(Photograph from the collection of Maxine Broadwater)
In 1883 a group of nine residents of what was then known as Elk Lick (now
Salisbury) organized a class with a view to established a Methodist Church.
Though the class experienced a gradual growth, no suitable place of worship
could be found in the area. For years the group me in various quarters
- first in Sam Lowry Hall, then in the Hay Hotel, the Boucher store rooms
and finally a millinery store. After nine years the faith and persistence
of the Methodist class were rewarded, and in 1891 construction was begun on
a Methodist house of worship. The building was completed and dedicated
in the spring of 1892. The "Amen Corner" in the little frame church
contained three short benches occupied by the church fathers who encouraged
the preacher with their "Amens" and "Hallelujahs". A growing congregation
occupied the pews.
By 1905-6 the need for additional facilities was felt by the congregation, resulting in extensive remolding. A vestibule was added, an auxiliary pipe organ installed and a new bell mounted, to mention a few changes. Some time in the 1950's it was decided that the coal furnace should be replaced. A gas furnace was installed, hammered glass windows replaced the original windows, and new chancel furniture of Philippine mahogany was custom built for the church. Other improvements were also made in the 1950's and 60's.
As time went on the young people of the church left the community in search of an education or lucrative employment, the financial burden on the older members (many retired or on Social Security) made it progressively more difficult for them to carry the load. In addition to supporting the local congregation, members were also expected to contribute to church-wide ministries, which became increasingly more difficult for a membership consisting largely of senior citizens.
Finally, in 1972, the congregation voted to disband, in view of the fact that Salisbury had three other active denominations which would welcome new members: the Church of the Brethren, the Lutherans, and the United Church of Christ. Consequently, on June 25, 1972, the last service was held in the Methodist Church which had been home to devout worshipers for 81 years.
Information obtained from "The Casselman Chronicle" Volume XXXII
CHURCHES OF SALISBURY AND SURROUNDING AREA