Botany Church, Howard Twp.

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Botany United Church, Kent, celebrated its centennial in June 1955. The present minister, Rev. J.C. King. Church services were first held in the School Section 1. In 1845 Mr. John McDonwell deeded free of charge a site for a chapel and burying ground and was finished for worship in one year. The first minister was Rev. Becket at a salary of $385 per year. Communion was a three-day affair.

The communion set consisted of two plates for bread and a pitcher and two cups for wine. In time the younger generation with modern sanitation ideas criticized the idea of the common cup. In the old church, the custom was in reverse to the present - they stood to pray and sat to sing.

The collection boxes consisted of a box 4 by 6 mounted on the end of a six foot handle. The ushers stood in the aisle and could thrust the box to the far end of the pew.

Two events influenced the life of the church. The first was the building of the new church in 1900 and moving the site a mile east. At this period, several members severed their connection. The second event was church union in 1925. The old church was staunch Presbyterian. Botany did not vote on union, but quietly moved into the union.

Botany church has been a blessing to the neighbourhood through those who have gone from it carrying their Christian faith principals and ideals, has been a blessing to many places in Canada and far foreign lands.

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Transcribed from the records of Mrs. Geo. S. Brien, Rural Ridgetown Women's Institute.