Early Methodist Clergyman – Rev. Anson Green

from the book:

Life and Times of the Rev. Anson Green, D.D.

First Minister of the Brockville Wesleyan Methodist Church

1830

Rev. Anson Green

Rev. Anson Green

Brockville Circuit – First Move

Our first move commenced on Monday, the 13th day of September 1830.  We had but five miles to go on waggons before we reached the steamer at Queenston, where we embarked with horse, carriage, and furniture.  The lake was rough, and Mrs. Green and I suffered much from sea sickness.  Our babe, four months old, proved the best sailor of the three.

We came in sight of Brockville a little before midnight. We drove our own horse to the hotel, and slept comfortably for three or four hours, when we were called up by Mr. Luther Houghton, who came to conduct us to his own house, a part of which had been rented for our home. Our new friends called in to bid us welcome and help us settle. We soon found that friends in the east were just as kind as those in the west, and we were at home

Brockville is a lovely town of 1,130 inhabitants, situated on the St. Lawrence, a little below the Thousand Islands.  Our stone church stands on a most eligible site, on the Court House Square.

Sunday the 19th September   I commenced my pulpit work here by preaching on “Paul’s resolution”, which I adopted as my own. The circuit has been re-arranged so as to allow preaching twice a day in town.  We reduced our membership to about 400 by this division.  There are four churches in town   the Wesleyan and Presbyterian in the centre, with an Episcopalian in the east, and a Roman Catholic in the west.

The buildings of the town are mostly of beautiful blue stone, brought from a quarry two miles to the east of it.  These, laid in courses of from four to six inches in thickness, present a beautiful appearance.  There is no town in Canada that I have seen which, for its size, presents so many fine, substantial buildings.

On Wednesday, preached in the tin-capped school-house, about five miles out, but found no class.  Sunday, the 26th, twice in Brockville.  On Thursday, the 30th at the Quaker school-house.  Friday 1st of October, at Wiltse’s schoolhouse.  Sunday, the 3rd, at Bates’ school-house in the morning, where we met a good class, and at Keeler’s school-house (now Greenbush) in the evening  – crowded congregations and good classes.  Brother John Keeler, who leads the class at his place, is the son of one of our early ministers, and he is an excellent leader of a large and lively class.  Monday, went back in the woods to Mr. Berrie’s   a small congregation.  In the evening at Brother Dickson’s.

Sunday, the 10th of October, Brockville, morning and evening. 12th, at Shipman’s school-house, a small class here. 13th, at Kanetuck, a larger class. 14th, at Junetown or Quabbin   no class yet formed. 15th, at Lansdowne, a good class meeting. 16th, at Hutchinson’s   no class here. Sunday, the 17th, at Elizabethtown and Mallorytown, good congregations and excellent class-meetings, in both of these places.  The former is vested with much historic interest.  The first Conference held in Canada met here in 1817, when a great revival commenced.

We have 19 appointments each, every four weeks; quite enough, seeing, we preach twice every Lord’s Day in Brockville. Indeed, we need more time for study, for prayer-meetings, and for pastoral visiting. The numerous calls for extra sermons, temperance lectures, and Sunday School addresses, make me wish for Fletcher’s piety, Wesley’s learning, and Whitfield’s eloquence, that I might devote more time to this great work, and respond to every call.  We have an interesting field.

This drawing shows how the first stone Methodist Chapel in Brockville looked. It is the core of the present Wall St. United Church on Wall St.

This is how the first stone Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Brockville appeared.
It is the small core of the present Wall St. United Church building, now existing on Wall St.
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