LATTIE’S BROOK: The present church building was consecrated in 1881 during the worship of Reverend Addington Jamison (1870-1883). The land for the building and main part of the cemetery were given by Joseph Clarke. Two other pieces were added later, the narrow strip on the east side and the larger piece on the west.
St. John the Baptist is the second church in Lattie’s Brook. the first was a small chapel at the end of the Mill Road. The church was divided into two parts, with the larger part moved to Walter Burton’s for a wagon house, which was later town down. The other part is part of the house where James Burton and family lived for many years.
Many think that St. John the Baptist is the third of the present churches of our parish but actually i is the fourth, with St. Peters being built in 1862, Holy Trinity in 1864, and St. Thomas in macPhee’s Corner being built in 1861 and consecrated in 1862. It was given to the Parish of Shubenacadie and Stewiacke in 1959.
The deed for the present church was signed by the Reverend John Randell in 1859 and approved by the Right Reverend Herbert Binny, Lord Bishop of Nova Scotia. It confirmed the sale of 500 acres of “Glebe Land” or minister lot for 55 pounds.
That money was helped to build this church. The wardens who signed the deed were; Alexander Sloan and John A Lawrence. The Vestry was: William Lattie; James Hennigar; Oliver Miller; William Ettinger; Walton Burton; James Miller Jr., Thomas Miller; John Clarke; Christian Gill; and John Hennigar.
When this church was built the bell tower was given by William and Catherine Cook, and the font by Thomas Lattie. Since then, many other items have been added. The Altar was replaced a number of years ago. Johnson Crowe of Selma and a son of one of the women from the church did the handi-work. Other items built by Jim Lawrence and put in memory of loved ones are: the two sanctuary chairs, a prayer desk, the stand of the baptismal ewer, desk for the guest book, processional cross and candle standards. Jim, along with the help of his son, Bert, turned the old treadle organ into a book shelf.
These are only a few of the things past members have added to the building. Windows have been repaired and plexiglass covered the outside of the altar window to protect it.
Most of the people living in the area were members of this church and were baptized, confirmed, and married in this building. I was a year-and-a-half-old when my parents moved back to Lattie’s Brook from Shubenacadie so I wasn’t baptized here but I do remember coming to Sunday school and church as a child.
There were two stoves, the big heater down where the seats curve in and another up front. In the winter time Otis Lawrence liked to sit by the stove right behind our family. Otis was a bit hard of hearing, so if the minister said to omit a certain verse, Otis may not have and kept singing until the Organist played “Amen”.
There are many many more memories of life around this church and I cannot end without mentioning the bees. We have scars to shoe the places they have been. Jim Lawrence and Jim Hennigar weer cleaning up after removing the hive and a fellow came in to help. He decided to take the ladder down by himself instead of waiting for help.
Well, the ladder was too heavy and it got away from him. The Jims yelled as they thought it was going to go through the Altar Window, but the Good Lord must have been watching and the top slid back and it landed across the communion rail and the mark is still there.
Times have changed over the years and today we are wondering how much longer we can keep our churches open for a place to worship. No mater if it is opened to service or not our doors are never locked. They are opened to anyone who wishes to one in and spent a bit of quiet time, to pray or look around or spend some time with Our Lord who is always present.