land in St. David's for the church and a burying ground. Apparently for a time, this church was shared with the Presbyterians.

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This first church was built of log; however, later it was replaced by a fine, large frame building [17], which stood for many years adjacent to the Warner Cemetery. Although the new church was large, with high ceilings, large windows, a gallery and a high pulpit, apparently it was never painted.
Meetings continued to be held there until 1870. A smaller church was erected about 1870, however, it fell into neglect and was sold at public auction by 1908. The Altar, Bible and Collection Baskets from the Warner Church are displayed at St. David's-Queenston United Church and in the vestibule is a pew from the Warner Church.

In 1813, another church in St. David's was built on land donated by Major David Secord for a church, school and cemetery. The first church was burned with the Village of St. David's during the War of 1812. A new church was begun in 1815, but due to a division between two branches of Methodism, after the war, the church was not completed until 1843. This church served until February 18, 1945 when the last service was held. The pews are being used in the present church built from 1946-1955, and the Memorial window in the Chancel wall is made from glass taken from the old church. Services were held in the basement of the new church from April 17,1949 until March 27, 1955 when the new church was dedicated. In 1963 a Christian Education building was started and dedicated on October 31,1965.

In Queenston, meetings were held in various homes and old school until 1862 when a church was built. It was dedicated on January 25, 1863. Built as a Wesleyan Methodist Meeting House in 1862 at a cost 'not to exceed $700', the white clapboard building was of simple design. It was a one room frame building featuring gothic styled windows. From 1863 to 1927 it was part of the Queenston-St. Davids-Stamford circuit. In 1925, the Queenston Methodist Church became part of a Church Union movement, which resulted in the founding of the United Church of Canada. In 1927 Stamford withdrew and that left a two-point charge that existed until 1996.
[17 - In 1870 this building was replaced by a smaller one, which was painted white. Eventually, this church was sold at public auction and removed.]

[Page 16]
The chapel was renovated in 1939 to include a vestry, choir room and a raised platform. In the 1940's and 1950's the village grew and Sunday School grew with it. The church had no Sunday School rooms, no washrooms and no parking. The decision was made to move the church and a piece of property was bought, a basement dug and the church was moved, then an addition was added. The rededication was set for October 16, 1960, the 174th anniversary of the founding of the congregation.
In 1997, the congregation of Queenston United Church decided to amalgamate with the St. David's United Church. The trustees and members of the former Queenston United Church donated this historic building and property to the Niagara Parks Commission who moved it to the Laura Secord Site in the Village of Queenston. The Chapel is currently available for wedding ceremonies.

In 1997, a plaque was erected in the Warner Cemetery, by Queenston United Church of Canada; formerly the Old Historic Methodist Church, 1786 - 1997 to recognize the location of the church which adjoined the cemetery. The inscription reads:
A devout Wesleyan Methodist and a Major in the British Army throughout the War of Independence, George Neal left the United States in pursuit of religious freedom and civil security. Landing in Queenston in 1786, Major Neal determined to spread the Christian gospel through the new land, using bible classes to reach the people. The British Officer-in-Charge of the militia post in Queenston, believing that only clergy of the established Church of England should preach in the colonies, and fearing this as a means of spreading seditious propaganda and anti-British/Anglican feeling among the people, forbade him to preach and gave him thirty days to leave the country. Unfortunately, the Officer-in-Charge himself fell ill and died during the thirty day time period and Major Neal was permitted to stay. Major Neal joined with Christian Warner of the nearby village of St. David's and organized classes for the area. It is from these classes that Queenston United Church dates its founding. Erected as a Wesleyan Methodist meeting house, the white clapboard building was a simple, plain design, one room in size, entirely of frame construction and featured gothic style windows. Built in 1862 at a cost "not to exceed $700", the church was officially dedicated on January 25, 1863. In 1925, the Queenston Methodist Church became part of a Church Union movement, which led to the

[Page 17]
formation of The United Church of Canada. Located on the northeast corner of Queen and Dumfries Street, the church was renovated in 1939 to include a vestry, choir room and a large raised platform. A growing congregation necessitated the church be moved to its present site in 1958 and a basement auditorium, kitchen and extra rooms were added.

