Notable People from the North River Baptist Church
The first Deacon at the North River Baptist Church was Donald MacKinley, who came to Prince Edward Island from the Isle of Mull, Scotland. He was born in 1789 and came to York Point in 1809. Donald’s story is an interesting one; his father died when he still very young which left him with his mother and two siblings. When Donald was twenty years of age, his mother decided to move the family to Prince Edward Island. Just as the ship was about to set sail, a gang boarded the ship, seized Donald and forced him into the British Navy. Fortunately Donald was released and landed on the Island after many long weeks at sea with only ten dollars in his pocket. He managed to rent a farm in North River and was able to purchase it a few years later. He was an admirer of the early Baptist preachers John Scott and Alexander Crawford and became one of the charter members of the church. He was appointed deacon of the church in 1832 and remained as such until his death on October 8, 1870.25
Other notable deacons included James Warren who was the proprietor of the Warren Grove mills, and William Bain. Mr. Bain was a stone cutter and was involved with the construction of the Government Building in Charlottetown. William also became the first Superintendent of the Sunday School which was organized in 1843. He died in 1849, at the age of 47, he had a wife and two children.26 One of his sons is the noted Island geologist and naturalist Francis Bain.
Francis Bain is known as Prince Edward Island’s first geologist and naturalist. Although he is most noted for his scientific contribution, he also played a vital role in the North River Baptist Church. He served as a deacon, church clerk, and Sunday School teacher and superintendent.27 Francis’s daughter, Ms. Laura Bain, also served the church as a missionary in India for many years. For more information about Francis Bain please refer to the “Note-worthy Residents” section.