For more than one hundred and twenty-five years there has been Sunday worship and community celebration in this striking place. The church has been the heart of the Village of Sturgeon Point since the original structure was erected in 1888. That building was replaced in 1915 with the church we enjoy today.
Mrs J. W. Flavelle (nee Clara Ellsworth and, later, Lady Flavelle) commissioned Toronto architect A. Frank Wickson to build an octagonal church, based on the design of a chapel in Athens, Georgia that she had admired. Though the Flavelles were committed Methodists, the project was for the building of an ‘independent’ church. The new Sturgeon Point Union Church was presented to the village on July 11, 1915, in a service attended by cottagers and Lindsay residents, many of whom made the trip on the steamer, Lintonia.
The eight-sided church is constructed of Georgia pine. It has windows on seven sides and is supported by a central pillar from which beams branch out to meet the sloping ceiling. From the roof, dormer windows admit additional light and, above them, a belfry houses the bell which calls villagers to Sunday services. Three sections of pews separated by two aisles face the pulpit, choir seats and organ. Behind these, a small vestry and anteroom complete the building. Over the years the church’s welcoming arbours, a baptismal font, a fine organ and pulpit have been added, all memorial gifts from congregants.
The church has remained independent, welcoming worshipers of all creeds. It is administered by a board of trustees and a committee elected at an annual congregational meeting. It is supported solely by free-will offerings, and supports a number of local charities. The church has a strong tradition of engagement with many of the region’s needs.
Another longstanding Sturgeon Point tradition is the welcoming of visiting pastors and lay speakers. They bring to the pulpit the experiences of their own communities, in this way enriching ours.
Over the years, the church has increasingly been used as a community centre, hosting concerts, plays, and many other civic gatherings.