Knox Presbyterian Church

Knox Presbyterian Church is a Presbyterian Church in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It is named after John Knox, a founder of Presbyterianism in Scotland.

It was founded as a result of the split within the congregation of St. Andrew's, Ottawa's first Presbyterian church, between those loyal to the Church of Scotland and those supporting the Free Church movement, as had occurred in Scotland the year before. The supporters of the Free Church in Ottawa and environs, set up Knox Free Church in 1844, just after the Church of Scotland's Canadian Synod in Kingston was split.

The original Knox Church was located in Sandy Hill at the corner of Daly and Cumberland. In 1866, a number of members formed a congregation on Bank Street, that is now Dominion-Chalmers United Church, just two blocks west at Cooper and Lisgar.

In 1874, the Knox congregation moved downtown, leaving their building to the first St. Paul's Presbyterian, that became St. Paul's-Eastern United Church (Eastern Methodist) after church union in 1925.

This second Knox Church was built next door to the Second City Hall (Ottawa) on what is today the site of the National Arts Centre. It opened prior to the formation of the Presbyterian Church in Canada in 1875; the General Assembly of the Canada Presbyterian Church was held at Knox in 1874 where the deliberations over the Union took place.

In 1931, the City of Ottawa expropriated this area to widen Elgin Street and Knox Church, who remained within the Presbyterian Church in Canada in 1925, was forced to move south a few blocks to its present location at the corner of Lisgar and Elgin.

The present Knox Church building opened in 1932, and has hosted the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada three times: first in 1937, then in 1981, but only for the opening Worship, as the nearby University of Ottawa was the scene of the proceedings. In 2008, Knox again hosted the opening Worship at General Assembly, while the remainder of the activities took place at Carleton University.

The Reverend David J. Thom, called from the Church of Scotland, began his ministry at Knox Church on August 7, 2011. Reverend Thom has a Bachelor of Divinity from the University of Aberdeen and postgraduate diplomas in both Ministry and Pastoral Studies with Applied Theology. He is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, reaching the rank of Major, and was commissioned as a Reserve Forces Chaplain, working with both Cumbria Army Cadet Force and with 105th Regiment Royal Artillery (Volunteers). In 2008, David was awarded the Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria’s Certificate of Merit for work with Cumbria’s youth. Since its beginnings, Knox has had an impressive list of ministers:

  • Thomas Wardrope, 1845 - 1869, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Canada in 1891.
  • William MacLaren, 1870 - 1873 left to be Professor and Principal (1905 - 1909 of Knox College. Moderator Presbyterian Church in Canada 1884,
  • Francis W. Farries, 1875 - 1893.
  • James Ballantyne, 1894 - 1896, left to become a Professor at Knox College, Moderator Presbyterian Church in Canada in 1920,
  • David M. Ramsay 1897 - 1913.
  • Robert B. Whyte 1916 - 1923.
  • E. Lloyd Morrow 1923 - 1926 left to become a Professor at Knox College
  • Robert Johnston 1927 - 1947, Moderator Presbyterian Church in Canada, 1932 while minister of Knox Church.
  • Colin Miller 1948 - 1955.
  • H. Douglas Stewart, 1956 - 1972, left to become minister at St. Andrew's Church (Toronto).
  • Malcolm McCuaig 1972 - 1985,
  • Donald F. Collier 1986 - 1992,
  • Stephen A. Hayes 1993 - 2004, called to minister at St. Andrew's Church (Quebec City)
  • Douglas Kendall 2005 - 2009, called to minister at St. Andrew’s Church (Stittsville)
  • Knox Presbyterian church, 120 Lisgar St., Ottawa, ON

  • Knox Presbyterian church, 120 Lisgar St., Ottawa, ON

Building Activity

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