Knox Presbyterian Church

The Knox Presbyterian Church in Dundas has gone through a number of changes. The first Presbyterian minister to settle in vicinity of Dundas was Rev. George Sheed, who arrived in Ancaster in 1826, and established a church first in that village and then in Dundas, both called St. Andrews. When both the Presbyterian Church of Canada and the mother Church of Scotland were divided by a theological dispute in 1844, the Reverend Mark Young Stark gathered 114 members of the congregation and split with the Church of Scotland.  He formed a Free Church congregation in Ancaster and Dundas – the former of which was small, and was removed from Stark’s direct management in 1854 so he could focus on the latter, which was dubbed Knox Church. Knox grew quickly and soon surpassed the Church of Scotland congregation in the town.

In 1873, a massive windstorm hit the Church, demolishing parts of the walls and completely blowing off the roof. The members of the congregation were able to rally a funding effort to repair this damage. The newly restored building was set in its present day location in 1874.

Over time, Knox would become the main hub for Presbyterian worship in Dundas. In 1861, members of the Bluestone Church (a congregation of people who had earlier left the church in Dundas and joined the United Presbyterian Church of Canada) joined with Knox. Finally, in 1876, the division among Presbyterian churches in Canada was resolved and Knox became the central representative of the faith.

 

Thank you to the students from McMaster University Department of History for their assistance with this project.

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