Tuesday 19 January 2016

Timothy Eaton Converts to Methodism

When Timothy Eaton first immigrated to Canada, he was a Presbyterian.  However, within a couple of years, in 1858, he converted to Methodism, part of the tent revivals in rural Ontario at the time.  Circuit riders would travel the area on horseback and preach in each town.  As a new convert, Timothy Eaton taught Sunday School at Kirkton Methodist Church along side my great-great grandfather, Thomas Tufts, also a convert.

What Timothy Eaton learned from Methodism was servant leadership, a trait that he took with him to the big city of Toronto.  Just as Christ served his disciples, Timothy Eaton served his customers.  From the moment he opened his store with his skeleton key, to the moment he locked it in the evening, he was busy working.  Like any good business owner, he was not afraid to get his hands dirty.  And his employees appreciated this trait.  The Eaton's motto of "Faith, hope and human service reflected the Christian motto of "Faith, hope and charity".  

Nine years after Timothy Eaton passed away, his widow had a majestic Methodist church constructed in his memory, a fitting tribute to a passionate Methodist.

Methodist Church, Kirkton, Ont.

Kirkton Methodist Church circa 1910 courtesy 

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