Cumberland Pastoral Charge

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Cumberland Pastoral Charge

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Dates of existence

[1882] -


A pastoral charge is a grouping of churches termed "preaching points" -- each with separate names and governing boards or sessions. These churches are served by one minister. The pastoral charge title usually reflects the breadth of the geographic area encompassing the charge.

Cumberland Pastoral Charge is located in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. Preaching points are at Joggins and River Hebert (Trinity). Other historical locations within the bounds of the pastoral charge included Minudie, Strathcona, and Shulee.

The first Methodists in the area came from Minudie where a Rev. Pike introduced the community to Methodism. It eventually spread to River Hebert where a church was built in 1882. River Hebert was originally part of the Nappan Methodist Circuit but became the head of a circuit in 1886, including the preaching points of Shulee, Sand River, Head of River Hebert, and Joggins. A manse was built in 1900. In 1925, River Hebert Methodist Church united with St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church to become Trinity United Church.

Presbyterianism was introduced to the River Hebert area initially by Reformed Presbyterian (Covenanter) missionaries – notably Rev. Alexander Clarke, who held services in River Hebert and Minudie. A Covenanter church was built in River Hebert in the late 1840s. Later, Scots Presbyterianism was brought to the region by Scottish settlers from Pictou County who settled in Minudie. Services were held in River Hebert on a sporadic basis until 1858 when meetings were inaugurated on a more regular basis. The original Covenanter movement did not prevail. The church building erected in 1889 in River Hebert and dedicated on September 22, 1889 may have combined both Scots and Irish streams. This church became known as St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. This pastoral charge also included the preaching points of Maccan, Minudie, and Joggins.

In 1925, all Methodist and Congregational Churches and a majority of Presbyterian Churches were amalgamated to form the United Church of Canada. At this time, Joggins Pastoral Charge included the preaching points of Joggins and Shulee. River Hebert Pastoral Charge consisted of the preaching points of River Hebert (Trinity United), Strathcona, and Minudie. By 1941, Strathcona was no longer listed as a preaching point and River Hebert Pastoral Charge and Joggins Pastoral Charge had amalgamated to form River Hebert-Joggins Pastoral Charge.

Cumberland Pastoral Charge was created in January 1995 with the amalgamation of Immanuel-Brookdale-Leicester Pastoral Charge and River Hebert-Joggins Pastoral Charge. The preaching points in this new pastoral charge were: Joggins, River Hebert, Immanuel (Amherst), Brookdale, Minudie, and Joggins. Minudie was dropped as a preaching point in 1995. In 2009, Brookdale was removed from Cumberland Pastoral Charge and became part of McCully Pastoral Charge and Immanuel (Amherst) became part of Northumberland Pastoral Charge.


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