The Methodist meeting house at the Cross Roads was built on land owned by George Lawrence, a Palatine and former Butler's Ranger, to whom the property had been deeded by the crown. Since the beginning of the Niagara Circuit a class had met, in Cross Roads or Lawrenceville (Virgil.) George served as class leader and held class meetings in his home until the meeting house was built in 1840.
The names of Albert Andrews and Robert Warren appear many times. Both were Sunday School Superintendants and Stewards, and Mr. Warren was a Church member for over 60 years.
Minutes of a public meeting held in the Church on July 23rd, 1854 record the names of Stewards elected to the Niagara Station as Brother John Burns, Brother Joseph Painter, Brother John Gurney, Brother John Graham, Brother Christopher Chant, Brother Robert Conner and Brother John Nesbit. One Hundred and Thirty-Two British pounds was provided to Rev. Claudius Byrne for the Conference year 1854-55 to cover his board, house rental, horse-keeping, salary, fire wood and disciplinary allowance for a child.
Being behind in their appropriation the Board decided to charge pew rent: $8.00 for the six pews on either side of the pulpit; $6.00 for the first sixteen pews in front of the gallery. Four pews on the right and left under the gallery were $5.00; six in the centre under the gallery $4.00 and the rest free. Front seats must have been more popular in those days!
In 1859, the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered the first Sabbath evening of every month, and the "Love Feast" at nine o'clock in the morning. The local church was secondary to the Circuit, and what happened there was everyone's concern.
In 1965 the Virgil United Church joined the congregation at Grace United Church. The Pulpit, Chairs and two stained glass windows from the Virgil United Church are used at Grace United Church. The building was later removed, but the cemetery, between Niagara Stone Road and Virgil Public School, is maintained by the town.

[Page 18]
As the town of Newark continued to rebuild, after the destruction of the War of 1812-14, the Methodist congregation continued to grow. After a local Camp Meeting and Revival in 1821 the congregation was finally ready to build its first Meeting House, on two lots purchased from St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. The property consisted of two quarter acre lots, costing £25 and £27 respectively, purchased from the Trustees of the Presbyterian Church, to whom it had been allotted by the Crown.
The frame building, on the comer of Gage and Gate Street, measured 42 ft. x 32 ft. x 20 ft. with a porch 7 ft. x 10 ft. It was completed in 1823 and a young John Ryerson preached a "sermon of great power" at the opening of the church. John had been appointed to the Circuit under Ezra Adams, the previous year. John remained in Niagara for a year before moving to the Yonge St. Circuit (York/Toronto). In 1824 at the first Canada Conference held at Hallowell (Picton) he was appointed to the Bay of Quinte.
John's brother William Ryerson succeeded him in Niagara in 1823 but the strenuous work of the Circuit undermined his health and he was forced to take a few months leave of absence. His younger brother Egerton Ryerson supplied for him.
The Gate Street Meeting House continued to serve the congregation for 52 years. It continued to be active, with its Sunday and mid-week Services, its Temperance Meetings and always plenty of music. Even before they had an organ, Mrs. Whitelaw played the Melodeon, old Mr. Vary the Bass Viol and Mr. George Vary the Flute, while Mrs. John Burns led the choir assisted by Mrs. Devoe. Later Miss Salome Burns played the organ at a salary of $40.00 a year and Mr. R.C. Burns led the choir.
Later the old Gate Street Church was sold and moved from beside the cemetery to its present location at Gate and Prideaux Streets where it still stands. The cemetery next to the Meeting House continues to be owned and maintained by Grace United Church.

