1883 was the first recorded church activity in Braeside when John T. Waite, his wife, and Miss McCredie moved to the settlement from Arnprior and set up a Sabbath school in their house. This only lasted a short time, after which the children had to go to Sand Point. In 1885, Mrs. J.S. Gillies visited her son, John Gillies who was running the Gillies' Bros. Mill, and noticed children running aimlessly about on the Sabbath day. She convinced Rev. D.J. MacLean in Arnprior to begin religious instruction and services in Braeside on the Sabbath day. Rev. D.J. MacLean organized a Sunday School and church services in Braeside beginning in that year, held in the old school. He ministered there until 1904.
On the 9th of May 1901, a building committee composed of Messrs. William Douglas, A. N. McKinnon, Donald Carmichael, A. E. Derenzy, J.S. Gillies and Mr. McLaren met at the house of J.S. Gillies at 7:30 p.m. After appointing J.S. Gillies as chairman and Mr. McLaren as secretary, the committee resolved to prepare architectural plans and to canvass the congregation for donations in order to erect a Presbyterian Church in Braeside.
The church was officially opened April 20 1902, less than a year after that first building committee meeting. The Arnprior Chronicle reported that, "Sunday, April 20th, in the present year will be a memorable one in the annals of Braeside, for on that day the pretty little church built by the Presbyterians of this place was opened for worship. There were three services: morning, afternoon and evening. The Rev, D. Strachan, Brockville, was sermonizer. Beside him was the venerable Pastor, Rev. D. J. MacLean of Arnprior, who had been coming to this place as pastor for two and twenty years."
In 1904 the church was organized into an ordained mission field along with Sand Point and Dewar's Settlement, and in 1907 it became a regular pastoral charge. Electric lights were installed in the church and manse by the Ladies' Aid Society in 1921.
Until 1925, the church operated as Braeside Presbyterian Church. After a vote in favour of the union of the Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational Church in Canada, the church became the Braeside United Church. Within its Pastoral Charge were the United Churches of Castleford and Glasgow.
In 1952 the church celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. At this time the basement had been finished which made more room available for Sunday School and other social activities of the congregation. The Gillies Bros. donated an electric organ to the church three years later, replacing its original pump organ from 1902.
The old vestry was torn down in 1960 and a new one built, thanks to donations raised by the Women's Association and church members.
Many committees and groups were formed over the years, most of them for children and youth. Organizations such as the Messengers, Canadian Girls In Training, Hi-C (for older girls), Young Peoples Union, the Mission Band, Jed's Juniors, the Braeside Organization of Determined Youth (B.O.D.Y.) and the Pre-Teen Youth Organization (P.T.Y.O.) were active in education, outreach and events.
Women's groups played a vital role in the success of the church. First the Ladies Aid, then the Women's Association (WA) and the Women's Missionary Society (WMS) in tandem were responsible for social activities, fundraising for home and abroad, and educational programs. In 1962, the WA and the WMS merged to become the United Church Women.
Sunday School superintendents over the years were: Mr. Eric Burton (-1966), Mrs. Gladys Desjardins (1966-1972), Mrs. Marion Kewley (1972-1979) and Mrs. Marion Bethune (1979-1997)
Pastors at the church over the years were:
1885-1904 Rev. D.J. MacLean
1904-1907 Rev. William Moore
1908-1911 Rev. J. S. Dobbin
1911-1928 Re. James Taylor
1928-1937 Rev. J.F. McCurdy
1937-1941 Rev. H. Todd
1941-1946 Rev. G. A. Puttenham
1946-1950 Rev. R. G. Newman
1951-1957 Dr. P. de Jong
1958-1961 Rev. F. D. Mitchell
1961-1970 Rev. John Angus
1971-1977 Rev. C.E. Taft
1977-1989 Rev. D. Bauman
1989-1992 Rev. B. Burlock
1992-2015 Rev. R. Hollingsworth
Finances became an issue in Braeside United Church's later years, finally closing the church in 2016. In his notes in the 2016 Annual Report, Pastor Richard Hollingsworth wrote, "Yes, a giant oak tree has been "felled" in God's wonderful, lush green bush. But look, there are even now fresh shoots sprouting from its massive root system... Individually and collectively, our ministry is not dead, it is just taking new forms, which will be exciting to watch, enjoy, and even participate in enacting."
The church building and property was sold and is now owned privately, with an agreement in place that the historic exterior would be maintained and its interior enhanced.In 2017, after the close ofthe Braeside United Church, the pastoral charge was renamed the Glasgow-Castleford Pastoral Charge, and is still an active congregation of the United Church of Canada.
The records were in the care of Gordon Bethune, Church Elder. When the church disbanded in 2016 and the building was sold, Gordon Bethune, Church Elder, became their custodian. In 2018, the records were donated to the AMBA.
Scope and Content
This fonds consists of records that were created by the Braeside United Church and the Braeside pastoral charge which included the Castleford, Glasgow and Braeside United Churches. A description of each series and sub-series is provided at the series level in the database.
SERIES 1: Braeside United Church Records
SUBSERIES 1.1: Board and Committee records
SUBSERIES 1.2: Women’s Group records
SUBSERIES 1.3: Financial Records
SUBSERIES 1.4: Membership Rolls and Vital Records
SUBSERIES 1.5: Legal and Property Records
SERIES 2: Braeside Pastoral Charge Records (Braeside, Castleford and Glasgow United Churches)
SUBSERIES 2.1: Meeting Minutes & Annual Reports
SUBSERIES 2.2: Historic Rolls
SUBSERIES 2.3: Riverside Centre records