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150th at Elcho United Church

For Norman Vaughn being part of Elcho Road United Church is like breathing.

“My family goes back in this area to 1795 and right back to the start of the church,” said Vaughn.

Like many other churches, Elcho United has had its struggles to survive.

“In 1964 the United Church decided they wanted to close down a whole bunch of small churches and force everyone to go to large churches. We had a congregation meeting and had to vote on whether or not we would continue on our own,” recalled Vaughn whose ancestors, along with the Bowman family, donated the original land on which the church and its adjacent cemetery are located.

“We voted stay.”

To survive, a decision was made last year to cut winter services as heat and hydro bills were too high.

“We’ve done what we had to do,” he said.

Part of that was taking the original stable on the church’s west side and converting it into a hall. Vaughn noted the church is now looking ahead to its November bazaar as the next major event.

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Norman Vaughn, left, welcomed back former Elcho United minister Rev. John F. Bedell as guest speaker at the church’s 150th anniversary celebrations Sunday.

Williscraft – Photo

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