Amherst Highland United Baptist Church

Title

Amherst Highland United Baptist Church

Creator

Avery Jackson

Source

Information provided by Atlantic Baptist Archives - Churches by the Sea binders, July 22, 1978, Chronicle Herald

Church Name

Amherst Highland United Baptist Church

Church Association

Cumberland Association

Province

Nova Scotia

County

Cumberland County

Address

25 Park Street, Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada

Status

Alternative Use

Date

Built circa 1890

Historical Information

The early members from this former congregation can trace their roots back to First Baptist Church, Amherst, who worked in several neighboring areas, one of which was Amherst Highlands. Here, a mission grew around a Sunday school program which began in the 1890’s through the efforts of some “devoted sisters.”

The first meetings of the Amherst Highland United Baptist Church were held in private homes, and later, the little group used a small building owned by the town, which happened to be used, on occasion, as an isolation ward for people in the region suffering from infectious diseases.

From this small building owned by the town, the mission moved about 100 feet down the road to the north. This new building has a central hallway, with a room on either side and a large platform at the south end, in the front of the sanctuary. This building was formerly used as a Society’s Lodge Hall, until it was taken over by the Highland Sunday School. No date of construction can be found for this building; however, given its architectural style and embellishments, it is believed it was built circa 1890, as it marks a transitional shift in architectural styles, from a building that has a centrally placed tower on the gable end, to a design that is asymmetrical, with the tower positioned in the interior corner of the ell of the building.

The first changes the congregation made, once taking over this building, occurred in 1906, when a set of stairs, and a room were built for the boys’ Sunday School class, completed by Deacon Wylie Doncaster.

The Sunday School was organized in 1894, and was still a ministry in 1912 when a First Baptist Church, Amherst report acknowledged the associated schools at the Highlands, at Amherst Point, at East Amherst, and at Salem. This church continued this Sunday School until the 1970’s. Around 1980 the building was sold to the Amherst Day Care Centre.

Originally this building was a pleasant blend of Gothic Revival and Classical Styles, evident through the uses of Gothic Revival pointed windows near the peaks of the gables, and the use of large rectangular windows below the eaves. One of the most striking features of this structure, that still exists in present (2023) day, is that of the tower, which contains the main entrance of the building. This building, however, lacks many of its original architectural embellishments both on the interior and exterior, due to renovations by all the various groups that have been housed in this building. It is interesting to note that this building, since its construction, appears to have housed some type of community organization aimed at helping to educate people.

Information provided by M. Allen Gibson, Churches by the Sea, Chronicle Herald, July 22, 1978.

Files

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Citation

Avery Jackson, “Amherst Highland United Baptist Church,” Atlantic Baptist Built Heritage Project , accessed April 14, 2024, https://atlanticbaptistheritage.omeka.net/items/show/493.

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