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Markham Village Churches

Markham Village Churches

The Impact of Church Union on Markham Village

In 1840, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church stood on what is now St. Andrew’s Cemetery on Highway 7, east of Main Street. Fire destroyed the church and a new brick building was opened in 1873 at 7 Washington Street.

In 1925, Presbyterians, Methodists and United Congregationalists voted whether or not to unite and become the United Church of Canada. The St. Andrew’s congregation voted for union, with a vote of 64 to 57. As a result, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian became St. Andrew’s United Church East.

Part 2: The Methodists

The second St. Andrew's Presbyterian ChurchDuring the 19th Century, Methodism was the largest denomination in the area. By 1855, various Methodist sects had 11 chapels, three ministers, and about 22 preachers in the Village. One of these chapels was a Wesleyan Methodist erected in 1836 in the Vinegar Hill area. This was replaced by a red brick building at 32 Main Street North in 1862. The Vinegar Hill building was used as a town hall until 1882.

When the Markham Wesleyan Methodists joined the Church union in 1925, the 32 Main Street North church became St Andrew’s United Church West.

Part 3: The United Church

The formal union of the Presbyterian, Methodist and United Congregationalists took place on March 6, 1927. Morning services took place at St. Andrew’s United Church West (32 Main Street North) and evening services were at St. Andrew’s United Church East (7 Washington Street).

St. Andrew's United ChurchIn 1950, the east church was purchased by the Markham District Veteran’s Association and St. Andrew’s United fully relocated to the west church.

Part 4: The Presbyterians Post-1925

In 1925, about a third of Canada’s Presbyterians voted against unification. Instead, they formed the Continuing Presbyterian Church of Canada. Presbyterians in Markham Village conducted services in the Orange Hall at the northwest corner of George and Church streets until a new St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church was erected at 143 Main Street North in December 1926. The congregation expanded in the 1960s and a Christian education building was constructed in 1964. Continued growth led to further expansion in 2009.