Belmont United Baptist Church

Title

Belmont United Baptist Church

Church Name

Belmont United Baptist Church

Church Association

Prince Edward Island Association

Province

Prince Edward Island

County

Prince County

Address

551 Belmont Road (Route 123), Miscouche, PE

Status

Active

Date

Built 1881

Historical Information

The Baptist Church at Belmont was organized at a meeting held in the schoolhouse at 4 p,m, on March 22, 1876. The meeting appointed Samuel Simpson as deacon and James Simpson as a clerk of the newly formed church. The church was composed of 20 members which were transferred from the Summerside church, and 11 others from the Belmont area. The Trustees were John Baker, Samuel Simpson, Allan Fraser, Daniel Campbell and James Simpson. The building was partly built during the summer and Reverend Joseph. Murray of Summerside was to assist as pastor. In 1878 Reverend J. B. Woodland was sent to Cavendish and Belmont, and he also had services at Knutsford and O’Leary.

In 1881 in the building was finished and the dedication service was held with Reverend Henry Crawford, Presbyterian, and Reverend William Bradshaw assisting Reverend J. B.. Woodland. Reverend J.B. Woodland left in 1884 and Belmont united with Northam Mission Field under Reverend E. N. Archibald until 1885. In 1898 an organ was purchased and was the first musical instrument found in the church on Sundays. From 1931 to 1960 the Belmont United Baptist Church was in cooperation with Summerside United Baptist Church, with services provided for both churches by several pastors over the years. For many years now the Belmont United Baptist Church has been in a partnership with Bedeque United Baptist Church. In the late 1960s the church was completely refinished on the interior, with bright natural wood finishes and carpet for the centre aisle and choir loft. One of the most eye-catching features on the interior of the building is a wooden communion table donated in memory of Mr. and Mrs. John MacLeod by their family. Another significant feature of the interior is a memorial stained glass window dedicated in memory of the late Hazel MacLaurin Yeo and sister Campsie MacLaurin Yeo by their family.

Originally in 1881, the interior of the structure was much different than it is today. It originally was built with an alcove next to the road to accommodate the pulpit, with a door on either side. In 1898 the seats were cut in two and placed so that there would be a middle aisle. Prior to this the pews were in the centre with space on either side for walking.

One of the most notable connections this church has is with the author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, who recorded in her journal dated January 4, 1897 - “Although it was against her will, she agreed

to play the organ at the Baptist Church for evangelistic services being conducted by Mr. Baker.” Later, on January 18th she wrote – “The church was so packed tonight that I I had to sit on the organ stool the whole time and it nearly broke my unfortunate back.”

The Belmont Baptist Church is a rather plain wood framed building with an entrance on the gable end. This building was constructed in the Meeting House style, a style that was common amongst early Baptist congregations in the Maritime Provinces. The arched windows on either side are Gothic in style; although the present (2021) windows are white vinyl, they mimic the shape and curves of the original ones. Over time the church has retained some of its exterior historical characteristics such as the original wooden shingles and overall shape. The front façade has changed over time with the layout of the interior changing from the pulpit being near the road to the back of the church.

Information provided by the church and Frank Sinnott, History of the Baptists of Prince Edward Island, 1974.

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Citation

“Belmont United Baptist Church,” Atlantic Baptist Built Heritage Project , accessed April 14, 2024, https://atlanticbaptistheritage.omeka.net/items/show/278.

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