August 22, 1957


Berwick, Nova Scotia

Thursday, August 22, 1957

Covenanter Church Last Of Its Kind In The Maritimes

Dr. Robert Park is nearing the end of his summer pastorate of Grafton Covenanter Church, having only one more service before leaving for his home in Beaver Falls, Pa. This is the 28th summer Dr. Park has been serving this congregation, the last remaining Covenanter congregation in the Maritimes.

Built in 1833, this small church has had only two pastors beside the summer pastors of the last years. Rev. William Somerville was pastor for forty-seven years and was followed by Rev. Thomas McFall, DD, who served for forty-nine years. Since the death of Dr. McFall, several Covenanter ministers have come from U.S.A. for the summer, until in 1930, Dr. Park came, built his summer cottage at Harbourville, and since that time has served this church as summer pastor. He and Mrs. Park and the boys, John and Eric, have become a real part of the life of Harbourville and this district and their coming each year is looked forward to with much interest.

One communion service is held each summer in this church in the manner and custom of the Covenanter Church of Scotland. This was held last Sabbath with fifteen members taking communion. The older members have gradually passed away and now there are only sixteen members remaining.

In his sermon preceding communion, Dr. Park spoke on, "The Resurrection of Jesus, the Sign of His Divine Sonship", which he based n Christ’s words to the Pharisees when they asked for a sign and He said, "No sign shall be given to it but the sign of the prophet Jonas". This sign, Dr. Park said, was a unique sign, Jonah having been in the fish for three days and then lived – a sign to the Ninevites. It was also a convincing sign as many of the Ninevites repented of their sins and it was a condemning sign to the unbelievers. The story of Jonah, Dr. Park affirmed, was an historical event.

Then, speaking of the resurrection of Jesus after three days, he said that in the Lord’s Supper, a dead Christ is not being celebrated, but a living and loving Saviour.

Dr. Park was connected with Geneva Falls College in Beaver Falls, Pa., for many years, first as a Professor of Church History, and later as Dean of the College and retired only last year.