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Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Valley Baptist Church has proudly stood in this valley for one hundred and thirty-nine years. Beginning as a satellite of the Hillsborough Church in 1871, the Valley Baptist Church is an example of rural two-storey Gothic Revival church architecture from this era. It is located on Main Street in Hillsborough.
The Valley Baptist Church is designated a Local Historic Place for its association with the religious history of the area and for its architecture.
The Valley Baptist Church is historically significant as a representative of the Baptist faith in Albert County. In 1822, Henry Steeves, one of the seven Steeves brothers who arrived in 1766, founded the Hillsborough Baptist Church in partnership with Rev. Joseph Crandall. By 1871, the pastor, Rev. John Hughes, decided to establish a satellite Baptist Church less the three kilometres away in Surrey. In 1877, fifty members from the Hillsborough Church formed the first congregation here at ‘The Valley’. In 1913 kerosene lighting gave way to natural gas. Electricity did not arrive until 1942, five years after a telephone was installed. In 1925, Mr. William Lewis accepted the position of organist. He faithfully served as music director for fifty-five years. The church has recruited, funded and dispatched missionaries to India, Africa, the Philippines, Bolivia and Haiti. The church building was placed on a foundation in 1963 and the 1100 square metre Fellowship Centre was dedicated in 2000. Equipped with the gymnasium in the Fellowship Centre, the church felt ready to bring a new ministry to the youth of the community.
These changes over the years were the result of dollars and cents and years of dedicated service rendered. The real currency for the Church and its congregation, however, are the religious and community works made possible by this church’s persistent presence in this valley for one hundred and thirty-nine years.
The Valley Baptist Church is also recognized for being a good example of rural Gothic Revival religious architecture from the 19th century. This style is evident in such features of the original building as its rectangular plan, the use of Gothic arch windows and the central square tower on the front façade.
Source: Heritage Hillsborough, William Henry Steeves Museum, Local Historic Places files
The character-defining elements relating to the exterior elements of the Valley Baptist Church include:
- rectangular two-storey massing with rear additions;
- central square tower on the front façade;
- lancet vents with label moulding on the bell tower;
- tall narrow octagonal steeple;
- balustrade around base of steeple with finials at each corner;
- decorative frieze band under the tower eaves;
- corner board pilasters with modest capitals;
- tall, narrow multi-paned lancet windows with Gothic tracery label moulding;
- cement foundation;
- cement steps;
- moderately-pitched front-facing gable roof;
- returned eaves;
- lancet transom window above entrance;
- double door entrance;
- clapboard sheathing;
- double-hung windows;
- moulding under eaves;
- rod iron railings;
- tall inset red brick chimney.
Local Governments (NB)
Local Historic Places Program
Municipal Register of Local Historic Places
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- Building Social and Community Life
- Religious Institutions
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Religious Facility or Place of Worship
Architect / Designer
Richard T. Gross
Location of Supporting Documentation
William Henry Steeves House Museum, 40 Mill Street, Hillsborough, NB, E4H 1Z8
Cross-Reference to Collection