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A Brief History of the Building.
St John's United Church was formed in 1925 by the amalgamation of two Halifax Presbyterian congregations whose origins dated back to 1793.

Our church site at the corner of Windsor and Willow Streets had been purchased in 1916 by the members of St John's Presbyterian Church.

The first St John's Church cornerstone laid at the Willow Street site by Lieutenant Governor MacCallum Grant in 1917
The first St John's Church corner-
stone laid at the Willow Street site
by Lieutenant Governor MacCallum
Grant in 1917

Plans were in place to build a new church there to replace their aging structure on Brunswick Street, and the cornerstone for the new church was laid in October 1917. Barely two months later, the Halifax Explosion ripped through the city, demolishing the entire north end section. Construction of the new St John's Presbyterian Church was delayed considerably as its members struggled to rebuild their lives in the months following the explosion.

The new church was finally opened and dedicated on July 21, 1918 but by 1920, the building was deemed too small to accommodate the growing congregation. Another cornerstone was laid approximately 40 meters from the first one, and work commenced on what is now the present-day sanctuary and bell tower.

On April 10, 1921, the congregation officially opened and dedicated its spacious new home. Four years later, as Presbyterian, Congregational and Methodist Churches combined to become The United Church of Canada, members of Park Street Presbyterian Church joined their friends on Willow Street, and St John's United Church was born.

Betts, Rev. Dr. E. A., Nicolson, J.A., Matheson, W.H., Morrison, D.A., Smith, G.R., History of St John's United Church, Halifax, Nova Scotia 1793-1975

Your Stories ~ St John's United Church Oral History Archive.
Longtime members of our congregation share their personal reflections of lives lived within the family of St John's United.

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Archival interviews continue!

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