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As the frame Church had seen better days and "in consequence of its dilapidated condition, a good brick Church of a defunct Presbyterian Congregation being vacant was rented", in May 1874, it was unanimously resolved to purchase the building which is the present home of Grace United Church, by an agreement "having now been entered into with the Trustees thereof for the purchase of the same, for the small sum of $1,500.00 and the payment of the expenses which must be incurred in procuring an Act of the Ontario Legislature to enable the Presbyterians to sell".
Another $500.00 was also spent on repairs. The total sum of $2,000.00 seemed rather a staggering sum to the small congregation, and it was a couple of years before the purchase was completed, and another two before the renovating was finished, and it was ready for use again. Meanwhile services were held in the Temperance Hall (above the Apothecary). Eventually, renovations to the brick Church on Victoria Street were completed, and included reconstruction of the aisles and platform, new carpeting, cushioned pews and chandeliers (at a cost of about $750.00).
In 1881, the Rev. James Masson wrote in the Christian Guardian; "the Anniversary services of our Church in this beautifully situated, but somewhat decayed old town took place on Sabbath the 27th of February. Special services were held on January 20th, 1878 at which the Rev. Alex Langford of St. Catharines, Chairman of the Niagara District, preached both morning and evening, and in the afternoon, the Rev. John N. Lake of Toronto, a former Minister, addressed the Sabbath School. A concert was held the following night by the joint choirs of St. Paul's Street Methodist Church, St. Catharines and Niagara, the subscriptions received more than wiping out the debt!!
In 1888, a motion to build a School room at the rear of the Church, met with such opposition that it was dropped for more than eight years, but finally on Tuesday, October 13th, 1896, the first sod was turned by the Rev. Dr. George Cornish and work begun immediately on its erection and "extensive alterations" in the interior of the Church including re-building and moving of the pipe-organ into an alcove. At the dedication and opening services held on December 21,1898,

[Page 20]
conducted by Rev. A.M. Russ, Niagara Falls, assisted by Dr. Cornish, it was considered to be "one of the finest school rooms outside of the city." On 10 June 1925, the Congregational, Presbyterian and Methodist, joined to form the United Church of Canada. The Methodist Church, the youngest denomination was also the largest, and came as a body into the Union. The Congregationalists founded about 1550 in England and the smallest of the three Churches did likewise, but the Presbyterians (the oldest of the three congregations) were cautious and took a vote. Only part of the Presbyterian congregations came into the Union. At this time the Methodist church on Victoria Street became Grace United Church. In October of 1925 a driving-shed with three double stalls and space for coal storage was built on the property. Memorial Church windows, which were added in 1926 and 1929, honoured those killed in World War I and early Methodist church members, also Emily and Salome Burns, Jenny Burns Robertson, Albert and Frances Ball, James A. Coleman, Henry and Jane Chrysler, Joseph Hilborn, Ephriam Meadows and Lewis Charles Peake.
As a result of the Great Depression in the 1930's followed by the outbreak of the Second World War, three Protestant Churches in Niagara-on-the-Lake held joint prayer meetings for a brief period.
However, as the war continued the congregations eventually returned to having separate services.
In 1965, Grace, now joined with Virgil United Church, formed a two point charge with Carlton United Church, in St. Catharines. In 1984, an office and Minister's Study were added to the Hall and Grace again became a single-point charge and called a full time minister.

The church building, on Victoria Street (formerly the Free Presbyterian Church) like the congregation of Grace United has an interesting and long history. Designed by Architect William Thomas (1799-1860)[18] in 1852 it was one of only a few simple churches built by the renowned architect. It was designed in a predominantly Romanesque mode. Thomas, is better known for his large churches, such as St. Michael's Cathedral, in Toronto, St. Paul's Anglican Church in London and Christ's Church (now the Anglican Cathedral) in Hamilton; to name a
[18 - Additional information regarding the work of William Thomas is available on-line and at Grace United Church.]

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few of his wonderful creations. Thomas's work was not limited to churches. He designed a succession of significant public buildings for centres throughout British North America, including Brock's Monument, Queenston and the Court House, Queen Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake.


