A BRIEF HISTORY OF COTTAM UNITED CHURCH

 

Cottam United Church had its beginnings in the earliest stages of European development of the area. Beginning in the early 1800’s Methodist missionaries traveled throughout Essex County to share the Good News. Communities were small and the population too spread out to justify the expense of building churches. People gathered for worship in homes or outdoor gatherings. Many of these Methodists meetings later became congregations.

 

As more settlers arrived and communities grew, it became possible to consider erecting church buildings. Major Wagstaff arrived in the area, set up a post office and named it after his home town in England. The village of Cottam was born. The first Methodist church in Cottam was started in 1867 and came under the supervision of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The wood frame building was completed and dedicated in 1868. It existed a block east of the current church.

 

Another group of Methodist, the Canada Methodists, also established themselves in the area and erected another building in 1878. The two Methodist congregations worked within Cottam until 1884. During that year, various Methodist denominations joined together nationally to create the Methodist Church of Canada. This uniting spirit found its way to Cottam and the two Methodist congregations also agreed to join together, using the Canada Methodist Church as their place of worship. That building was located on the property of the current Cottam United Church.

 

The congregation grew. The corner stones of the new sanctuary were laid on May 26, 1913. It took almost a year to complete the impressive brick building. It was opened on February 22, 1914 and dedicated on March 1, 1914. Since then, various additions and modification have been completed. In 1949, the pipe organ was added in honour of the sacrifice of men and women in uniform during WWII. The Fellowship Hall was added in 1984 and the elevator and Albuna Room in 1993. The sanctuary was significantly remodeled in 2006 to bring it up to standards for modern worship. Finally, new office space was built onto the Fellowship Hall in 2012.

 

In 1925 the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches in Canada joined with various Local Union Churches to form the United Church of Canada. Cottam Methodist Church followed suit and became Cottam United Church.

 

Cottam United Church has a rich history in the area. It was a key contributor to the evangelistic crusades and tent meeting of the early 20th century, leading many people to Christ. Over the years, it has had a strong Sunday School and youth programmes. Music had always been an important part of our ministry. The work of the women has been carried out by the United Church Woman and its predecessors, The Woman’s Association and the Women’s Missionary Society. Cottam United Church also has a strong heart for missions and had supported many missions, local, national and international. The legacy continues.

 

Cottam United Church had made an intentional commitment to stand on the two pillars of Christian mission: evangelism and social justice. While we make significant contributions to the well being of others, we also are seek to engage people for Christ and provide the resources for them to grow in faith. In doing this, we seek to know Christ and make him known.

 

Please come and join us for worship. We look forward to seeing you and sharing Jesus message of love, forgiveness and salvation both in this life and the next.

Sunday Worship Service: 9:30am
Nursery & Sunday School
Pastor: The Rev. Kim Gilliland
519-839-4266
cottamuchurch@gosfieldtel.com
Hearing assistance Handicap accessible