Our History

As early as 1856, student ministers from Knox College came to Elmira to preach under the guidance of The Rev. Alexander Gale. At this time Hawkesville was included in the charge.

The seed that became Gale Presbyterian Church was planted in 1864 by Robert Kenning who donated a 1/4 acre of land at 2 Cross Street. The Kenning family is buried in a small cemetery at the southern edge of Elmira.

In 1868, a builder Hiram Martin, and an architect Mr. Gingerich, were selected to build a church at a cost of $450.00.

Scan 121420015

By 1876, Elmira Presbyterians were united with the Chalmers Free Presbyterian Church in Winterbourne and flourished. In the same year, Hawkesville and Elmira were officially united as one charge. Two years later, in 1878, Elmira was reinstated as a Mission Station. By 1885 Rev. Hamilton, of Chalmers Presbyterian in Winterbourne, took Gale Under his wing and under his leadership the building was renovated in 1895, with new seats installed.

In 1906 a Sunday School Annex was added.

Scan 121420007By 1921 Chalmers and Gale were officially united, a union which lasted for 45 years and at this time it was agreed that the Minister would live in Elmira.

In 1930 Alma Church was added to the charge making it a 3-point charge.

The Manse suffered a fire in 1945 and major church renovations were undertaken. This included a new Communion Service, hymn boards, doors, a tiered choir loft, pews varnished, walls painted inside and out, a memorial window and a baptismal font. In 1948 the basement under the sanctuary was excavated and a new heating system installed.

In 1951, new carpet was placed in the aisles and a painted floor in the sanctuary was added.

In 1952 the relations with Alma Church ended and the Amity Club purchased an electric organ to replace the old reed organ.

In 1968 Winterbourne ended their relationship and Gale applied to Presbytery for Mission assistance.

In 1970 a portable classroom was annexed for a Sunday school room and in 1976 the congregation returned to a self-sustaining congregation.

In 1986 the portable Sunday School classroom was sold and replaced with a $250,000.00 addition.

The new addition was dedicated in 1987 as the Boyne Christian Education Centre. The lower half was dedicated as the McCleary Room and the
largest classroom on the upper level as the McLean Room.

In 1988 the Sanctuary was turned around to accommodate the new Narthex and in 1996 a pipe organ was dedicated.

In 2004 the congregation approved a process to begin relocation.

Ministers At Gale

Rev. Edward Graham 1868-1869
Rev. Andrew Dryburgh 1877-1878
Rev. Alexander Russell 1880-1882
Rev. A. M. Hamilton 1885-1914
Rev. Alex. W. Craw 1914-1916
Rev. Dr. Archibald Blair 1917-1923
Rev. W.H. Bartlett 1923-1925
Rev. Dr. Frank McAvoy 1926-1929
Rev. Mayson H. Sewell 1930-1933
Rev. Gilbert D. Little 1933-1938
Rev. John S. Wright 1938-1941
Rev. H. L. Bennie 1942-1945
Rev. C. L. Mitchell 1945-1951
Rev. H. Lindsay Simpson 1951-1955
Rev. Walter McCleary 1956-1967
Rev. Fred J. Reed 1968-1971
Rev. D. J. Lewis McLean 1972-1975
Rev. John C. Boyne 1976-1993
Rev. Dr. Linda J. Bell 1994-2013
Rev. Scott Sinclair 2014-2021
Rev. Reuben St. Louis 2022 – 



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