The Warner Cemetery, located on Warner Road near the intersection with Queen Elizabeth Highway (QEW) is approximately 2 miles west of St. David's. For many years the cemetery was not well maintained and it became increasingly difficult to read many of the stones in the cemetery. One of the oldest stone still standing records the death of Sarah Lawrence who died in 1825 and notes she was 'connected to' the Methodist Class Leader, George Lawrence, a Butler's Ranger.
Another very old stone marks the resting place of Stephen Secord, who died in 1808, aged 49. In the early 1783 census undertaken by Colonel John Butler at Niagara the name Secord occurs more frequently than any other. The names of other early settlers are also present, including Hostetter, Van Every, Clow, Ostander, Swayze, Durham, Berninger, McKinley, Hill, Cain and Collard.
When the Ontario Government was designing the Queen Elizabeth Highway and it appeared the highway might encroach on the Warner Cemetery, the Directors of the Warner Cemetery Board, asked local residents and other interested parties to send letters to the Member of Provincial Parliament supporting an alternative that could easily be put into place to preserve the Warner Cemetery. As a result of the letters and a public information session, the road was re-designed so as not to harm the historic cemetery.

(excerpt Niagara Falls Gazette - undated)
On September 29 1940, a monument to Christian Warner was unveiled in the Warner Burying Ground under the joint auspices of the Lundy's Lane Historical Society and the Warner Memorial Committee. Initially Christian's grave had been marked by the stock of his musket; however, the stock of the gun had disappeared by the 193Cs. On June 191965, Christian received further recognition, when a plaque was

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erected by the Ontario Department of Tourism and Information, acting on the advice of the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario. The press release issued at the time contained the following wording
Christian Warner, one of the best known names in the history of the pioneer Methodist Church in the province was born at Beaver Dams, Albany County, New York, on November 7, 1754, and died March 21, 1833. He lived a long and useful life, governed by loyalty to the Crown and strict religious discipline. He embodied many of the better qualities of our pioneer ancestors, so necessary to their existence in a sparsely settled land. His burial took place in the old Warner Burying Ground, where he was laid to rest among many representatives of other early Niagara families.

Born in Albany County, N.Y., Warner served in Butlers Rangers during the American Revolution, and settled in this vicinity shortly after the corps was disbanded in 1784. Converted to Methodism, Warner became the leader of one of the earliest "Methodist Classes" in the province. Services were held at his home, and in 1801 a simple frame chapel was erected on his property. It became known as the "Warner Meeting House" and was the first Methodist church in Canada west of the Bay of Quinte. This structure was replaced about 1870 by a new chapel. The adjacent "Warner Burying Ground" contains the graves of Christian Warner and other pioneer Loyalist settlers of this region.

A sign on the fence surrounding the Warner Cemetery recognizes this pioneer burying ground as being the final resting place of many United Empire Loyalists including Christian Warner. The cemetery was identified and designated by The Colonel John Butler (Niagara) Branch as one of Cultural Heritage Value.

This land was purchased by the Methodists to build a meeting house and cemetery. The cemetery was enlarged to include the area where the church had stood.

[Page 23] Burials of Methodist and United Church Members continued in this cemetery until 1952. This cemetery is now officially closed and maintained by Grace United Church. The old Methodist cemetery has 96 headstones, which include some 28 families; the most prominent in numbers are the Currie, Putnam, Nisbet and Longhurst families. The two oldest headstones are those of Sarah Laurence (born 1761) who was buried in 1825, and Gideon Howell (born 1805) who died in 1827. (Both stones pre-date graves in both St. Andrew's or St. Vincent de Paul Cemeteries.) Howell's headstone is purported to read: Here in the silent tomb beneath this miry sod Lies one who bore the Cross and trusted in his God; Farewell, dear wife and friends, and my dear little son, my work is finished and the prize is won.
Another notable headstone is that of John Boyd, born 1800 and died in 1885. Boyd had been a teacher in the Old Blue (Grammar) School and was the father of Sir John Boyd, whose son gave his life in South Africa. Another purported headstone is that of George Varey, a local tailor who played the bass viola in the Church before the days of organs or melodeons.[19]

This cemetery, in Virgil, formerly Lawrenceville, was established in 1840, right behind the meeting house, which has now been demolished. This cemetery is closed and maintained by the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. In this graveyard is a stone reading 'George Lawrence, for March 26th 1757 died August 5th, 1848, aged 91 years. In his honour, Cross Roads was renamed Lawrenceville, before being renamed Virgil many years later.
[19 - Sources: Canadianheadstones.com; "Inscriptions and Graves in the Niagara Peninsula" - Janet Carnochan, Niagara Historical Society; Records from David F. Hemming's "Disappearing History of Niagara" and "A History of Grace United Church".]

