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The United Baptist Church

7029 Highway 3, Upper Woods Harbour, Nova Scotia, B0W, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1984/07/04

Front elevation, United Baptist Church, Woods Harbour, NS, 2008.; Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage,Province of Nova Scotia 2008
Front Elevation
Window detail, United Baptist Church, Woods Harbour, NS, 2008.; Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, Province of Nova Scotia 2008
Window Detail
Detail of side elevation and tower, United Baptist Church, Woods Harbour, NS, 2008.; Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage,Province of Nova Scotia 2008
Side Elevation Detail

Other Name(s)

The United Baptist Church
Central United Baptist Church

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/03/03

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The United Baptist Church, commonly known as the Central United Baptist Church, is located in Upper Woods Harbour, on the western side of Highway 3, Shelburne County, Nova Scotia. The Neo-classical style church was given its heritage designation by the Municipality of Barrington on July 4, 1984 and applies to the church and lot.

Heritage Value

The Central United Baptist Church is valued as a local landmark; for its role in the history of the community; and for its association with the history of the Baptist faith in Woods Harbour.

The Central United Baptist Church was built circa 1862 as a Free Will Baptist Church, in part due to the efforts of W.H. Richan, the first school superintendent in nearby Barrington Passage. Richan became an ordained Free Will Baptist minister in 1866. The building suffered a damaging fire in 1867, which also destroyed all of the first five years of the church’s records. Rev. W.W. Ashley, also a Free Will Baptist minister, was instrumental in repairing the damaged church. Ashley also founded the first temperance society in Woods Harbour. The church continues to function as a Baptist Church.

The large simple structure stands out on the costal terrain. The large central steeple was a navigational landmark for fishermen and sailors returning home. The traditional building has some basic Neo-classical elements giving it an air of refinement.

Source: Municipality of the District of Barrington, Municipal Heritage Files, United Baptist Church

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements of the United Baptist Church include:

- large wood framed structure;
- gable roof with large overhang;
- four large twelve-over-twelve wood framed windows on each side elevation toped with a fanlight in the Palladian style;
- decorative sashes around the windows;
- central tower on front elevation topped by a six-sided steeple;
- fanlights on either side of tower allowing light into front entrance;
- interior gallery is supported by decorative pediments of the
Neo-classical style.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Municipality of Barrington , P.O. Box 100, BArrington NS B0W 1E0 Cape Sable Historical Society, P.O. Box 67, Barrington NS B0W 1E0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Municipality of Barrington heritage records

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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