Lundy's Lane United Church

Location:

LUNDY's LANE UNITED CHURCH 5825 Lowell AvenueNiagara FallsOntarioL2G 1T2Canada View Map

SIC Codes:

8661

NAICS Codes:

813110

Fax:

(905) 358-5622
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Description:

Meanwhile, at the other end of Lundy's Lane a larger settlement was developing in the area surrounding the present intersection of Lundy's Lane and Main Street. In 1812 the British and United States armies fought the important and bloody Battle of Lundy's Lane on Drummond Hill overlooking this settlement. In 1836 the settlement was incorporated as the Village of Drummondville and a short time later two churches, St. George's Anglican and Drummond Hill Presbyterian were constructed in the area. One of the area's earliest cemeteries is located beside the present Lundy's Lane Church. The Methodists who had been attending Lundy's Lane Chapel services formed a class in Drummondville. However, they couldn't find a suitable meeting place and were turned down when they asked to borrow space in the Presbyterian Church. As a result, the Methodists decided to construct their own chapel on Lundy's Lane and in 1846 the Drummondville brick church, as it was called, opened its doors. Varnished pews and a choir loft were among its more impressive features and gradually the members of the old meeting house began travelling down Lundy's Lane to join in the Sundays worship services. In 1857 a final service was held in the old meeting house following which its remaining 85 members joined the Drummondville brick church. There were more changes as the years passed. In 1874 several different Methodist splinter groups joined to become the Methodist Church of Canada. Drummondville became Niagara Falls South and grew in population to the extent that in 1888 an enterprising preacher named Richard Hobbs was able to convince the Methodist congregation that a new building was necessary. The new building was constructed the following year replacing the former building on the same site as today's church. Not being one to downplay such an accomplishment, Hobbs had 200 large posters printed and distributed for miles around to announce the new church's opening. Later he rang the newly-purchased church bell as it was moved through the streets from the Niagara Falls train station to the church. This building was to continue in use until 1961 when it was demolished to make way for the church sanctuary that stands on the site today. Many of the bricks recovered from the 1888 building were used in the present structure. Rebecca Green Biggar has been described as the "spiritual mother of Lundy's Lane Methodist Church". She was the first child of European extraction born on the Niagara Frontier and was the daughter of Charles Green, after whom Green's Corners was named. She died in 1880 in her 94th year. The contributions of Rebecca Green and other early members of the congregation were not duly recognized at the time. The Rev. J.C. Stephenson noticed to his surprise in 1898 that the church's 100th anniversary had slipped by four years earlier and had not been observed. To make amends he produced a written history of the church and used it as a sermon to the congregation. It was during that year that the church once again used Lundy's Lane in its name becoming Lundy's Lane Methodist Church. The annual report for 1898 listed a membership of 201. In 1923 a hall for use as a Sunday school was added to the north side of the church. This was an addition that was to touch the lives of thousands of children in the years to come. The gymnasium and stage and the Sunday school classrooms on the lower level now comprise the oldest section of the church. One of the prime supporters of the original Sunday school and one of its superintendents for many years was Fred Harrison. A room in the new church was named for him when it opened in 1962. When the Christian Education wing was constructed in 1956, the name of another invaluable member of the congregation was given to the new church parlour. Described once as "God's gift to Lundy's Lane", Rose Spencer was at various times a Sunday school teacher, a member of the choir and for 25 years the president of the Ladies Aid Society. She died in 1947 but her picture on the wall of the Rose Spencer Room in the Christian Education wing of the church keeps her memory alive for today's church members. The name of today's congregation - Lundy's Lane United Church - stems from the merger in 1925 of Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches to form the United Church of Canada, now the largest protestant denomination in the country with almost a million members. While the Lundy's Lane Methodists became a part of the new church, the members of Drummond Hill Presbyterian Church across the road narrowly voted against the merger, and for that reason two churches remain on Drummond Hill. Out of strong conviction for the union of the churches, several members of Drummond Hill joined their Methodist friends at Lundy's Lane to form the new congregation. Although differences continued for some time, the two congregations now combine for Lenten observances and Good Friday services. The story of the church's past would be incomplete without a final mention of the Old Red Meeting House at Green's Corners. After the last service in 1857 it remained standing on the site until 1869 when it was moved down Lundy's Lane and reconstructed for use as a barn and then as a garage by a church member who owned property near the corner of Drummond Road and Barker Street. It stood until the winter of 1945 when it finally collapsed under the weight of snow and was dismantled for firewood. A gavel was carved from wood from the structure and is today in the possession of the Niagara Presbytery of the United Church. At the corner of Lundy's Lane and Montrose Road a stone cairn stands near the road marking the site where the meeting house was located. In 1992, a new chapter in the church's history commenced when the church amalgamated with another Niagara Falls church congregation, Kitchener Street United Church. On September 17th of that year the two churches became one congregation contuing at Lundy's Lane. The story of Lundy's Lane Church can be told through its past and present places of worship. The previous structures and the present church building represent visible expressions of a committed, caring congregation of Christians striving to do God's work.

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