Tides, Trade and New Settlers
The life of Port Williams has been shaped by tides, trade, and immigration. The Cornwallis River, flowing eventually into the Bay of Fundy, is the site of the world’s highest tides, which can be as much as 16 metres (52 feet) higher than low tide! The wharf, on the banks of the Cornwallis River, has been the loading dock for exports and imports of apples, potatoes, pulp wood, grain, and other goods, on and off freighters from ports around the world. Many families trace their origins to the coming of the new England “Loyalists” and “Planters,” who brought agriculture knowledge with them. In addition, Port Williams has always welcomed immigrants from many parts of the world. Since the establishment of Port Williams, the growing, preparing, packing, and shipping of apples has fueled our local economy. Today, agriculture is still a major industry. In addition, tourism brings many who come to enjoy the beauty of the valley and its hospitality. Port Williams has become the home of many professionals who support the significant educational, business, and health facilities in the area.
A Brief History
Founded in 1868, the Port Williams United Baptist Church was established by a Free Baptist Fellowship in a neighbouring community and grew out of the vision of a lay woman and the Sunday School movement. Supported by a community familiar to the comings and goings of people of many backgrounds, the church has long been a welcoming and inclusive fellowship, welcoming people of all denominational backgrounds into full membership.
Our tall white spire is easily visible from a distance, and the church’s location in the centre of the village reflects its role as a major focal point for many community activities.
First meeting in a carpenter shop, the congregation has grown to have excellent facilities of its own, including Lockwood Hall, built in the 1950’s to provide a place for community youth to gather. A major expansion of the church’s facilities was officially opened in January of 2000. This provided our building with wheelchair accessibility (lift), a new kitchen, nursery, library, and increased space for Christian education activities.
Our church seeks to minister to all ages – from infants to seniors – with a wide range of programs led by dedicated leaders. We maintain a very significant emphasis on children and youth.