Grace Church at 150, Part 3

Grace Church in the 20th Century: A new century, a new minister

Following the departure of Rev. Higginson, Rev. Thomas McKim came in 1906 and in 1908, Rev. J. Douglas. Again, there was a period of activity during this minister’s tenure, as the records show that the Parish Hall and Vestry were built, and with the founding of a branch of the Woman’s Auxiliary, an influence upon the social life of the church began to be felt. In 1916 Rev. Douglas exchanged parishes with Rev. H. Leake, whose eldest son enlisted soon after their arrival in the village and was sent overseas where he saw action during the last years of World War I.

Under the guidance of Rev. E. A. Slack, appointed in 1922, the congregation decided that they wanted to be on their own as a parish and so the long union with the Aldershot church came to an end, allowing both churches to establish their own identities – however, the Parish Records show that at the same time, the tiny frame church of St. John’s, on Highway #5, Nelson Township became associated with Waterdown and the two remained connected until 1975.

The Rev. E. E. Lake began a ministry at Grace Church in 1928 that covered a period of twenty-three years. Again the parish faced great difficulties, but “Mr. Lake with great faith and unselfish service, constantly supported by the unfailing help of his wife, did splendid work in the parish”.

Financially the parish was not strong, as church records indicate that in 1940, he received his stipend of $917 from the parish, but at the end of the year, the parish still owed him $92 from 1939.

In 1952, Rev. W. S. Noble came from Saskatchewan to begin a twenty-three ministry at Grace that under his guidance and that of Mr. T. C. Wilkes saw major changes come to the church building. A growing Sunday School and lack of accommodation for church activities resulted in the need to enlarge the Parish Hall.

Work began on the new building at the end of May 1956 and just eight months later, the Sunday School classes assembled for the first time in the new hall that had been designed by renowned local architects and members of the congregation, Arthur Wallace and Charles Lenz.

Rev. Laurie Duby, the next minister to the parish arrived in September 1975 and holds the honour of being the longest serving minister at Grace Church. Like Rev. Higginson, he was young and musical, with a talent for playing the bagpipes.

The church celebrated its long history throughout 2010, with special events and activities planned each month. The congregation was under the guidance of Rev. Mark Tiller who came to the congregation during 2009.

Sylvia Wray is the former archivist with the Flamborough Archives. She can be reached through the Archives at

This article was originally published in the Flamborough Review, 23 September 2010.


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