A BRIEF HISTORY OF ECHO BAY UNITED CHURCH
The forerunner of the present church, was a simple log building which was known as Zion Methodist Church. It was built on Mr William Alton’s property, on what is now Watson’s Road, prior to 1897. The church at this time was served by Methodist ministers who lived in Garden River.
There was some disagreement regarding the site of the new church until it was finally resolved that it be built on a half acre of land donated by Mr R. Rush (its present location). The building cost $595. The cornerstone was laid in 1897 by Rev Manning of Sault Ste Marie, assisted by Rev John Coburn, and William H. Hearst (later Sir William Hearst) a lawyer and member of parliament.
In 1917 the congregation became a Union Church, and later in 1925 officially became a part of the new United Church of Canada. This union brought together the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational denominations. The first minister was a Presbyterian while all his predecessors had been Methodist.
In 1949 Mr and Mrs Alfred Keating donated land directly behind the church building. This property was very valuable later when the decision was made to raise and renovate the Church.
Later the washrooms, and minister’s office were added, as well as a larger kitchen.
Numerous changes have occurred over the years, but through them all this congregation has played a vital role in the life and times of the community.