Among the many British immigrants arriving in Canada in the late 1800s were John and Amelia Taylor and family members from North Walsham, Norfolk, England. In 1873-74, they arrived in the province of Ontario to begin a new life. Some embraced the gospel message in Huntsville, later moving north to the New Liskeard, Timiskaming area. Led of God, brethren J. J. Rouse and John Sylvester taught these new converts resulting in the establishment of assembly testimony in the area. Heeding the call to “Go west young men, go west,” a number moved in the winter of 1901-02 to the area which would later become known as Taylorside, some 50 miles southeast of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Taylorside was named a Postal District from the years 1908-1951. The name, Taylorside, will not appear on current maps, but remains well known in the locality. Situated in a rural setting with agriculture as its mainstay, it is somewhat removed from any large urban center. It is located three miles south and four miles west of the village of Beatty. Yet in God’s matchless grace, it has been the spiritual birthplace of many souls, and continues, by God’s help, to be a lampstand of assembly testimony.
In the spring of 1902, four families began to meet there, as they had in Ontario. They met in homes on the same quarter section of land where the present hall stands. The families of Walter, Fred, Arthur and Herbert Taylor sought the Lord’s guidance as they gathered simply to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Ernest Taylor’s family arrived in 1904, and other families soon joined the little company. The first hall was built in 1911, three-quarters of a mile north of the present location. A regular Sunday evening gospel meeting started in the following year with two local brethren, Jim Foy and Rupert Clarke, preaching. In 1928, another new hall was built at the current site. A barn was a necessary outbuilding at these locations, as the only means of transportation was by horseback, horse drawn buggy or sleigh, or on foot. The first to arrive in cold weather would start the fire, as lighting was by coal oil lamps. These circumstances are primitive by today’s standards, yet a warm spirit of fellowship prevailed. In 1949, electricity was established in the district. The present hall was built in 1963-64.
Gospel Outreach – Early Days to Present
In the early days, every country school in the surrounding area was visited with the gospel. Earnest and Herbert Taylor and Stanley Wright brought the gospel to the children. One interesting story is told of a group of students, standing out behind the wood pile one day, who were quizzed by their teacher as to “what they were up to?” They had been holding a little prayer meeting for the salvation of their teacher who in the goodness of God, did eventually come to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. At least two other teachers from the little one-room school also trusted Christ. For a time, tracts were mailed out from the assembly. The gospel was preached in the “open air” for two years in the town of Kinistino, for 19 years in Melfort, and for three years (beginning in May and continuing through the end of October) in Star City. Some of the men and women hired as farm help were saved in the early days. Many series of gospel meetings have been held in the hall, and in buildings in Melfort, with tent efforts in Melfort, Kinistino and Tisdale. Presently, the gospel is presented in a number of nursing homes. A summer children’s work has been carried on in Lake Lenore for the past number of years. Steve and Merle Kember have been living in Prince Albert for the past five years, spreading the gospel there. Recently Emily McCandless has come to assist in this work.
The annual June conference began in 1936 with brethren George Telfer, C.H. Willoughby, Smith, Alex Wilson and Fred Watson. Numbers attending were: Friday – 90, Saturday – 125 and Sunday – 230. At the gospel meeting, 50 of the 230 were seated outside. Ever since 1990, a Youth Conference has been held each year at Easter. In the goodness of God, these two conferences have been maintained until present.
It is the earnest prayer of the believers that assembly testimony will burn brightly, and that gospel outreach will be richly blessed until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. We praise God for His faithfulness and the spiritual heritage left to us by faithful saints who have entered their eternal rest. “Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be” (Gen 49:10).