Corunna - Corunna Methodist Church

Photo of church with tall steeple

The first Wesleyan Methodist church in the Corunna area had its beginnings in 1851. In that year, Rev. E. White from Sarnia came to Corunna to hold a meeting in the schoolhouse. This visit marked the first planting of roots for a Corunna church as the congregation continued to meet in the schoolhouse for several years. In 1854, the members of the congregation became convinced of the necessity of having a special meeting place and so they decided to build a church. That February, the women of the congregation organized and sponsored a tea meeting which was the first fund raising event for the proposed building. The congregation was encouraged greatly in this endeavour by Froome Talfourd, a prominent man in the township at that time.

Someone donated to the church a three acre parcel of land on the north-west corner of Paget Street and Murray Street. Building was started at this location but was abruptly halted when a cholera epidemic swept through the community, robbing it of manpower and bereaving families who, as a result, neglected the building project. The 36' by 26' frame church was not completed until the summer of 1855 as a result of this epidemic. The congregation prospered and the following year (1856) comfortable pews as well as an altar railing were installed in the church. However, it was not until twenty years later, in 1876, that the congregation finally obtained an organ for its worship services. Land for a cemetery was donated by the ever-supportive Froome Talfourd in 1878. It was approximately this same time when the congregation began to feel that their present church building was inadequate for their needs and they began planning a new one.

The second building for the Corunna Methodists was erected on a site along Hill Street. Affectionately named "The White Church", this building was built at a cost of about $1,400 without furnishings and was dedicated on October 16, 1881 by Rev. A. Langford, who preached both morning and evening services. Rev. J.H. Orme from Arkona also held an afternoon service and the following day a celebratory festival took place. The funds raised at that event covered the entire building debt. The new white church was built in the Gothic style with a tower, a spire, stained glass windows and frescoed walls and ceiling. The first building was sold to David Birmingham who remodeled it for a home.

Many of the earlier church records were destroyed by fire when a personal home was burned. However, it is known that the Revs. Fergueson and Morrison were placed on the Corunna charge in 1881. In 1882, the parsonage was moved from Corunna to Courtright when the congregation was placed on a three point charge with the Courtright and Sixth Line congregations.

The Corunna church used the common practice of using a "Methodist Ticket" to keep track of communion attendance. This method was introduced in 1900.

The church union of 1925 brought an end to the separate existence of the Methodist congregation of Corunna. They joined with the Presbyterian church and other congregations to form the Corunna United Church on June 10, 1925.