DUNDAS STREET CENTRE UNITED CHURCH
We began in 1846 as a group
of British and American Methodists meeting for prayer and worship in a
small cottage on Adelaide Street near Bathurst. In 1856, a house was rented
for worship on Adelaide Street. Plans to build a church were stalled until
new hope in the form of moral and financial support from Methodists at
the North Street Church (now Metropolitan United Church) was provided. In 1860, a frame church was built on the northeast corner of
Adelaide and King Streets to accommodate a congregation of 300 people. Adelaide Methodist
Church, as it was called, was sold later to the Anglicans and then to the
Baptists. It was moved to the south side of King Street and enlarged to
become what is now Adelaide Street Baptist Church.
Wooded property at the
corner of Dundas and Maitland Streets was purchased in 1869 and the
cornerstone for a new yellow-brick church was laid. On April 3,
1870, the Gothic-style Dundas Street Wesleyan Methodist
Church was dedicated. In 1876, it was named Dundas Street Centre Methodist
Church to distinguish it from Dundas Street East Methodist Church (which
Centennial United Church) built in 1874 further east on Dundas Street.
Dundas Street Centre
Methodist Church burned to the ground on February 13, 1895 but was quickly replaced with
the present red-brick, Romanesque-style building. The Sunday School
Auditorium was finished first and dedicated on October 24, 1895; the
Sanctuary was dedicated on May 24, 1896. In 1925, the church joined the
union of Methodists, some Presbyterians and Congregationalists that
became the the United Church of Canada. From then on, we were
known as the Dundas St. Centre United Church.
The present building is a designated historic site in
London. It is recognized for its unique sanctuary with a
semicircular freestanding balcony and its beautiful Victorian
stained glass windows and dome.
Our pipe organ, which was installed in 1930 to
replace one destroyed by fire, is a three-manual Casavant (for more
information on Casavant organs go to:
www.casavant.ca). It has 39 stops, 53 ranks and 3091 pipes. Some pipes are
sixteen feet long while others are the size of a pencil! Its
console has three keyboards. The keys are rosewood, not the usual
metal keys. Furthermore, it is the only organ in this region with a
Wood Harp or Marimba.
Dundas St. Centre pipe
photo courtesy of Diane Cuppels
renovations have occurred over the years. The Sanctuary was redecorated
in the summer of 1949. The Sunday School auditorium was remodeled in
1958. The sod was turned for a new Christian Education Building in
April 1962 and on November 4, 1962, Shambleau Hall was dedicated.
The Memorial Chapel was dedicated in January, 1963.
Throughout these many changes
retained a strong sense of church family, togetherness and a busy
schedule of worship, Bible study and community service. This is a caring
and compassionate congregation, one that welcomes you and your talents
if you are seeking an active church home or refuge from the hurting