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Halifax County, Nova Scotia
The Valley Views
Issue 34, 17 September 1975


The following is brief history of the Middle Musquocoboit Pastor Charge since church union took place in 1925.  This Charge includes the congregations of Riverside Church (Elmsvale) and Middle Musquodoboit United Church

The Middle Musquodoboit church building was officially opened on December 12, 1869, and  served as a Presbyterian Church until 1925, when
this congregation, with the late Rev. W.K. Read as Minister, became the United Church of Canada.

The site was bought for $40.. and the building erected for $3,440.00. Through the years additions and improvements have been made;  the Chancel wa added in 1917 at a cost of $968.87 (including furnishings) on land which had been donated for this purpose.  In 1909 the stained glass  windows were made possible through the efforts of the Sewing Circle of the Church, by way of donations from various members of the congregation, at a cost of $25.00 per double window.

In 1958 an extensive program was undertaken, when the church was raised and a cement foundation installed.  With this as a beginning, the floor
was cemented and classrooms were built.  Since then a modern kitchen was built and equipped, an oil furnace has been installed, a well bored, and
plumbing added.  Much of this work was done with volunteer labour.

By way of financing the structure, pews were bought by individual members for $50.00 each, and remained the property of the member and their families fro a number of years before being turned over to the church for the free use of the congregation.  A plaque showing the purchaser's name and number of the seat has recently been discovered and is being restored.  Originally, the choir occupied the two front seats in the gallery, but moved tot he chancel after its completion.

The beautiful bell, still in us today, was donated in 1899 by the late Robert Reid and family in memory of his wife Mary Ann Archibald, and became affectionately know as "Mary Ann:.

The Riverside Church was built in 1887 at a cost of less than $1,000.00; labour was all voluntary.  In recent years a furnace has been added.

Ministers who have served this Pastoral Charge since union  became effective are as follows;
Rev, W,K, Read                          1920-1929
Rev. G.A. Logan                          1929-1930
Rev. J.H.A. Anderson                  1930-1937
Rev. J.G. E. Ball                          1938-1942
Rev. W. H. McLean                     1943-1947
Rev. L.P Archibald                       1948-1955
Rev. R.D. MacIntosh                    1955-1961
Rev. W. E. Aitken                        1961-1965
Rev. Donald Pierch                       1965-1969
Rev. Waldo Elliott                          1970-1974
Rev. Wayne Schurman                   1974-

The women's organizations have  played an important, and ever increasing, role in church life.  The original Sewing Circle later became know as Ladies Aid, the Women' Association, and now the United Church Women.  This organization is carry on in the true traditions of the early years, and supporting in full measure and in every way possible, the work and welfare of the church.

Several young men from this Pastoral Charge have entered the Ministry since 1925.  They are two brothers, Joseph and Stanley Berridge, who came here as boys from England and were brought up in this community. In due time they studied for the ministry of the United Church of Canada
and were ordained by it.  The Rev. John T. Stewart, of the Riverside Church was ordained by the United Church in 1947 and Rev. Douglas R.
Jennings, also of the Riverside Church, was ordained in 1952.

A few financial statistics may be of interest, by way of comparison with present costs.  It should be noted that the Middle Musquodboit Church,
financed as previously outline was opened free of debt, a great tribute to those who made this possible.  The present manse, minus kitchen and
verandah, was completed in 1886 at a cost of $1,612.88.  This figure included the land, the barn, the cellar and the well.  A manse was
built  A manse was built in Elmsvale 1851 and sold in 1876 for $400.00 The first communion service was purchased in 1877 at a cost of $8.00
An elderly, life long resident of this community, prepared an address which was presented at the celebration of the 71st anniversary of the
opening of the present church building, in which his closing remarks are worth of repetition and thoughtful and thoughtful consideration.  Quote:

"As I look back in memory through the years an see the faces of the men and women who sat in these pews on that far away opening day, and who
carried on the affairs of church and community, I am wondering if we, their descendants and successors,  are worthily honoring their memory by
taking up the torch that fell from their hands and waving it high.  THey laid the foundation of christian character deep and strong; are we building the superstructure that will stan d the test of time and eternity, and of which we will not be ashamed?  Are we?  They bequeathed to us a noble heritage - may we, by God's grace, go forward to greater achievements and leave to our children and children's; children a legacyof christian character that is far above all material possessions."

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