St John the Evangelist Church

633 Turnberry St., Brussels, Ontario


The Parish of St. John's was born the summer of 1860, though missionaries had been conducting services at the Orange Hall before this time. John Wilton Kerr is credited with founding the church. He was an active lay leader and a prime mover in getting a church building built. He is said to have conducted Church of England services "according to the prayer book pattern."

Lot 109 was donated by John Manning as a church site. A little frame church soon appeared on the corner of Turnberry and Catherine Streets in 1864.

The first ordained minister was Rev. A.J. Lindsay who arrived in 1872.   His tenure was brief he died within months of his arrival.   The Rt. Rev. Isaac Hellmuth, second Bishop of Huron, then appointed Rev. H. Cooper.

By 1875, the congregation had grown. Plans were begun for a new, larger church. The Italianate-style building, with its paired, round-arched windows and squared corner tower, was officially opened in August of 1876.

Rev. E.J. Robinson replaced Rev. Cooper in 1877. It would seem his stay was not a happy one; an exchange was negotiated with Rev. F. Ryan of Christ Church, Exeter, Ontario in October 1878. With Rev. Ryan's arrival, several families who had left returned and rented pews.

All but the bell tower was destroyed by fire in 1947. but within a year rebuilding plans were underway. The building was rededicated July 10, 1949. Collection plates carved of wood salvaged from a pew, were given to the church by Thomas Gamage. The Church was consecrated on July 8, 1962.

Since 2008, Saint John's has been part of the four point Parish of New Beginnings with  Trinity Church, Blyth, Ontario;
St. Peter's, Lucknow (left); and St. Paul's-Trinity, Wingham (right).

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