Bethany History

Bethany Church was formed as part of the
Ponsonby Circuit - 1878 - 1925


In 1878, the Bethany church was setoff from the Elora Circuit and the Ponsonby Circuit was formed of Bethany, Mount Pleasant and Marden. The Mount Pleasant Church was situated on the eighth concession of Nichol Township and the services were held in the school at Marden. Rev. John Stewart was the first minister for this Circuit.


In 1897, with Rev. Judson Truax as minister, it was decided to build a parsonage and a lot was purchased at Ponsonby f from Mr. John Maitland. The trustee Board at this time was John Metcalfe, John Crosby, B.H. Lyons, Henry Martin, John McCullough, William Kirby, John Metcalfe Jr., John Elliott, William Thacker, Frank Martin, George Wallace, Ebenzer Aitchison and Henry Hall. A Parsonage Board was appointed to look after the building of the parsonage. From Bethany - Henry Hall, Jabez Bettchen, Frank Martin, David Larter, Edgarton Fyfe, George Wallace; from Mount Pleasant - Hugh Cook, John McCullough, Michael Metcalfe, William Kirby; from Marden - John Crosby, Archibald Dunbar and John Metcalfe Jr. The red brick, one and a half story eight room parsonage was finally built in 1899 with Rev. H.J. Harnwell the first minister to live in it.


In 1907 the services at Marden were withdrawn and the Ponsonby Circuit was changed to Bethany and Mount Pleasant only. Rev.W.A. Terry was the last minister to have the three charges and was followed by Rev. Jabez Dyke. Then followed Revs. Thomas Voaden, Fred W. Crowle, William Walker, Austen W. Guild, Roscoe H. Smith and Albert E. Millen when Ponsonby became United.


On June 25th, 1923, Bethany Church was in the path of a great windstorm which swept this community. The roof was blown off and the pulpit, organ and communion table were broken. The church was repaired by James Brown and assisted by Joseph Dunbar. Visitors to the wrecked church were amazed to find the old clock still ticking away on the wall. Trustees at this time were Thomas and Robert Bye, Thomas and Spencer Hall, Stanley Royce, William Fasken,
Peter Dunbar, and William Thacker with Rev. Roscoe Smith as minister.


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