Bear River United Baptist Church

Title

Bear River United Baptist Church

Church Name

Bear River United Baptist Church

Church Association

Annapolis- Digby

Province

Nova Scotia

County

Digby

Address

37 Pleasant Street, Bear River, NS.

Status

Active

Date

Constructed 1859

Historical Information

The history of the Bear River Church began with the Clements Church. According to Roland McCormick, in early 19th century the Clements Church consisted of the entire area of the township from the Annapolis to the Joggins River. Israel Potter was the mainstay Baptist pastor in the area during this period. A revival in 1821 led by Thomas Ansley led to a rise in Christianity in the Bear River area. In 1823 the church divided to create the Second Clements Church consisting of members in Bear River and Smith's Cove. Rev. David Harris of Lower Granville visited Bear River and agreed to become their pastor, preaching one Sunday a month alternately at Bear River and Smith's Cove. He apparently also retained his position at Lower Granville. In 1839 Digby County came into being, and the Second Clements Church became known as the Hillsburg Church. Thus when Bear River and Smith's Cove divided in 1842 they became known as the First and Second Hillsburg Churches. In addition, Henry Saunders preached on Digby Neck in 1842, and it was during his ministry that the first meeting houses were constructed at Bear River and Smith's Cove. The Bear River Church then entered a period of steady growth that eventually made it one of the largest Baptist Churches in Nova Scotia. The present church was built and dedicated on July 3, 1859 under the pastoral leadership of Elder Parker. During the interim of the pastorates of Bros. Simpson and Nobles, this house was newly seated, walls and ceilings decorated and the bell, the gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Chute, was placed in the tower.