About Sauble Beach United Church

“To know the past,
To live the present,
To better the future”

In June 1875, a new church came into the life of the community named Zion Methodist Church. The six-member congregation held their service in a one-room log cabin. (That log cabin, now restored, is on the property beside the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre.)The circuit-riding preacher in charge was Rev. Adam Glazier who was paid an annual salary of $17.00.

The cornerstone for the new church on the southwest corner of Mr. Thomas Wilson’s farm, Lot 15 Con.10 was laid on May 24 1889. The stone foundation was 31 ft by 40 ft. The building was complete with first-class shingles for a total cost of $1,000. In 1894, the circuit became self-sustaining with four appointments: Hepworth, Park Head, Shallow Lake and Zion. Zion’s share of the $575 annual salary for Rev. Fydell was $100.

In 1900 it became a double circuit and in 1904 it became a three-point charge with Hepworth, Park Head, and Zion. At that time Zion had a membership of 75. In June 1910 the church was raised, moved back 15 feet and a cement basement put under it. Ten feet was added to the front for a vestibule. By 1915 the minister’s salary was $750.85 plus $100 for horse keep. In 1918 the church added a shed that was 100 ft long by 50 ft wide. That shed lasted until 1980 when it was demolished to make room for the church addition.

In 1925, the time of church union, the Zion Methodist church became Zion-Amabel United Church. The church celebrated its Jubilee on Sept 10, 1939. Over the years the church interior was redecorated and in 1958 a new Hallman organ was purchased at a cost of $1689.

In 1979 there was a significant turning point.
Should the church close its doors and amalgamate with St Andrew’s at Hepworth? On April 13, 1980 the vote was:
to go to Hepworth, 19; to keep their own church service, 27.
The doors stayed open. In the fall of that year, a new addition was added to the church.

In 1981 a two point charge was established with Hepworth as Shallow Lake United Church chose to become independent. In 1984, Jack Fearnall, a former Salvation Arm Officer became the lay minister. The 100th Anniversary was held on Sunday September 17, 1998.

Plans began for the new church in 1998 on 12 acres of land purchased from Don and Jean Kirkland. The general contractor, Landmark Construction of Hanover, oversaw the building of the Church which included over $300,000 worth of volunteer labour. This incredible volunteer contribution reduced the cost of the new facility to $600,000. This was raised and paid for by the congre- gation in a matter of 3 years. The new church has a seating capacity of 300 with a gathering room that will hold 140 for a sit down dinner. The Pioneer Room in the church recognized the pioneer families including: Atchison, Atkinson, Anderson, Ard, Blue, Davidson, Forbes, George, Huff, Johnson, Kirkland, Robinson, Trask, Walker and Wilson.

The first official service of worship took place in the new church on Sunday June 27th with Rev. Dr. Leonard Griffith and the Vocal and Bell choirs.
Rev. Jack Fearnall, who with his wife Jo-Anne, ministered to the congregation from 1984 until 2005 when Jack retired and Rev. Gerry Hofstetter accepted the call in September 2006. The Church building celebrates its 10th year in 2009.

The story of Zion-Amabel United Church, from 1898-1989, entitled Generations of Love, is available for reference from the Church Library.

Ministers: The people of our Church Family

Rev. A. Glazier …………………………………………………… 1875-1877
Rev. R. Johnston ………………………………………………… 1877-1880
Rev. T. Hadden ………………………………………………….. 1880-1881
Rev. T. Leggate ………………………………………………….. 1881-1884
Rev. S. J. Corcoran ……………………………………………… 1884-1886
Rev. J. J. Noble ………………………………………………….. 1886-1889
Rev. A. M. McCoulloch ……………………………………….. 1889-1989
Rev. A. J. Parker ………………………………………………… 1890-1892
Rev. T. R. Fydell ………………………………………………… 1892-1895
Rev. H. J. Harnwell …………………………………………….. 1895-1898
Rev. Judson Truax ………………………………………………. 1898-1901
Rev. S. A. Laidman …………………………………………….. 1901-1905
Rev. John Wesley Wilkin ………………………………………. 1905-1908
Rev. J. Ferguson …………………………………………………. 1908-1911
Rev. J. A. Jewett ………………………………………………… 1911-1913
Rev. J. C. McClelland ………………………………………….. 1913-1915
Rev. F. W. Crowle ………………………………………………. 1915-1917
Rev. W. C. Almack ……………………………………………… 1917-1920
Rev. W. D. Clark ………………………………………………… 1920-1923
Rev. J. P. Barbaree ……………………………………………… 1923-1927
Rev. J. Wesley Bean ……………………………………………. 1927-1930
Rev. C. B. Woolley ……………………………………………… 1930-1935
Rev. J. W. Copsey ………………………………………………. 1935-1939
Rev. A. E. Millen ………………………………………………… 1939-1942
Rev. Frank Sullivan ……………………………………………… 1942-1949
Rev. H. T. West …………………………………………………. 1949-1953
Rev. W. Patton …………………………………………………… 1953-1955
Rev. J. H. Richardson ………………………………………….. 1955-1960
Rev. J. R. Carbert ……………………………………………….. 1961-1966
Rev. Clifford McIntosh ………………………………………… 1966-1967
Rev. George Bates ………………………………………………. 1967-1969
Rev. Eileen Dribb ………………………………………………… 1969-1975
Rev. Melville Boyd ……………………………………………… 1975-1976
Rev. Larry Marshall …………………………………………….. 1976-1980
Rev. Jan Markvart ………………………………………………. 1980-1983
Rev. David Campbell …………………………………………… 1983-1984
Rev. Jack & JoAnne Fearnall …………………………….. 1984-2006
Rev. Gerry Hofstetter …………………………………………… 2006-2015
Rev. John G. Smith …………………………………………… Nov. 2015

About Rev. Smith:

ARTC (Piano), University of Toronto
B.A. (Music and Science) University of Western Ontario
M.Div., Queens University
D. Ministry in Preaching, McCormick Theological College, Chicago (June/15)
Canadian Securities and Certified Financial Planning, Seneca College, Toronto

Married to Rev. Joan Silcox-Smith – 2 children, both married – 1 grandson.