Aenon Baptist Church
From early in the days of settlement of Chester Basin, there was a building situated where the church now stands, from which David Crandall distributed rations. Subsequently, he gave the place for use as a church, school, and temperance hall. The building was renovated and became known as Aenon Chapel. This was likely a meeting house that was either non-denominational or referred to as a “Union Church,” which was a building that was used by congregations of numerous Protestant faiths.
The Chapel was replaced by the first Baptist church in 1821. This Baptist church is described as having had a wide aisle that extended through the centre of the building and seats that went to the walls on both sides. There was a high pulpit with the choir seated to the right of the minister. This building was also likely in the meeting house style, a common style among Baptists in early to mid ninetieth century Atlantic Canada. This style is often characterized by its small and rather plain facility, with no steeple, and gothic embellishments. The front entrance was often on the gable end, with either two entrances one on the left and right sides of the front façade; one meant for the men and the other for women, or a centrally placed doorway. This building likely only had one entrance centrally placed on the gable end, given that there is only one interior aisle and not two. This style focuses on proportion and symmetry. Given the style of other meeting houses from this period and the description of the interior, it is likely that this Baptist congregation had Congregationalist beginnings and was perhaps founded by Dissenter populations that left the Church of England. It was common for churches built by these populations to have high-set pulpits that were well shut in. The style of this building, given its age, was probably rather plain, and would have had simple classical colonial or classical embellishments such as rectangular windows and strait back pews.
Rev. M . B . Whitman became the first resident minister at Aenon. Mr. Whitman led in the building of a parsonage which was completed in 1902 and from which all indebtedness had been paid off by 1905. The fourth minister to serve the congregation was Rev. Samuel A. Macdougall during whose term of service the present place of worship was built on the same property as had been occupied by its predecessor, the old being razed on October 3rd, 1910. The reasoning for constructing a new facility was likely due to the growing size of the congregation. The cost of the new church was in the vicinity of $9000. The new building was dedicated on November 17th, 1911. This building is a prime example of the movement Atlantic Baptist congregations were making in the early twentieth century from symmetrical designs, typically in the gothic revival style with a steeple centrally placed on the gable end, to a style that was in an asymmetrical design, with that steeple situated on the left side of the building.
The bell was installed two years after the dedication, in 1913. Lockland Croft, chairman of the bell Committee, had gone to Halifax to order a bell. When the Company learned that the bell was for the new church in Chester Basin, the manager said, "The bell is paid for! I’m donating it!"
Information provided by Churches of Kings County Nova Scotia