Our Church History
We are 126 years old
Records on hand seem to point to the Free Methodist Church in Ryde Township as being sponsored by folks from Severn Bridge around 1882-83.
1891 saw services being conducted in the Brook's School at Housey's Rapids. The Housey's Rapids Free Methodist Church was built in the summer of 1892.
The parsonage at Housey's Rapids was built in the year 1900. Rev. Emerson Snider was the pastor and carpenter. The church officials decided that if the pastor could do the carpentry work, and his wife would collect the necessary funds, they would co-operate with their teams of horses. The lot had to be cleared of logs and stumps, the cellar dug, and the lumber brought from Bracebridge. Rev. Snider moved in to the new, partially completed parsonage one week before Christmas. To help complete the inside work, Mrs. Snider did the fitting and nailing. Rev. Snider nailed the siding on the outside of the house during the month of January, 1901.
In 1977, it was necessary to build a completely new parsonage and church complex to keep up to the needs of the community. The present building sits diagonally across the road from the original one. Attractive and brightly lit, it comfortably seats about 140 people. Sunday school rooms accomodate children, teens, and adults. A couple of years after being built, a new name for the congregation and church was chosen: The Ryde Centennial Free Methodist Church. This was in honour of the centennial year of Ryde Township, where the building is located.
On Nov. 2, 1998, the community of Housey's Rapids saw their antique school bell, which used to call the children to the Sunny Brae School in Housey's Rapids (1902 - 1962), hoisted into its new position and made ready to ring once again. The 135 pound bell was previously the fire bell for cottagers on Kahshe Lake, but was no longer being used for that purpose. It now rings out loud, sweet, and true at 10:55 Sunday mornings to call area residents to worship. It also rings in the New Year.and other special events.