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Bible Christians






John Hicks EYNON

Portrait of John Hicks Eynon At the Bible Christian Conference of 1831, held in Cornwall, UK, it was decided to send missionaries to Canada. The Rev. John Glass was appointed as missionary to Ontario, but whether due to poor health, or the magnitude of the country, he resigned within the first few months, and Rev. John Hicks Eynon was sent to replace him.

The Rev. Eynon and his wife set sail from Padstow, Cornwall, on the 1st of May, 1833 in the brigantine Dalusia, arriving at Quebec on the 17th of June. A transcription of Rev. Eynon's description of the voyage was published in the "Bible Christian Magazine".

The Eynon's set up their headquarters at Cobourg, Northumberland County. Cobourg at that time was a wild, lawless place, known by some as Hard Scrabble. Was this the reason the Eynon's chose it as a starting point?

The circuit they mapped out was about 200 miles in length stretching north and east of Cobourg and west as far a Whitby. This circuit covered much of the then settled areas of 3 counties - Ontario, Durham and Northumberland.

The Eynon's covered their circuit mainly on horseback, Elizabeth Eynon, being an ordained preacher as well, took many of the meetings.

Many years later, a former Hope Township resident wrote about his boyhood, growing up in the township, and he mentioned Elizabeth Dart Eynon .......

"Even now I can see Elizabeth Dart Eynon sitting in her quaint dress and Quaker bonnet, with beaming countenance and hands poised, reminding us, 'They shall come from the east, the west, the north, the south, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of Heaven.' She deemed it a duty to talk religion in the humble homes of the poor."

Through their efforts and teachings a strong congregation was formed at Cobourg, and the first Bible Christian Chapel in Ontario was built there in 1839. By 1845 fourteen other strong congregations had been formed around the circuit and each had erected a chapel.

Like all the Bible Christian preachers of those days, the Eynon's went where the Conference sent them, and they took their turn preaching in other Districts from time to time, but Darlington Township, Durham County was always their favourite place.

Not much is known at this point about Elizabeth Dart Eynon other than that she was from Cornwall, UK.

Part of John Hicks Eynon's history was carved into a memorial stone which was placed in Bethesda Cemetery near Tyrone, Darlington Township, to commemorate his work in the area.....

"In memory of the Rev. John H. Eynon born in Gloucestershire, England, May 6, 1801. Entered the Bible Christian Ministry in 1826. Came as a pioneer missionary to Canada in 1833 and lived to see over 80 ministers, nearly 8000 members and over 10,000 Sabbath School children connected with the BC Church in Canada. Servant of God - Well Done."

The Rev. Eynon passed away 22 March, 1888 at Exeter, Ontario. His wife had pre-deceased him. Both are buried at Cobourg, Ontario.

Sher Leetooze
Robin Potter.