GBHS releases booklet on history of the BME church

GUELPH – The Guelph Black Heritage Society (GBHS) has released a booklet Change Starts Now:  Our Stories, Our History, Our Heritage.

“There is an absence and erasure of Black history in Guelph, Wellington County and Canada in general,” states a press release from the organization.

“The GBHS is doing its part to change this narrative and create resources for our community.”

The booklet was written by Natasha Henry, a graduate of York University’s history department and outlines the history of the Guelph British Methodist Episcopal (BME) church, which was established in Guelph in 1870.

The building itself was built in 1880 by formerly enslaved Black individuals and their descendants who arrived in the area via the Underground Railroad.

The BME church is now home to Heritage Hall, the newly renovated cultural, historical and social community centre owned and operated by GBHS, which strives to promote Guelph and Wellington County’s distinctive place in southwestern Ontario’s rich Black heritage.

The booklet is $20 and can be purchased online at

Proceeds from the booklet will go towards the GBHS’s #ChangeStartsNow education initiative to provide educational programming on Black history and culture as well as relevant resources on diversity, discrimination, and anti-racism. For more information, email