Goulais River, ON P0S 1E0
Goulais River United Church
The first settlers of the Goulais River area met for church services in the first log schoolhouse built on a hillside near St. James’ Anglican Church. This was a big frame church, difficult to heat. There was also a shelter for horses in the yard. The Rev. A.I. Heinonen served as minister in 1934-35 to Goulais as well as Wabos, Searchmont, Glendale, Northland, Bellevue and Island Lake. In 1935 the building was sold to Elmer and Ken Graham for $150.00. This was kept as a start for a building fund for a new church.
Church services were then held in the log schoolhouse at Bye’s Corner, and later at the Orange Hall. The Rev. J. Dudgeon came to serve Goulais River United Church. He was one of the most dedicated and best-loved ministers to serve this community. He served from 1935 to 1953 with the hlpe of several summer students. Three of these students, Jim Seunereine, Roy Neehall, and Art Chappell, assisted The Rev. Dudgeon in making plans for a new church, which was completed in 1949. Dedication ceremonies took place on Sunday, October 23rd, 1949.
Although space will not permit us to name all the people who donated to the new church, we must pay tribute to Reuben McCauley and his wife, Prudence, who were leaders in the project, supervisor of construction, Cliff McCauly, and Perry Young, Cope Stafford, and Joe Mitchell who did most of the work.
The building was first built on cedar posts, then later raised on a cement block basement 20’ X 40’. This was used many years for Sunday School and for turkey suppers put on by the W.A. to raise money for church furnishings and improvements.
Many student ministers served us very capably during the summer months over the years. Many dedicated lay leaders, notably Lem Yeomens, were of great assistance. Starting in 1967 we enjoyed the year-round ministry of Re. David Stephens. When he left, The Rev Wm. Carnes served from 1969 to 1975. During that time, in 1975, the church was moved back 60 feet on to a solid concrete foundation 20’ X 60’.
In 1978 the exterior of the church was covered with white vinyl siding, with a solid brown brick front. A bell tower with four posts and a canopy to hold the church bell were added. Cement walks to the parking lot and road were laid.
For a year after Mr. Carnes left, services were held at 2:00 p.m. conducted by ministers from the city churches. In 1949 Mr. Charles Nairn, a librarian at Lake Superior State College, took over our services until June 1982. At that time Cary Muncaster started servicing our church as a lay supply.