St. James Presbyterian Church, Sherbrooke Village

St. James Presbyterian Church was built in 1854/55 and was a central part of the community for over a century.

Before Sherbrooke had a church, the community gathered for worship at the village school. Meetings were also held in private homes. Once the community had the funds to build a church, the land was sold to a trustee by Henry and Sarah Cumminger. The St. James Presbyterian Church was completed in 1854 by Samuel W. McKeen with contractor John H. Scott finishing the interior.

The first service was held on September 25, 1855, with Reverend Honeyman preaching and serving communion. The church was a central part of the community in Sherbrooke. The church ruled the school and civil government, and if members of the congregation sinned against the church, they were expelled from the church and practically from the community itself.

The church still has many original features. The glass in the side windows is from Scotland. The communion table was made by Herdman McKay in 1911, the pulpit was installed in 1902, and the pump organ dates back to 1877. The first organist was Miss Flora Hattie. The church’s floors are elevated, so the people sitting in the back pews could see the front more easily. There is a balcony at the back of the church that was used as a choir loft. Each pew is numbered, which congregation members would have bought or rented. This would have helped with the expense of upkeep on the church and also paid the minister’s salary.

Over the years, St. James Presbyterian Church grew. In 1885, the congregation decided that a manse should be built, and hired Samuel McKeen as the contractor. In 1905, the church was renovated, and a piece was added, making five side windows instead of four. The stained-glass window at the front of the church was also added at this time, as were new seats, all hand carved from solid oak. The steeple was replaced with a short bell tower, and the basement was dug below.

In 2007, St. James Presbyterian Church disbanded and ceased offering regular worship services. Despite this, the building is still frequently used by the community for funerals and weddings.