The 1863 Lake Map. Lot 3. Source: Note Centerline Road is marked "Proposed Road"

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Alma United Baptist Church

     Here's a photo of the Alma United Baptist Church located just behind the H.I. Paving Plant - the well-kept cemetery can still be found there.
     The above photo comes from the Prince Edward Island Public Archives & Records Office (PEIPARO).
     Here are two photos I took of the church in the summer of 1983.  The interior photo was taken from the main entry door looking into the church.  Note the tin ceiling.
Below is a photo I took in the summer of 2007 of the Alma United Baptist Cemetery.
The following is the history of the church and the women's missionary society.

            Over the years the Alma and Alberton Baptist churches have been closely associated.  The Alberton Church, which began in 1876, erected a church building in 1889.  This was eventually closed, and in 1947 was sold as a legion home.  In 1885 Alma became a separate church, and the present building was probably erected about then.  In 1893 it reunited with the Alberton Church but reorganized itself in 1908.
            Church Clerks have been David Barbour 1972‑close, Isaac Dunbar 1937‑1972, Joseph Dunbar (d. 1937), and J.P. Fielding (d.1939 aged 96 years, father of Mabel) who was the first Alma Baptist Church Clerk to put in writing information about the Church.
            Treasurers have been George Dunbar 1972‑close, Howard Dunbar 1937‑1972 and Ben Dunbar (d. 1937).  In the early days money was oftenn given diretly to the minister and so treasurers were made less use of.
            Organists have been Mrs. Archie (Mildred Dunbar) Barbour, David Barbour, Mrs. Frank  (Emma Dunbar) Barbour (d.1946), Mrs. George (Helen Dunbar) Rayner (d.1940) and Mrs. John (Celesta Dunbar) Horne (d. 1934).
            The first trustees were, from 1885, Jesse Baker, William Dunbar, and Samuel Rix.  More recent Trustees were James Dunbar, Keir Dunbar and Howard Dunbar.  The Dunbars were originally Presbyterians.  Other early leaders were John Haywood and William Clarke.
            In the summers of 1934‑35‑36 Lic. Steeves led an enthusiastic group of young people.  they presented a pageant "For He Had Great Possessions" in both the Alma and the Knutsford Churches.
            From the humblest churches have come some of the most effective soul‑winners.  Rev. Elmer Crockett from Alma, he resided in Rantoul, Illinois he ran four centre for servicemen and conducted two daily "Word of Life" broadcasts from Worthington, Minn.  He also issued a monthly newsletter, "The Good News Bulletin".
            The Church was demolished in 1990.
cf. the book, 
Highlights of our Baptist Work: in Springfield West, O’Leary, Alma Churches”, 1852-1977.
              On Monday evening, May 18, 1942, a Meeting was held in the Alma unite Baptist Church,  and Miss Bessie Lockhard (India) addressed the Meeting.  Following this a Missionary Society was organized under the leadership of  Mrs. A. A. MacLeod, and the following officers were elected Mrs. Archie (Mildred) Barbour, President; Mrs. Howard (Jennie) Dunbar, Vice President; Mrs. Isaac (Edna) Dunbar, Secretary; Mrs. Wm (Sadie) Mountain, Treasurer, an office she held for over 30 years.
            Including the above mentioned executive we had 12 charter members; Mrs. Frank Barbour, Miss Zena Barbour, Mrs. James Dunbar, Mrs. Benjamin (Martha) Dunbar, Mrs. A.A. MacLeod, Mrs. Waldron Barbour, Mrs. Mary Dunbar, Rev. A.A. MacLeod.
            At the same Meeting a Baby Band was organized.  Miss Lockhart made the youngest baby of those parents present a member of the Baby Band, and presented $1 to the treasurer for that purpose.  The baby was Garth Wesley Dunbar, second eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Dunbar, Alma.  Mrs. Isaac Dunbar was then appointed leader for the year.  In the years since several other ladies of the Society were appointed leaders until the Baby Band was disbanded.
            The Society met on a regular basis each month, in the homes of the members, and although numbers are relative small (average attendance seven) the Meetings are enjoyed by those attending. In 1977 the officers were: President, Mrs. Isaac (Edna) Dunbar; Secretary, Mrs. George (Muriel) Dunbar; Treasurer, Mrs. Jack (Mary) Dunbar.
            Each year, for many years now, an Annual Thanksgiving Service, under the auspices of the Alma W.M.S. is held in the Montrose United Church, kindly lent for the occasion.  The choirs from Springfield and O’Leary alternate in presenting this well attended, and much appreciated, service of song and praise.  The offering from this service is given to the Provincial Secretary of the UBWMU.
by Mrs. Isaac (Edna) Dunbar
cf. the book, 
Alma United Baptist Women’s Missionary Society:  Anniversary 1942-1977
by Bessie Lockhart

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