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HISTORY

In the early 1860s, Methodist circuit riders and early ministers held camp meetings in the area where Unity Church & Cemetery is currently located.  From these meetings, the need for a church was felt, which led to the building of a church in 1864.  Locals had taken care to pick the best location to build Unity Church & Cemetery.  Enough money was subscribed from local families to build the Church before they had commenced building.  

The land for Unity Church & Cemetery was donated by John Birchan Hull.  Services were held in the Green School and Welcome School until the building was completed.  William Rattenbury of the Township of Glanford was the contractor for the work to build the Church.  Mr. Thomas Parker and Mr. Joseph Parker did the masonry work.  Mr. Reuben Mattice will be remembered as spending the greater part of the summer of 1864 working at the Church without any remuneration.  

In the first years of its existence, Unity was part of the Glanford Circuit.  Reverend Mr. Keough was the first minister.  In 1871, Unity became part of the Seneca Circuit, and then part of the Caledonia Circuit in 1877.  At that date, Unity Church became a two-point charge with the Methodist Church in Caledonia.  The same Minister conducted both services with the Caledonia service taking place and the Unity service in the afternoon, which is why Unity still has an afternoon service at 2:30 pm on the second Sunday in September.

In the early years of Unity, fuel was wood supplied by the parishioners for the wood stove and evening light was tallow candles or oil lamps.  Volunteers took a month at a time overseeing the care-taking, heating, and cleaning.  In the early 1900s, the wood stove was taken out and gas was piped from Highway 6 (the Plank Road).  The first gas heat was from a furnace with burners under the Church.  It was the caretakers job to crawl under the Church to start the furnace.  There was a key, however, in the sanctuary above to turn the furnace off.  There were two registers:  one at the front and one at the back.  The two registers can still be seen in the Church today.  Later, this furnace was replaced by gas stoves.  There was a big stove in the back North-East corner and a radiant burner at the front of the Church beside the dais.  

After gas was piped up from the Plank  Road, in 1913, hanging gas fixtures were installed in the sanctuary near the four corners of the Church.  On the two arms of these fixtures were glass globes with mantles in each of the globes.  This was quite a change to the light shed by coal oil lamps.  The vestibule at the entrance of the Church was built about 1915-1917 under the guidance of Mr. Edmond Carver.  A frame kitchen was added to the South side of the Church at that same time.  It was heated when necessary from the oven of a wood cook stove.  Electricity was installed in 1960 and the gas light fixtures were removed.  In the 1990s, in order to prevent possible fire damage, the old electrical wiring was disconnected from Unity Church.

Today, we are proud to carry on the tradition of Unity Church & Cemetery.  Even though weekly Sunday services ceased in 1948, an annual service usually fills Unity Church on the second Sunday of September at 2:30 pm every year.