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Churches - Salem United Church

Location: River John - Sunrise Trail
Services: Sunday 11:00 a.m.
Minister: Rev. Christine Johnson
Manse Telephone: (902) 351 - 2629
Church Hall Telephone: (902) 351-2833
Contact: Florence Craib (902) 351-2048 or Elsie Langille (902) 351 - 2824

Rev. Christine Johnson moved to River John from Walton, Hants County, where she spent three years in ministry with the folks of the Walton Pastoral Charge - a small four point charge on the shores of the Minas Basin.

Rev.Johnson was born and grew up in Pictou, and can trace many of the "loves" of her life back to her early years at Pictou United Church– her love of art, music, and pastoral theology were nurtured during her time at Pictou United.

Upon graduation from high school Rev. Johnson attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) and graduated four years later with a Bachelor of Fine Art.

After NSCAD she worked in the arts for a number of years, working with Hector Exhibit Centre and McColloch House Museum as curator for a season. She also worked with a local art studio and taught introductory classes in painting, drawing printmaking, and pottery to children and adults of all ages. Her last official "arts" position, before beginning her studies at the Atlantic School of Theology, was with the art department at Mermaid Theatre in Windsor, NS - where she worked as a part of a small crew painting puppets and backdrops for the international touring puppet theatre company.

In the fall of 2004, Rev. Johnson began her studies at the Atlantic School of Theology, formerly Pine Hill Divinity Hall, in the south end of Halifax. She graduated with a Master of Divinity (honours) with a concentration in Pastoral Theology in 2009, and was the first student to take home the "Maritime Conference Prize" for significant contributions in Systematic Theology courses, along with the "Hazel May Frazer Award" given to the top two M. Div students with the highest overall.

History:
Rev. John Mitchell founded Salem United Church, River John, in 1808. The first building that belonged to the congregation of Salem, was located on the crest of the hill, leading to the Mitchell Cemetery. It was built in 1823. The present church was built in 1870, at a cost of $4800.00. In order to cover the building costs, funds were raised by selling church pews. The design of the church was the Gothic style of architecture. The church measures 70 ft. in length and 45 ft. wide. It can accommodate approximately 600 people. The steeple is 90 ft. high, and the bell from the ‘Old Established Bell Foundry’, Troy, New York, weighs over 750 lbs. The new church opened on July 10th, 1870, and officially adopted the name Salem.

From 1808 until 1924, the church was known as Salem Presbyterian and held to the traditions of the church of Scotland. In 1925, Salem Presbyterian voted to enter the newly formed United Church of Canada. Rev. John A. Forbes became the first minister of Salem United Church in 1926. Since 1926, there has been a total of 21 ministers and two major renovations to the interior of the church, one in 1930 and again in 1959.

Source: "Salem United Church. An Historical Account of the Congregation 1808 – 1990" by Dr. Ella (Watt) Sangster


Church Officers:

Members of session

Lynn MacLeod, Clerk of Session
Gayle Heighton
Blaine Brown
Mr. Brian MacLean
Mrs. Della Jefferson
Harry Redmond

Clubs: U.C.W. We are a small group that meets the second Wednesday of each month. We have devotions at each meeting and discuss fund raising and items to purchase for the church or manse.