Cole Harbour United Baptist Church


Cole Harbour United Baptist Church


Avery Jackson


Information provided by Atlantic Baptist Archives - Churches by the Sea binders, N.D., Chronicle Herald

Church Name

Cole Harbour United Baptist Church

Church Association

Northeast Nova Association


Nova Scotia


Guysborough County


Cole Harbour, Guysborough County, NS




Built circa 1890

Historical Information

A Baptist congregation was organized at Cole Harbour, Guysborough County, in 1888. In 1893, its Sunday School was started. But it was not until 1895 that a record of the church first appeared in the denominational year book and in the reference the community was identified as “Coal Harbour.”

By 1895, the congregation consisted of 15 members. It was without a pastor at the time although Lic. C. W. Turner was soon to settle at Half Island Cove, the head of the pastorate of which Cole Harbour was part. Meanwhile, the date of its construction is unknown, but a church had to have been built at Cole Harbour. It was valued at $600 and its size was suggested by the figure 100 which appeared in the year book under heading “Number of sittings.”

Throughout the church’s history, they shared a pastor with Half Island Cove. By the 1940’s, the congregation had declined to 18 members. By 1970, the membership had declined to eight people. Ten years later, in 1980, the church was listed in the denominational records as having “lost visibility,” a term referring to congregations that have ceased to function.

This church was built in the Meeting House Style. The Meeting House style was typical of Baptist and Congregational congregations around this time frame in Atlantic Canada, due to its simplistic and rather quick-to-build design. The Meeting House style is characterized by a 1 ½ storey wood-frame construction, with either one or two entranceways located on the gable end. This building would have been covered in either wooden clad boards, or cedar shakes, and had a roof covered in wooden shingles. Heating sources during this time consisted of either a wood or coal burning stove, with illumination within the building coming from either whale oil or kerosene oil lamps.

This church was built with hints of Classical architectural embellishments, evident in the use of three rectangular (4 over 4) glass paned windows on each of the eave-sides of the building. Some of the most striking features of this church can be found on the front facade, with a small four-paned window set up high, near the peak, with a prominent hooded trim board. The same trim board can be found above the centrally placed doorway on this gable end. Coming out of the roof, on the right side, just below the peak of the roof, near the front facade, is a brick chimney, suggesting that this church had a source of heat for year round services. The pulpit would have been situated at the front of the sanctuary, with a central aisle leading from the doorway.

Information provided by M. Allen Gibson, Churches by the Sea, Chronicle Herald, no date.




Avery Jackson, “Cole Harbour United Baptist Church,” Atlantic Baptist Built Heritage Project , accessed April 14, 2024,

Output Formats