From: "A History of the
Scotch Presbyterian Church, St. Gabriel Street, Montreal"
By Rev. Robert Campbell, Montreal 1887
The congregation worshipping in this church [Stanley Street] consisted originally of 66 members, and 13 adherents of Erskine Church, who seceded, when that congregation resolved to use instrumental music as an aid to worship. They were recognized by the Presbytery of Montreal of the Canada Presbyterian Church, and organized 26th May, 1874.
They first met for religious service in the St. George’s Church School-house; but as the erection of the new church was pressed forward with energy, they were able to worship in the basement, December 27th, 1874, on which day it was formally opened, Rev. Dr. Burns preaching in the morning, and Rev Principal MacVicar in the evening.
Rev. E. F. Torrance, (now of Peterboro’) officiated for several months with much acceptance, but the first pastor was Rev. J. C. Baxter, M.A., formerly of Dundee, (now Dr. Baxter of Kirkcaldy, Scotland) who was inducted, May 7th, 1875. During the same month, the church, having been completed at a cost of $39,000, was formally opened for Divine service.
Dr. Baxter resigned the charge in August, 1878. The Rev. James McCaul, B.A., formerly of Three Rivers, was called, and inducted February 18th, 1879. The church lay under the crushing weight of a debt of $25,000 at this time; but Mr. McCaul, ably assisted by Colonel Stevenson, George Rogers, the late Alexander Rose, and others, addressed himself to the task of lifting the burden off the congregation, which he had very nearly accomplished, when he resigned the pastorate, March 30th, 1886, to accept an appointment to Great Britain and Ireland, in the interests of French Evangelization.
He was succeeded 30th September,
1886, by the present pastor, Rev. Finlay M. Dewey,
a native of this province, who received his literary education at McGill
College, but studied Theology at Morrin College. He was pastor of
Richmond, Eastern Townships, for nine years, where he gave full proof of
his ministry; and he has given a fresh impulse to the life of this spirited
congregation by the earnestness and warmth of his teaching. The elders
are George Rogers, of Rogers
and King ; James Ross, merchant; Peter
MeLeod, missionary; W. D. Duncan, clerk;
Carrie, and William Drysdale, bookseller.
The Sabbath School had 150 scholars during the centennial year.
Back to the homepage