In the history booklet 'Methodism - Its Origin & Early Days In Niagara' prepared by Margaret Peake Benton, she extended thanks to all who contributed information, verbal or otherwise, including my committee: Mrs. Franklin Currie, Mr. Robert Hadley and Mr. Kevin McCabe; also Mrs. J. I. Gordon, Mrs. L. N. Abrey and Mrs. Ina Potter. Special thanks are due Mrs. France MacKay, Librarian, and her booklet 'Freedom of Worship'; Mrs. P.H. Hiscott, Niagara Historical Society; Rev. Glenn. Lucas, M.A., Archivist Historian and Mr. Anthony L. Rees, Assistant Archivist, the United Church of Canada, Committee on Archives.

[Page 24]
Other sources of information included 'The Heart of John Wesley's Journal'; 'Barbara Heck - A Story of the Founding or Upper Canada' by W.H. Withrow M.A.; 'Epochs and Characteristics of Canadian Methodism' by Rev. Dr. Egerton Ryerson from Canadian Methodist Magazine, 1880; 'Barbara Heck' by Mrs. W.H. Graham in Missionary Monthly, October 1927; 'A Souvenir' - St. Paul's St. Methodist Church; 'History of Niagara' by Janet Carnochan; Early Church Records 1854-1877, 1877-1893; the Registry Office, St. Catharines.


Mary Warner was born 14 January 1779 in Schoharie, New York, died March 221841. She married John Fox.
Michael Warner, was born in Schoharie, New York in 1776 and died in 1777.
Elizabeth Warner was born 13 Apr 1782 (given her birth date was also born in Schoharie, New York) and married Adam Crysler on May 11 1797. Their children included Rebecca Crysler, born March 15, 1809 and Christian Crysler born 24 August 1810.
Barbara Warner was born 23 Jul 1784, in Niagara, and married Samuel Jones of Grantham Township. Barbara died 30 November 1812.
Peter Warner and his twin brother Michael were born 12 May 1786 at Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada. He married Mary Van Every . Peter and Mary had 10 children including son Christopher who married Phoebe Ann Secord and his brother who married Phoebe's sister (both daughters of John Jr. and Suzannah (Wartman) Secord. Peter the eldest son of Christian and Charity served as an Ensign in the First Regiment of the Lincoln Militia (made Ensign October 25,1812) and participated in the Battle of Queenston Heights. He was formerly a Sergeant according to the Welland Tribune, 1908. Peter died 14 June 1855.
Michael Warner, twin of Peter was born 12 May 1786 and married Phoebe Ostrander . Michael died in 1814, during the War of 1812-14. The story is told that he had lent his blanket to a sick soldier-comrade,

[Page 25]
became ill himself and died of inflammation. His widow Phoebe (Ostrander) married Robert Calder.
Catharine Warner was born 13 Mar 1788 and married John Campbell of Osnabruck, in 1807. She died on 6 May 1814 during a cholera epidemic.
Margaret Warner was born in 1792 and married Abraham Overholt of Pelham, Ontario on 16 April 1811. She died 11 December 1859.
Matthew Warner was born 6 Jan 1794 in Niagara Falls. He was a private during the Lundy's Lane call out, in 1814 and later was appointed Acting Ensign by order of Colonel Coffin, date unknown. On 17 March 1835, Matthew was recommended for the rank of Ensign. He died 13 July 18??
Phoebe Warner was born 1795 and married Morris Wontz of Ontario, in 1822. She died in 1878.
Charity Warner named for her mother was born in 1797. She married Nicolas Potts of Crowland on 22 August 1831, by License from R. Grant. Witnesses were identified as Christian Warner Senior and Thomas. J. Neville. Charity died a month before her father, in 1833.
Hogial Warner was born 1800 and died during the War of 1812-14.
Sarah Warner was born in 1805. She married Peter Marsh of Saltfleet, Ontario on October 7 1827.
Christian Warner Junior, named for his father was born 24 September, 1809. He married Margaret Precoor, of the Township of Niagara on 3 March 1831, by license from R. Grant. John Mitchell and Alexander Mitchell were identified as witnesses in the Marriage Register of Rev. Russell. Christian died on 8 October 1839.
Kizia Warner was born Sept 19 1800 and died May 1 1814.

