A historic spot along the road home


I’ve been trying to find different routes to take home to Queensborough from work in Belleville – an excuse to drive along new (to me) and generally very scenic country roads. One day recently I turned north off County Road 14 (between Belleville and Stirling) up a road called Baptist Church Road. Now, given the name, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised to come upon this pretty and historic Baptist Church, but surprised I was. Why? Because it seems to appear out of nowhere as you’re driving north along that very quiet country road – and also because it is very impressive. I mean, it’s not a cathedral or anything, but for a rural church with no town anywhere in sight, it’s pretty sizeable. And the steeple! Man, that is one high (and very graceful) steeple. It is really quite a lovely sight – and also a historic one, as the plaque erected there tells you: one Asa Turner (I love that very old-fashioned name, Asa), came to the area as a missionary from the United States in the 1790s, and there helped set up the first Baptist association (doubtless a prelude to the erecting of an actual church building) in all of Ontario. And the coolest thing of all? This very historic and very beautiful “church in the vale” (as the old Carter Family song Church in the Wildwood puts it), Sidney Baptist Church, is still in operation all these years later. Sunday service is at 10:30 a.m. Good for them.

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