Queenston United Church of Canada
The Old Historic Methodist Church 1786 - 1997
A devout Wesleyan Methodist and a Major in the British Army throughout the War of Independence, George Neal left the United States in pursuit of religious freedom and civil security. Landing in Queenston in 1786, Major Neal determined to spread the Christian gospel through the new land using bible classes to reach the people. The British officer in charge of the miltia post in Queenston, believing that only clergy of the established Church of England should preach in the colonies, and fearing this as a means of spreading seditious propaganda and anti- British / Anglican feeling among the people forbade him to preach and gave him thirty days to leave the country. Unfortunately, the Officer - in - Charge himself fell ill and died during the thirty day period and Major Neal was permitted to stay. Major Neal joined with Christian Warner of the nearby village of St. David's and organized classes for the area. It is from these classes that Queenston United Church dates it's founding. Erected as a Wesleyan Methodist meeting house, the white clapboard building was of simple, plain design, one room in size, entirely of frame construction and featured gothic style windows. Built in 1862 at a cost not exceeding $700 the church was officially dedicated on January 25th, 1863, the Queenston Methodist Church became part of a Church Union movement, which led to the formation of the United Church of Canada. Located on the northeast corner of Queen and Dumfries Street, the church was renovated in 1939 to include a vestry, choir room and a large raised platform. A growing congregation necessitated the church be moved to it's present site in 1958 and a basement auditorium, kitchen and extra rooms were added.
In 1997, the congregation of Queenston United Church decided to amalgamate with St. David's United Church. The members and Trustees of the former Queenston United Church generously donated this historic building and property to the Niagara Parks Commission.