History of Methodism

Reprinted from: History of Methodism in Eastern British America including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Bermunda. From the beginning till the consummation of union with the Presbyterian and Congregational Church in 1925, by D.W. Johnson

Pages 300 – 303

Random South – Half way down the west side of Trinity Bay commences the South West Arm of Random some thirty miles in length to within a few miles of the railway at Northern Bight, now called Hillview, the head of the circuit. A very few miles away northward lies the parallel Random Sound and still further north across Random Island the similar identation called Smith Sound. The two latter waters are the scene of the Shoal Harbour and Britannia circuits.

The whole of the South West Arm of Random was setter from 1865 to 1880. At Northern Bight the first arrivals (in 1867), were James Styles and D. Benson, the former a Methodist, the latter an Anglican, both from Grates Cove. Other families, chiefly Methodists, soon came from the same place among whom were Matthias Martin and Nehemiah Frost who for a period of Thirteen years conducted services from house to house. The story is that during that time they never had a visit from a minister. Evidently the question “Is due care taken to see that all the settlements about us are visited” was not quite upheld. Then a Union school was erected and this served the growing community for eight or nine years. The first Methodist building went up in 1878 and Edgar Taylor was appointed as the first resident pastor. The first church was erected in 1899 and the new church, much larger than its predecessor, in 1923. The succession of lay workers after the first worthies named has been Wm. Churchill, David Styles and Reuben Martin now of St. John’s.

St. Jones Within was founded by Hezekiah Benson, of Grates Cove, and a Mr. Blunden, from Conception Bay. Bother were Methodists and devout men. With them came Robert Miller, an Englishman, who was the first lay-reader. The settlement has always been purely Methodist. They progressed to the status of having a church in 1918. The lay reader today is Boyd King, who is highly respected.

Loreburn (Long Cove) is a growing subdivision of St. Jones Within. Its first church was built in 1914. For many years Elijah Price has been its dependable leader.

Queen’s Cove owes its origin to men from Hants Harbour, especially Joseph and Newman Goobie. The little church commenced in 1905 and was not finished till 1915.

Hatchett Cove is a small group of families gathered about a mill established by Eliezer Robbins and John Blundon, from St. Jones Within. Both men conduct services. Heart’s Ease was settled by men from Grates Cove and the names of Eli Martin and Jonah Stringer will be held in grateful remembrance.

At Caplin Cove, Methodism owes everything, in its beginnings, to a faithful layman named Stringer. The conversion of Jacob Smith at Hodge’s Cove marked an epoch there. A church building was secured in 1905.

Northwest Bay [Brook] has a small group of families who hold service from house to house.

Long Beach was an Anglican community until Elias Avery went there to live. He also was a Grates Cove man and like all the men of that generation at once raised the flag for service in his own home. Presently Alfred Vey, a man of considerable means, was converted and at once, largely from his own resources, built a school chapel and invited the Methodist minister to come and take charge and himself led when the minister was not there. This was about 1900. This year (1925) a school house is being built. The group of folk is small and scattered.

Lee Bight was also founded by Hants Harbour people, their leader being Henry Adey. To-day his oldest son carries on the local work. They secured their church in 1915. At Deep Bight, Charles Sanford left the impress of a godly life and saw the fruition of his labors in a church in about 1910. This is really almost one community.

It will be seen from these notes how many churches were completed during the war. This was due to the ready money that the fishermen received. Industrial conditions in Newfoundland have been very backward. Variations in settlement are also still in progress. For example the small group of families who have constituted Inglewood appointment for twenty years are removing in a body to Clarenville this year (1925).

The list of pastors has been as follows:

1878 – Edgar Taylor
1880 – Thos. L. Eland
1881 – Supply
1882 – A. McCausland
1888 – A. Brittain
1889 – A. Stoney
1900 – J.J. Durrant
1892 – Supply
1893 – Bramwell Peck
1894 – James Smith
1895 – Wm. Patterson
1896 – Geo. Stoney
1897 – C.K. Hudson
1899 – Supply
1900 – R.H. Maddock
1901 – Supply (T.B.W.)
1902 – Edwin Lewis
1903 – A. Crossley
1904 – Supply (I.F.)
1905 – Isaac French
1906 – H. G. Hatcher
1907 – Supply (H.B.P.)
1908 – Supply (W.P.S.)
1909 – Wm. P. Scarth
1910 – W.H. Palmer
1911 – L.G. Hudson
1913 – K. Richards
1914 – Cater Winsor
1915 – Isaac Davis
1916 – Geo. Butt
1917 – D.E. Freake
1919 – L.W. Blundon
1920 – Donald Vatcher
1921 – Supply (A.Abbott)
1922 – Sydney Rowe
1923 – Supply (E. Roberts)
1924 – Supply (A.N. Holmes)
1925 – G.L. Morgan

This is a young man’s charge and it has no parsonage, but at eleven places of the fourteen appointments there are neat churches all comparatively new.


Transcribed by Wanda Garrett, March 2015

These transcriptions may contain human errors. As always, confirm these as you would any other source material.