Our parish has a fascinating history, expressed in tangible form by the two church buildings that lie within its boundaries, both bearing the name St. George, and both of national significance. The first St. George's the "Little Dutch [Deutsch] Church," is the second oldest church in Halifax. Originally a small house, it was adapted for its present purpose in 1756 when it was moved to their burying ground in the northern suburb of the infant community by the German settlers known as "Foreign Protestants."
It was consecrated in 1760 by John Breynton, rector of St. Paul's, the first Halifax parish, in the name of St. George. The "Foreign Protestants' were evangelical Lutherans in belief. In the absence of a pastor, lay leaders of the congregation led their services in German, with occasional visits from the clergy of St. Paul's, to celebrate Holy Communion according to the rites of the Church of England. (
More about the founding of the Little Dutch Church.)
The character of the Little Dutch Church changed during the latter part of the 18th century when the loyalist refugee Bernard Houseal, an evangelical Lutheran clergyman from New York, was appointed its first rector. To qualify for a stipend from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel Houseal was ordained a priest of the Church of England. During his ministry from 1786-1799 the church attracted a large number of non-Germans. The tiny Little Dutch Church could no longer accommodate the needs of the growing population of Halifax's north end. next...