This blog was created for an outreach for St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Hillsdale, Ontario. It was the 1st church established in Hillsdale in 1851. It was the longest continuously running institution in the village, followed by the post office, which was established in 1867. The original church was a log building erected on the north-east corner of the cemetery found on Highway 93 just south of the village. It did not take long for the congregation to outgrow the building and a second church was built in 1867 across the road from the cemetery.
The current church was built further north within the village at the location of 6 Mill Street West. It was constructed in 1896 for $6,045. The bell was installed in 1905 and an organ was purchased in 1910. For generations it has been a vibrant meeting place of worship and connecting the community of Hillsdale together. The church is God’s idea. It is about building relationships with one another and with God. God designed us to enjoy fulfillment in a close relationship with Him, which come through faith in Jesus. He promises to give direction, provide wisdom and fill our hearts with love. We access His limitless supply by looking up to Him in simple trust and a willingness to follow His Word. Since 1851 the church at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Hillsdale has been an instrument of growing the faith of the community of believers. And to reach out into a hurting world.
Sadly, attendances have fallen in churches all across Canada, and many churches have closed doors. At one time Hillsdale had 3 churches, and St. Andrews Presbyterian Church was the lone surviving church. The last few years, typical Sunday attendance ranged from 8-12 with special services such as Christmas Eve bringing in much larger numbers. In a church building that is able to seat 170 people, it became a major challenge to keep going.
Sadly after 171 years of ministry in Hillsdale, Ontario and surrounding area, the St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Hillsdale had its final dissolution service on May 29, 2022. It was a day of great sadness, but also a day to look back on God’s faithfulness for the past 171 years.
When one door closes, God opens another door. As lay pastor of the Hillsdale church for 11+ years, the closure was a heavy load on my shoulders. Soon I was given opportunities to work itinerant ministry with other congregations. One church is a city church called Knox Midland, and the other is a beautiful charge of three country congregations in Jarratt, Rugby and Uptergrove, Ontario. As of February 2023, I started to minister at the three congregations on a regular basis. The first three Sundays of each month. More details can be found on the page “The Three Churches”.