In the name of God, Amen. I Christian Warner Senior, of the Township of Niagara in the County of Lincoln in the District of Niagara and in the Province of Upper Canada, yeoman. Do make, declare and publish this my last Will and Testament, in manner and firm following: First, I resign my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it, hoping and believing in the remission of my sins by the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ: And my body I commit to the earth to be buried in a Christian manner at the discretion of my executors herein after named. And my worldly estate, I give and devise as follows: I order and direct

[Page 26]
that my just debts and funeral expenses be paid as soon as convenient after my decease by my executors.
Item. I give and devise unto my eldest son Peter Warner and his heirs and assign forever Lot number one hundred and forty, together with thirty six acres more or less off the west end of Lot number one hundred and forty one in the Township of Niagara aforesaid, containing one hundred and thirty six acres be the same, more or less. Also Lot number seventeen in the ninth Concession of the township of Beverly in the District of Gore in the Province aforesaid. To have and to hold unto my said son Peter Warner his heirs and assigns forever. Item. I give and devise unto my son Matthew Warner his heirs and assigns forever Lot number one hundred and thirty eight in the said Township of Niagara. Also eighteen acres in the Township of Stamford in the gore, containing one hundred and eighteen acres more or less. Also Lot number one in the sixteenth Concession of the Township of Walpole containing one hundred and eighty-two acres more or less.
Item. I give and devise unto my Grandson Christian Warner son of Michael Warner deceased and his heirs and assigns forever after the decease of my wife, my homestead on which I now reside being Lot number one hundred and thirty seven, and fifty acres of the East end of Lot one hundred and forty one in the Township of Niagara, in the County of Lincoln in the District of Niagara and Province of Upper Canada containing one hundred and fifty acres more or less. I also give and devise unto my said grandson Christian Warner son of Michael Warner deceased and his heirs and assigns forever all that tract or parcel of Land situate and being in the said Township of Niagara containing five acres and two perches more or less being part of Lot number one hundred and thirty six and described as follows, (that is to say), Beginning at a post at the southwest angle of said Lot, thence east twenty two chains and twenty links, thence west twenty two chains and eighty links, thence south two chains and twenty links to the place of beginning. To have and to hold the said several respective tracts or pieces of land and premises herein described to by said Grandson Christian Warner and to his heirs and assigns forever.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my said grandson Christian Warner son of Michael Warner all my farming utensils, wagons and sleighs that may be on my premises at the time of my widow's decease, also all my outstanding debts, provided he, the said Christian, shall farm

[Page 27]
and manage the said premises under his Grandmother's direction during her natural life, and also that he shall provide for and pay my just debts and funeral expenses and the several legacies herein after mentioned.
Item. I give devise and bequeath unto my dearly beloved wife Charity Warner during her natural life, the homestead (herein before described), together with all the livestock and farming utensils, wagons and sleighs, bedding and household furniture that I may own at the time of my decrease in lieu of her right of dower and to enable her to provide for the younger branches of the family but at her decease I give and devise it (as aforesaid), to my Grandson Christian his heirs and assigns forever.
Item. I give and bequeath unto my said sons Peter and Matthew all the carpenter's tools I may own at the time of my death to be equally divided between them. I give and devise unto my Grandson Christian Warner, son of Peter Warner and his heirs and assigns forever, seventy-five acres of land of the north end of lot number eighteen in the ninth Concession and fifty acres of the south end of lot number eighteen in the tenth Concession of the Township of Beverly in the District of Gore and Province of Upper Canada. To have and to hold to my said Grandson Christian Warner, son of Peter Warner his heirs and assigns forever.
Item. I give and bequeath to my daughter Charity Warner one feather bed and bedding, one cow, three sheep, a loom and tackling and seeds and five pounds currency in specie and a half dozen teaspoons marked "C.W." and further that she shall have the privilege of living in the family in the homestead and have her boarding found her from the said farm if she chooses, as long as she remains unmarried. On conditions she remain with me and my wife during our lives if unmarried but if she leaves us she is only to share equal with the rest of her sisters.
Item. I do will and order that after my decease all the horses I owned shall remain on the premises and after my widow's decease I give them to my grandson Christian Warner, son of Michael Warner, deceased.
Item. I do will and order that after me and my wife are deceased all the cattle, sheep and hogs, and all the household furniture (excepting the double stove and clock which shall remain in the house) shall be equally divided between my surviving daughters.

