Early Settlers
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From History of Perth County 1825-1902
by William Johnston, published in 1903

While manufacturing, educational and commercial interests were being fostered and promoted with judgment and forethought by the citizens, the church had not been idle nor neglectful of her duty.   Of all denominations represented in Listowel the Congregationalists were pioneers.   They were first to erect a building where service could be held, and with a true spirit of Christianity opened their doors to all other denominations.   A number of their leading members were Scotch originally, who resided not far distant from the haunts and homes of old Covenanters.   They apparently had a large portion of that latitudinarian spirit, which is a graceful attribute in all minds, according unto others those privileges they think proper for themselves.

Organization in this congregation was almost simultaneous with early settlement.   In 1856 Rev. Mr. Snider from Stratford initiated religious observances.   Rev Mr. McGregor afterwards became first regular minister.   Progress has not been great, however, owing to removal of a large number of their people.   At its organization there were about forty members, now increased to sixty.   A neat and substantial brick church was erected a number of years ago at a cost of $4,500.   A good Sabbath school is conducted by A. Climie in connection with this congregation.

In 1886 a Baptist church was organized by Rev. Mr.Dack.   This congregation, although progressive, never had a large number of members.   On its first being established thirteen members only comprised the roll, which has since been increased to fifty.   If this congregation was not numerically strong, they certainly evinced great liberality in constructing a substantial building at a cost of $4,500, where services are now held by Rev A. J. Sanders, present incumbent.   There is also a good Sabbath school, having an attendance of about 50 pupils, with Mr. Joseph Bennett as superintendent.

The congregation of the Evangelical Association of Listowel was organized in 1876 by Rev. Philip Winkler.   A frame building was purchased from the Lutheran congregation in 1876, where services were held for a number of years.   In 1886 their present brick edifice was erected at a cost of $3,000.   This organization was instituted with 12 members, now increased to 75.   There is also a Sabbath school, having an attendance of over 70 pupils.   This department is under Mr. George Dippel as superintendent, with whom are associated 12 assistants.   Rev Mr. Eidt is pastor.

Methodism, although not established in Listowel for several years subsequent to churches of that denomination in Elma, has made good progress.   Services were first held in 1864, by Rev Mr. Armstrong, an old pioneer preacher in this county.   Here, as in other sections, it had a small beginning, the principal promoters in this village being William McKinney, A B Riggs, James Lee, and J. W Scott.   Rev. Mr. Sanderson was the first stationed minister, completing organization in 1865.   A frame building was also erected, at a cost of $1,000.   At that period 12 members and a few adherents constituted this now important congregation.   In 1866 a Sabbath school was organized by Mr. William McKinney, he being first superintendent.   During 1886, or subsequent to Methodist union, when church organization was effected on a broader basis, the present substantial brick building was erected, at a cost of $15,000.   There is now a membership in connection of over 350, with a large number of adherents.   180 pupils attend the Sabbath school, conducted by Mr. G. W Slaughter, principal of the public schools, who, with a staff of assistants, is doing a good work in what may be called the nursery of Christianity.

The congregation of United Brethren was organized in 1887, Rev. Mr. Love being first minister. This church had at its inception about 50 members, which number still remains.   A neat frame building has been erected, at a cost of about $2,000, where services are now held by Rev. Mr. Munday.   A Sabbath school is also conducted by Mr. J. Kilgour, having on the roll about 100 pupils.
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