Little Rapids United Church
The first church services at Little Rapids were held in the homes of the pioneers, in the gristmill, and in the school. Although a large percentage of the residents of Little Rapids were Presbyterians, a minority group built the first church in the village. The Algoma Advocate reported in June, 1988 that “the Particular Baptists have erected a chapel on Paynter’s farm”. When Mr. Paynter sold his farm to William Ramsay, the building was included. It was moved by the Presbyterian congregation to the Kintrea property, then across the street to a small plot of ground adjacent to the cemetery that was donated by Milton Bell in 1896. Rev. Neil Campbell was the first minister. His charge at that time included Little Rapids. Rev. Neil Campbell was the first minister. His charge at that time included Little Rapids, Ansonia, and MacBeth Bay. The original building served the congregation as a Presbyterian and, after 1925, as a United Church until 1960 when the present fine edifice was built. The dedication of the new church was impressive. According to a newspaper account, “It was witnessed by hundreds who travelled great distances”. The dedication service was conducted by Dr. Semple, Rev. R.W. Beveridge, and Rev. George Soutar.
Thessalon Pastoral Charge Ministers from 1925
1925 to 1944 (Zion only): Rev. A.B. Irwin (1925), Rev James S. Duncan (1926-31), Rev. Robert W. Beveridge (1932-44) During this time period Little Rapids had nine ministers.
1945 – 1987 (Zion and Little Rapids):
Rev. Gordon g. Pickell (1949-53), Rev. Nicholas L. Gostonyi (1954-57), Rev. James W. Davies (1958-59), Rev. James Semple (1960-63), Rev. J. Gary McEachern (1964-68), Rev. Clyde G. Taylor (1969-94)
Not only did Rev. R.W. Beveridge devote some twelve years to ministering ot the Thessalon Pastoral Charge and pioneering the work of the church in Algoma Presbytery but after his retirement he returned in 1953 to live the balance of his 96 years in Thessalon, keeping in ouch with church and community affairs.