The Full Story
Simcoe – The beginning of the Simcoe Gospel Chapel started from two groups, which merged together around 1920. One of these groups was from the Simcoe area, the other from the Port Dover and rural area. Early meetings were of a worship and breaking bread type and when visiting speakers were in the area special gospel meetings were arranged. The earliest known meetings were conducted in Mrs Polly’s small store around 1890. Around 1900, Mr. John Lee moved to a 200 acre farm on #24 Highway, two miles north of #3 highway. He proceeded to build a large home with a spacious room set aside for the purpose of meeting to break bread.
Five Points (Dog’s Nest) – This meeting has been traced to the mid 1800’s when the first known meetings were held in the basement of Mr. Wilson Porter’s home, two miles east of Dover. In 1840 Mr. Thomas Corbett came from Ireland and purchased a farm one mile east of Port Dover. When Thomas Corbett died, the farm was passed on to his son James, who enlarged the house to have two parlours, one of which was used for meetings until 1906. In 1906, it was decided to build a meeting place at Five Points. The Porter family donated the lumber and all joined in to construct the building under the direction of Mr. Thomas Slack, who was a carpenter. During 1944-1945, with the passing of some of the older people, the work declined and moved again to Simcoe to the “Sons of Scotland Hall”, while the Gospel Hall was being constructed.
In 1946 Lawrence and Isabel Misener started meeting in Nixon. They rented an unoccupied church building for $1.00/year and eventually bought material and built a new hall. An addition was built in 1961 and Gospel meetings were occasionally conducted, along with a Happy Hour on Friday nights. Anywhere from 25 to 60 kids were reached each week with the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Misener’s began to spend their winters in Florida in 1957 and Paul and Dorothy Fletcher took over. The Nixon work continued part-time until June of 1974.
In the fall of 1947, the Nelson Street Gospel Hall was opened. Special meetings were held and the Lord blessed the church with a number of conversions. In 1957 Paul and Dorothy Fletcher were led to support both the Nixon and Simcoe Halls and eventually Cedar St. Chapel on a part-time basis. In 1959 Paul and Dorothy relocated to Simcoe, and by 1972 Paul was able to go into full-time work for the Lord.
The Chapel on Cedar Street was opened on April 1966, later additional lots were purchased and an addition was added to the building in 1968. There was a real spirit of Christian fellowship and a desire to see souls won for the Lord. The Chapel was often filled to capacity for the three services. After many months it became a unanimous decision to seek a new location and to construct a larger building. It was decided to purchase approximately two acres on #3 Highway, east of Simcoe, where a new building was constructed. This was the former old Ruth’s Wayside Inn property.
In December of 1974 the corner stone was laid for this new edifice. It was the prayers of the Lord’s people at this time that this Chapel would be used as an instrument for Christian growth and that many would come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, through the messages that would go forth over the pulpit, through sunday school, and other church outreaches. An addition was added in 1980 to accommodate the growing congregation.