Woodhouse United Church


We respectfully invite you to investigate and consider Old Woodhouse Church
(The Cradle of Methodism in the Long Point Settlement)

is located at 2164 Hwy. 24 S. near “the Halfway”
(5km south of Simcoe, 5km west of Port Dover, and 5km east of Vittoria)

Worship Service at 9:30 am
Rev. Jeff Smith
Choir Director: Willie Moore
Organist: Patricia Tiller

Phone: 519.426.0234

Office: 519.583.0342

Mailing address:

P.O. Box 11, Vittoria, ON N0E 1W0

map to Woodhouse United Church

Woodhouse United Church history book cover

The congregation of Woodhouse United Church, located on Highway 24 just 3 miles south of Simcoe, Ontario and 100 yards south of the Halfway Corner, celebrated its 200th Anniversary in the year 2000. The historic old Church was established in 1800 (or perhaps even a few years earlier).

Members of the Congregation published a Bicentennial book of pictures and stories about this historic Norfolk County institution and its accompanying Cemetery, final resting place of so many pioneers. The book is a high-quality hard-covered publication, bound by stitching for durability and longevity.

Topics include Ministers, lay-leaders, Sunday Schools, Choirs, Youth Organizations, Social activities, Significant Anniversaries, reproduced or excerpted articles from a variety of sources, and many memories. A catalogue of the 1400+ folks interred in Woodhouse Cemetery is included in Chapter 15, using all of our best information sources available to make it as complete as possible.

Chapter Contents
1. Taming the Inhospitable Frontier
2. An Unintentional Denomination
3. Echoes From The Past
4. Give Me My Books and My Saddle
5. From Pine Stump to Pulpit
6. The Ryerson Connection
7. Our Pastoral Charge-Port Dover-Woodhouse
8. United We Stand
9. More than Logs, Bricks and Mortar
10. W.O.W.! The Women of Woodhouse
11. Sunday Serenade
12. It's the People in the Pews
13. Reaching Out
14. And Now You'll Know ... the Rest of the Story!
15. Ashes to Ashes ... Dust to Dust
Appendix Egerton Ryerson's Letter to the Colonial Advocate, May 11, 182

Copies of "Old Woodhouse Church - The Cradle of Methodism in the Long Point Settlement" are still available at the Eva Brook Donly Museum in Simcoe, at the office of the Editors in Vittoria, or may be ordered for delivery by mail. The price of the book is $40. Packaging, shipping and handling for each book sent by mail costs an additional $10.

For further information about this book, please e-mail your inquiries to twilac@kwic.com or phone 519-426-0234.


Old Woodhouse Church - the Cradle of Methodism in the Long Point Settlement is more than the title of a book. It is the name given to a Wesleyan Methodist pioneer church established in 1800 a couple of miles inland from the north shore of Lake Erie.
The congregation of this little country church celebrated its 200th Anniversary in October 2000. One of the highlights of our Bicentennial year was the publication of a 300-page hard-covered coffee-table book with this title, portraying historical highlights of the church and its adjoining pioneer graveyard.
The statuesque Carolinean trees presented an almost impenetrable challenge to the early settlers of the Long Point Settlement. The forests and streams were abundantly stocked with game and fish. As soon as sufficient land could be cleared of trees, limbs, branches and brush, the settler seeded his first crop.
Methodist Missionaries had entered Upper Canada from New York in the 1780's and had quickly established a tradition of heroic and tireless service. These itinerant circuit riders, commonly known as saddle-bag preachers, traveled back and forth preaching in homes, school houses, taverns, barns or in the open air, wherever they could gather a few people together.
They were dedicated men of iron nerve who pioneered their way through stretches of entangled forests and malarial swamps, with all their earthly belongings tucked away in their saddlebags. They had little trouble attracting a crowd, even where settlement was quite scattered.
The settlers came from all around to hear the itinerants preach, and those old saddle-bag preachers were ready to preach anywhere there was an audience.

In 1790, there were no towns, no villages, no hamlets, no churches or schools, not even any houses because there were no settlers here yet. Then, in the mid-1790s, influenced by the offers of free land in Upper Canada (Ontario), the United Empire Loyalists from New Brunswick had begun to come west to make their homes.

Many of the early trustees of Woodhouse Church were United Empire Loyalists, and the old graveyard to the south of the sanctuary is sprinkled with UELs and their descendants. Each year in August a Decoration and Memorial service is held in an open area behind the church under the huge, stately spruce trees of the pioneer cemetery.
The Woodhouse congregation has been served by over 100 ministers since its humble beginnings in the late nineteenth century. In 1925, three Protestant denominations, the Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian, united to form the United Church of Canada.
In 1936, a talented local historical artist, William Edgar Cantelon, painted and donated a beautiful mural-sized canvas “Come unto Me”, which has graced the front of the church ever since.
The friendly but laid-back, caring Rural congregation of Woodhouse United Church will welcome all newcomers as well as old friends who choose to worship with us any (or every) Sunday.
We offer fairly simple, relaxed, traditional services. Music is led by a talented and dedicated organist, choir director and choir.
We enjoy several special services during the year, including but not limited to: Easter, Church Union Sunday; Decoration Day (in the cemetery), Anniversary, Christmas, and a very special evening Christmas Candlelight service (takes place the Sunday before Christmas).
Woodhouse United Church is one point on a two-point charge with Grace United Church in Port Dover.

Woodhouse United Church