The first organized Christian effort on Terrace Hill commenced in 1879 in the home of Mrs. Kinney at 37 St. George Street. An afternoon Sunday school was started by deacon Thomas Crawford of First Baptist Church.
The land upon which the church stands was purchased through the efforts and contributions of Mr. T. S. Shenstone.
A building known as the North Star Mission was erected in 1883. Shenstone Memorial Baptist Church (for simplicity known as Shenstone) was organized on Thursday, June 22, 1905 with a charter membership of 52. Shenstone called its first pastor, Rev. W. J. H. Brown, father of the well-known Gordon W. Brown, longtime dean of Central Baptist Seminary.
In 1922, a new church building was erected to accommodate a growing membership of 169. Several of our seniors were present when that cornerstone was laid! Over the years, there have been other notable events. In 1927, Shenstone and a number of other fundamental Baptist Churches were forced, because of their Bible-centered doctrines, to withdraw from the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec. This group of churches formed the "Union of Regular Baptist Churches" which later (1953) amalgamated with the Fellowship of Independent Baptist Churches to form the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches now comprising over 500 churches in Canada.
Scholarly pastor "A.C." Whitcombe became blind in 1941, but the Church stood by him under an able ministry lasting another 30 years. The membership developed a deep sense of "ownership" through those years. Pastor Ron Baxter led the Church into a vigorous bus ministry in the late 1970's. At its peak over 500 youngsters packed this building, as well as Graham Bell School across the street.
Between 1985 and 1989, Pastor Steve Little led Shenstone to accomplish its latest building program, including our new auditorium and offices, and a totally renovated old building. We praise the Lord that because of the generosity and commitment of our people, a project of nearly $500,000 is now debt free. During this time, 14 Pastors have given spiritual guidance. Under the leadership of these men, Shenstone has become a lighthouse of Biblical truth and an expression of God's love and sacrifice for lost humanity.
1905-1907 Rev. W.J.H. Brown
1908-1909 Rev. W. A. Johnson
1910-1911 Rev. G. A. Lowes
1912-1917 Rev. James Chapman
1918-1919 Rev. J. H. Slimon
1919-1923 Rev. N. R. McLeod
1924-1926 Rev. A. G. Jones
1927-1932 Rev. F. A. McNulty
1933-1935 Rev. W. W. Fleischer
1935-1971 Rev. A. C. Whitcombe
1972-1983 Dr. R. E. Baxter
1984-1990 Rev. S. Little
1991-2000 Rev. D. Brubacher
2002-2014 Rev. J. Alan Rietberg
2016- present Rev. Andrew Stuart
Shenstone is not a perfect church. However, in spite of the usual ups and downs in church life, our past echoes "great is Thy faithfulness" (Lam. 3:23). And the best may yet be ahead. Our Church continues to experience growth and blessing in seeing people put their trust in Christ as Saviour, attending and becoming involved.
We believe the Bible to be the complete Word of God; that the sixty-six books, as originally written, comprising the Old and New Testaments were verbally inspired by the Spirit of God and were entirely free from error; that the Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice and the true basis of Christian union.
We believe in one God, creator of all, holy, sovereign, eternal, existing in three equal Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
We believe in the absolute and essential deity of Jesus Christ, in His eternal existence with the Father in pre-incarnate glory, in His virgin birth, sinless life, substitutionary death, bodily resurrection, triumphant ascension, mediatorial ministry and personal return.
We believe in the absolute and essential deity and personality of the Holy Spirit Who convinces of sin, of righteousness and of judgment; Who regenerates, sanctifies, illuminates and comforts those who believe in Jesus Christ.
We believe that Satan exists as an evil personality, the originator of sin, the archenemy of God and man.
We believe that man was divinely created in the image of God; that he sinned, becoming guilty before God, resulting in total depravity, thereby incurring physical and spiritual death.
We believe that salvation is by the sovereign, electing grace of God; that by the appointment of the Father, Christ voluntarily suffered a vicarious, expiatory and propitiatory death; that justification is by faith alone in the all-sufficient sacrifice and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and that those whom God has effectually called shall be divinely preserved and finally perfected in the image of the Lord.
We believe in the personal, bodily and glorious return of the Lord Jesus Christ; in the bodily resurrection of the just and unjust; in the eternal blessedness of the redeemed and in the judgment and conscious, eternal punishment of the wicked.
We believe that a church is a company of believers, baptized by immersion, separated from the world, separated unto the Lord Jesus, voluntarily associated for the ministry of the Word, the mutual edification of its members, the propagation of the faith and the observance of the ordinances. We believe it is a sovereign, independent body, exercising its own divinely awarded gifts, precepts and privileges under the Lordship of Christ, the Great Head of the church. We believe that its officers are pastors and deacons.
We believe that there are only two ordinances for the church regularly observed in the New Testament in the following order:
We believe in the entire separation of church and state.
We believe in religious liberty; that every man has the right to practice and propagate his beliefs.
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord's day and that, in a special sense, it is the divinely appointed day for worship and spiritual exercise.
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment for the interest and good order of society; that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honoured and obeyed, except only in the things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the only Lord of the conscience and Prince of the kings of the earth.