St. John’s Presbyterian Church on 319 Queen Street, has served the community of Port Perry for over 160 years. Thousands of people have worshiped at the church, including some prominent figures throughout history.
Dr. Herbert Bruce was part of the congregation and founded Toronto’s Wellesley Hospital in 1911. As well, he served as the chief of medical staff in the Canadian army at the beginning of world war one. In 1914 he became lieutenant governor of the province of Ontario and held the position from 1932 to 1937.
Another prominent figure attending the church regularly was, Dr. Herbert Bruce’s classmate at Port Perry High School and life-long friend, Edwin R Campbell. During the same year as Wellesley Hospital was founded, Mr. Campbell became one of the founders of Chevrolet.
He was the first known escape slave from the U.S to reach Port Perry in 1867, and he became a member of St. John’s Presbyterian Church. His name was Samuel Stoutt and he was a well-regarded member of the church. Mr. Stoutt organized the town band and led it in parades.
Local author and historian, Paul Arculus said, “He was an important member of the congregation at St. Johns.”
During St. John’s time in Port Perry it has seen many advancements, such as the addition of an elevator and updating of the north end of the church.
The churches current mission is to glorify God and bless others through worship, witness, and work.
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