“Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war, She waits
Of peace for evermore,. Till with the
vision glorious Her longing eyes are
blest, And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest.”
(Samuel J. Stone, 1839-1900)
About 16 years ago, some of the families of fugitive slaves who fled from the United States, settled in the City of Guelph, and endeavoured to build the BME Church on Essex Street.
During the time of slavery, the Church, (if allowed
to attend) for the slave, was the most important
place to be at, or to find rest and peace. The
average life expectancy of slaves was a staggering
25.2 years. Many died very young because of the
never-ending cycle of physically gruelling work
and mental repression. Many took their own lives.
in desperation. The majority, however, managed
to find solace in religion and the promise of future
freedom and equality.
The BME Church on 83 Essex street filled both a
social as well as a spiritual need for the fugitives.
The building was constructed at a cost of
$2,000.00. The church stands today as a historic
reminder of the past, and of the hope in Christ that
we should never allow to die when all else seems
We thank God for the vision of those of the past.
The pain which they endured, and their labour
have not been in vain, for many have come to
know Christ, and will continue to come to the
church inorder to get to know Christ, and develop
rich spiritual lives.
“Teach us good Lord To serve Thee As Thou
To give and not To count the cost,
To toil and not To heed the wounds,
To labour and not To ask for any reward,
Save that of knowing That we do Thy