[Page 28]
Item. I do will and order that after the decease of me and my wife all my books (excepting my family Bible which I give to my daughter Charity) shall be equally divided between my surviving children.
And lastly, I do hereby nominate and appoint my trusty friends Robert McKinlay of the Township of Niagara aforesaid Yeoman, and Richard Woodruff and William Woodruff of the said Township of Niagara Merchants, to be executors of this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former Wills by me made ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last Will and Testament.
In Witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal this first day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred and twenty nine.
Signed sealed published and declared by the above Christian Warner to be his last Will and Testament in presence of us who at his request and in his presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names and witnesses thereto: Joseph D. Clement Richard Clement Joseph Woodruff
Signed by Christian Warner, 1 April, filed 25 January 1834

1795 Darius Dunham
1796 James Coleman
1797 James Coleman, Michael Coate
1798 James Coleman
1800 Joseph Sawyer
1801 Joseph Sawyer, Seth Crowell
1802 John Robinson, Daniel Pickett
1803 S. Keeler, S. Howe, R. Harris
1804 D. Pickett, L. Bishop, N. Bangs
1805 Gershom Pearce, Andrew Prindel
1806 Thomas Whitehead, Robert Perry

[Page 29]
1807 Thomas Whitehead, Ninian Holmes
1808 Henry Ryan, Isaac B. Smith
1809 Henry Ryan, Robert Perry
1810 Andrew Prindel, Joseph Gatchell
1811 I. B. Smith, Peter Covenhoven
1812 Andrew Prindel, Ninian Holmes
1813 Ninian Holmes(St. David's Church begun)
1814 no record, owing to the war
1815 William Brown
1816 Elijah Warren
1817 J. W Byam, George Ferguson
1818 I. B. Smith, George Ferguson
1819 I. B. Smith, D. Shepherdson
1820 Isaac Puffer
1821 Isaac Puffer, John Tackabury
1822 Ezra Adams, John Ryerson
1823 Ezra Adams, William Ryerson
1824 Thomas Demorest, William Ryerson
1825 Thomas Demorest, William Griffis
1826 John Ryerson, William Griffis
1827 David Youmans, Rowley Heyland
1828 James Richardson, Joseph Gatchell
1829 James Richardson, Edmund Stoney
1830 Edmund Stoney, Ephraim Evans
1831 Joseph Messmore, Ephraim Evans
1832 Edmund Stoney, Ephraim Evans

[Page 30]
1833 David Wright, Edwy M. Ryerson
1834 David Wright, Alexander Irvine
1835 Alexander Irvine, Alexander McNab
1836 Richard Jones, Alexander McNab
1837 Thomas Bevitt, Samuel Rose
1838 Matthew Whiting, Samuel Rose
1839 Matthew Whiting, Joseph Messmore
1840 Hamilton Biggar, E. Shepherd, Thomas Cosford
1841 Hamilton Biggar, John Law, G. R. Sanderson
1842 Lewis Warner, G.R. Sanderson, William McEwen
1843 Lewis Warner, James Musgrove (St. David's Church opened 1843)
1844 Jonathan Scott, Joseph Messmore, Joseph Sheply
1845 Jonathan Scott, Joseph Messmore
1846-1847 Reuben E. Tupper, Ephraim B. Harper
1848 Ephraim B. Harper, John Hunt
1849-1850 Edwy M. Ryerson, John Hunt
1951-1852 Thomas Cosford, George Young
1853 Thomas Cosford, Claudius Byrne
1854-1855 Claudius Byrne
1855-1857 G. N. A. F. T. Dickson
1957-1859 John Wakefield (Virgil Church built in 1859)
1859-1861 Alexander Sutherland
1861-1863 Thomas Cobb (Queenston Church built 1863)
1863-1865 William Richardson
1865-1867 George H. Field

