The building purchased by the St. John’s congregation in 1957 had previously belonged to the Congregational church. Built in 1895 to replace the old Congregational Stone Chapel that was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1892, the Queen’s Road church was a landmark among the churches of downtown St. John’s. Its steeple tower held a light that was used for navigational purposes to guide ships through the Narrows into St. John’s Harbour, providing many a preacher with a good sermon illustration about the church’s role as a “guiding light” in the community.
The inside of the church was distinguished by its impressive pipe organ and the beautiful arch over the organ/choir loft that read “O Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness.”
Choir at the Queen’s Road church, about 1960. Front row, L-R: Louise Wessman, Mae Holloway, Verna Hemmons, Lenora Hall, unknown, Doris Moores, unknown, unknown, Lois Wessman, Carol Fifield. Second row, L-R: Helen Spracklin, Mabel Wells, Rosie Dowden, Nellie Trenchard, Geraldine Dyke, Myrtle Harris, unknown, Judy Garland. Back row, L-R: Beth Spracklin, George Morgan, Ron Spracklin, John Janes Sr., Mr. Scroggins, Fred Garland, Jim Russell, Mr. Scroggins’ son?
The Queen’s Road church had no adult baptismal tank in the sanctuary, so baptisms were performed downstairs in the auditorium. Here, Pastor Wessman performs a baptism in the early 1960s
Though the building was a beautiful one and lives on in the memories of those who attended church there for more than 20 years, the cost of keeping up this heritage structure proved too heavy for the congregation to bear. It was during Pastor Dennis Uffindell’s time in leadership that the building was sold, and the church’s home moved to the more modest building on Aldershot Street, formerly Bethesda Pentecostal Church, which is home to the St. John’s congregation today.
The Queen’s Road building was sold to a private developer. Today the building holds condominiums, although the outside retains its church-like appearance.