Iron Bridge, ON P0R 1H0
More about Iron Bridge United Church
Note: a vacancy has been declared for 1 July 2017
The Iron Bridge United Church is located on Highway 17 on the west side of the Mississagi River.
The first church, Methodist, was built in 1892 but burned down before completion. It was a hard blow to the little group of pioneers who had worked hard to make a living and build a church to see it go up in smoke.
In 1899 they built another church. The minister, Mr. Kitchen, said if the people would supply the material and labour, he would raise money for any cash outlay. He went into the lumber camps with his hand organ and entertained the men, a collection was taken up, and in this way the church was completed and fee of debt when finished.
Presbyterian services were held in the Orange Hall, but in 1905 both denominations began holding services in the church, one in the morning and the other in the evening. Both services were attended by the same people, preparing the way for a temporary union in 1917 and later full union in 1925.
In 1965 a new brick home was purchased on the east side of the Mississagi River to serve as a manse.
In June 1978 the Dayton United Church, a sister congregation on the same Pastoral Charge, closed its doors, with most of the members joining the Iron Bridge congregation. The Dayton United Church traces its roots back to 1879 when the first pioneers arrived in the Dayton and Sowerby areas. At first, church services were held in homes. Later Presbyteryain, Methodist and Baptist churches were built in Sowerby and the Dayton people attended theses, but later started holding services in David Berd’s home. As members increased, they decided a church must be build. Land was donated, timber cut, and with hard work and donations from the community the Dayton church was finished in 1912. Throughout its history the Dayton United Church was very active and missionary-minded.
In the fall of 1981 the Iron bridge church began a major renovation program. The church was raised in order to accommodate Sunday School classes in the basement, the sanctuary was extended, new carpeting and pews were purchased, and the basement was outfitted with new furnishings and complete kitchen facilities. Throughout the building program an eye was always kept on the needs of the handicapped with access ramps, special pews and an elevator being included. The completion of the program in 1986 was marked by a Service of Dedication conducted by the President of London Conference, Rev. Morely Clarke.