A Short History

Durham Presbyterian Church:  Then and Now

There has been a Presbyterian presence in Durham since the mid 1800’s.  The pioneer families first met in homes, schools or hotels for worship.  The first church building was a wood frame structure at the corner of Queen Street North and the Durham Road. 

Precentors, men who led the singing, used a “tuning fork” to introduce the correct pitch, as musical instruments were not allowed.  Members bought family pews were they sat each week.  During service parishioners stood to pray and sat to sing.  Members in good standing who attended preparatory meetings received “communion tokens” which admitted them to partake in Holy Communion.  

In the early 1880’s a large brick church was built part way up the Durham hill.  Presbyterians worshipped there till 1925 when church union created the United Church of Canada.  Those who chose to remain Presbyterian erected the current red brick building in 1926.  A large addition was added in 1973 and an elevator in 1991.

While the location of our church has changed over the years, the one constant has been our congregation’s abiding faith in our Heavenly Father and our devotion in doing his work.  

Our church motto, “Forward in Faith on a Firm Foundation”, provides a snapshot of what our church is all about.   We are a family of believers seeking to glorify God in all we do, as we go out into the world to share the Good News of salvation through Christ Jesus.

Our church logo, an open door within the cross, proclaims to the world that we welcome all people into our house of worship, and that we go out with all people to share the love of Jesus.