Church History

Kenyon Presbyterian Church Dunvegan Glengarry

It was not until the 1830’s that the north west corner of Kenyon, Glengarry County and the southern part of Caledonia townships were settled by pioneers from the Scottish Highlands.

Although many services were held in homes, it was not until 1840 that Kenyon Congregation was established. A log church was built on the corner of Lot 25, Concession 9 Kenyon, on land donated by Norman (Captain) MacLeod, under the direction of Rev. Daniel Clark, with the name Kenyon Dunvegan.

Until 1856, Kenyon was served by the minister from Indian Lands (Maxville, St Elmo) when the two congregations agreed on their separation. The first resident minister for Kenyon was the Rev. Adam F. MacQueen.

By 1871, the log church was too small for the growing congregation. In May 1872, the corner-stone was laid for a new church built with stone from local quarries. Progress was slow, and it was not until 1880 that it was officially opened as reported in the October Presbyterian Record ”Kenyon Glengarry a new stone church was opened for worship at this place on September 9 th 1880”. With much free labour, the cost of the stone church was about $7,000.00.

For many years,the Gaelic language was used for morning worship with the English in the afternoon, but in 1934 the Gaelic services were discontinued.

The “Deacon’s Court ( the last one in the PC.C.) was in charge of the finances till 1992, when Board of Managers was appointed.

In 1990, after years of planning, a grey brick Hall was built, with Rev. Ken Wild as minister.

This attractive building is well used by the Sunday School, the Women’s Association, the W.M.S. Group and for Church Board meetings, dinners and Community events.

Kenyon Congregation has been blessed with devoted clergy and student ministers. We are indebted to the late Rev. Donald N. MacMillan, who served Kenyon for 24 years and who wrote two histories of the congregation as well as the History of Churches in Eastern Ontario “ The Kirk in Glengarry”

The church properties and buildings have been well maintained. Recently a new wooden floor and carpet have been installed in the sanctuary.

The Kenyon Church Cemetery surrounds the church and dates back to 1846. A new black wrought iron fence enhances the Cemetery property.

With declining numbers and supervision from Seaway Glengarry Presbytery, an agreement was signed in July 1994 amalgamating Kenyon Presbyterian Church congregation Dunvegan and St Columba Presbyterian Church congregation Kirk Hill as one charge. This has worked well.

Several years the pulpits were supplied by married students from Presbyterian College. Since July 2007 the two congregations have a full time minister, Rev. Julia Apps Douglas.

Annabelle Hartrick

Kenyon Presbyterian Church, Dunvegan Ontario –  Est. 1840