[Page 31]
1867-1869 Ephraim L. Koyl
1868-1870 John N. Lake
1870-1873 William H. Withrow, M.A.
1873-1876 Charles Silvester (Niagara Congregation Purchased & Renovated Brick Church, 1874)
1876-1879 John Mills (Dedication of Brick Church, 1878)
1879-1882 James. Massen (Revival)
1882-1885 Solomon Cleaver, D.D.
1885-1888 Samuel Wilson
1888-1889 C. Cookman
1889-1892 Walter Jamieson
1892-1893 John Saunders
1893-1896 Thomas Orme
1896-1899 George Cornish, D. D. (Niagara Sunday School Built)
1899-1901 Goerge Lounds
1901-1905 A. A. Bowers
1905-1908 William Teeple
1908-1910 Arthur Creighton
1910-1913 J. Melvin Smith
1913-1917 Dr. J. McArthur
1917-1919 Roy Frid
1919-1923 George Moore
1923-1925 A. Finnis Marsh (Church Union June 10,1925)
1925-1927 R. Fothergill

[Page 32]
1927- 1930 Alfred Yeoman
(Grace United Memorial Windows Installed)
1930-1934 J. F. Kaye
1934-1938 Dr. J. Phillips Jones
1938-1946 Alfred DeRose
1946-1950 W. J. Fiddes
1950-1958 Geo. Ball
1958-1960 J. C. Johnson
1961-1963 Dr. T. T. Faichney
1963-1965 F. C. Miller
(Virgil Church joins Grace Church in 1965)
(Grace forms a Pastoral Charge with Carleton United Church)
1965-1969 F. Ewart Madden
1969-1974 D. Blain Tierry
1975-1984 Harold Steed
1984-1987 Bea Ash
1987-1990 Harry Manning
1990-1996 Doug Mitchell
1997-1998 Norman Hair
1998-2006 Doug Aikman, Bruce Small, Barry Dunbar
2006- David Pritchard

[Page 33]
Grace United Methodist Church Cemetery
Gate Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Gravesites identified in the cemetery

ARNOLD, Arthur
ARNOLD, Betty Jane
ARNOLD, Martha Theodora
ARNOLD, Richard
BALE, Ella
BALE, George Sidney
BAYERS, Annie Elizabeth
BAYERS, Thomas Humphrey
BOYD, Eliza Lucinda
BOYD, John
BRIGGS, Charles
CURRIE, Freddie
CURRIE, Frederick
CURRIE, Herbert T.
CURRIE, Howard
CURRIE, Herbert Sadlier
CURRIE, Martha J.
CURRIE, William Perry
CURRIE ARNOLD, Martha Theodora
DEVOE, Emily A.
DEVOE, Ermina
DEVOE, Jeremiah J.
HAINER, Valentine
HOWELL, Gideon
NISBET, Jannet
NISBET, Mary Ann

[Page 34]
NISBET, Walter L.
POWELL, Herbert
POWELL, Mabel A.
PUTMAN, Katherine E.
RANEY, Sarah
RANEY, Thomas
ROBINSON, Elizabeth
SADDLER, Charles
SHORT, Clara
SMYTHE, Elexey
SMYTHE, William J.
THOMPSON, Charlotte
YATES, William
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A history of Grace United Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Full title:"History of Grace United Church, Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Growth of Methodism in the Niagara Peninsula and the impact of the War of 1812-14 on the congregations". A half-folded brochure issued by Grace United Church in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
A booklet with soft paper cover and staples in the middle; 36 pages with black and white photographs.
This booklet includes considerable information originally published in a 1974 history book titled "Methodism, Its Origin and Early Days in Niagara" written by Margaret Peake Benton. She extended thanks to all who contributed information: Mrs. Franklin Currie, Mr. Robert Hadley and Mr. Kevin McCabe; Mrs. J. I. Gordon, Mrs. L. N. Abrey , Mrs. Ina Potter, Mrs. France MacKay, Mrs. P.H. Hiscott, Rev. Glenn. Lucas and Mr. Anthony L. Rees.