Last Updated: Oct 24, 2020



Welcome to Durham Presbyterian Church, where we aren’t afraid to enjoy the presence of God! We want you to feel comfortable when you visit, so we don’t have a dress code, (you don’t have to get all dressed up, unless you want to).

When you come in the door, you will discover that we are just like you, young parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, empty nesters, children, teens, friends and neighbours. What brings us together is a need to learn more about God, and a desire to be more like Jesus. We believe that life is made up of the choices we make, and so we gather together to learn and encourage one another in building a life of integrity.

A Short History

Our roots go back to 1855 when the Presbytery of Hamilton ordered that a Presbyterian church be organized and elders ordained in the Town of Durham. The Reverands McKinnon and Smellie were given this duty and began that same year to construct a church building for this new congregation which would be called “The Free Church.” On March 15, 1859 the congregation was given permission by the Presbytery to seek a full time minister to fill the pulpit. On May 18,1859, our first minister, Rev. William Park was inducted.

There were two Presbyterian churches here in Durham, after the introduction of organ music in the service in 1880. The group who opposed this were given permission to build a new Presbyterian church which was called Knox Presbyterian and was located on Durham Hill.

It wasn’t long before the two congregations realized they couldn’t carry on by themselves so a decision was made to unite congregations under one roof at the newly built Knox Presbyterian Church. The first minister for this united congregation was Rev. Robert McNair who was ordained and inducted on January 12, 1886. In 1925, the majority of the congregation voted for Church Union.

Those who voted against union, began meeting in the Town Hall led by the Rev. B.D. Armstrong. On August 24, 1926 the cornerstone for our present building was laid, and the first service was held on December 26 of the same year.


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