Hornerites? What Were Hornerites?

Hornerites? What Were Hornerites?



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal22 Nov 1895, FriPage 1



I found above last newspaper clipping and wondered what the heck a Hornerite or a “Horniter” was. I found out that “horniter” really meant Hornerite (Holiness Movement), and thought I should probably document it. This denomination was home-grown in the Ottawa Valley. The movement had its roots in the Methodist Church of Canada and was founded when a very charismatic adherent named  Ralph Cecil Horner, farmer, Methodist clergyman, revivalist, and holiness bishop, who found some fame in the area and beyond.

Born near Shawville, Quebec; he travelled extensively in the area preaching at  tent meetings where “a number of souls were won for Christ“. The more passionate of Horner’s followers were called “Hornerites”. Today on the Main Street in Shawville there stands a billboard showing historic highlights of the area and Rev. Ralph Horner’s evangelistic career is there listed.



Photo-Bytown or Bust


A very strange thing occurred recently at a Hornerite meeting held at the meeting house of that sect, situated seven miles north of Madoc, known as “McCoy’s”. The preacher was speaking of the Devil and all of a sudden a creature described as “so ghastly” rose from the floor boards with fire issuing from his nostrils. The image was described as having two horns, clanking chains, fiery eyeballs and a large appendage at the rear. Apparently he looked at the congregation and exclaimed,

“I am the Devil, I will have you all!”





The congregation and preacher ran out of there “like the devil” tripping over each other. A few days later some said it was a practical joke, but the Hornerites refused to believe them. The Hornerites were a very evangelical denomination. The ladies dressed in plain black with no touch of bright colour or other ornamentation.  The style of their apparel included a long wide skirt and a flat-crowned round hat.



Bytown or BustThe Holiness Movement in Smiths Falls, Ontario


In Hastings County, Ivanhoe may be known today as a place with a cheese factory along Hwy 62, but a century ago it was known as one of the most important holiness revival sites in Canada.  It was at the Ivanhoe camp meeting that Ralph Horner died in 1921, not long after preaching his last sermon.

Adam Armstrong said: The Hornerite/Holiness Movement church building in Stittsville is still there on the Main Street on the west side on a hill opposite the Legion (formerly Orange) Hall.




Joann Voyce–The Hornerite Church in Carleton Place was a small white frame building on the south west corner of Bridge St and Herriott St


Clipped from The Ottawa Journal21 Jun 1899, WedPage 8 A Hornerite Convention in Carleton Place



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal06 Nov 1895, WedPage 8–Quebec



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal27 Sep 1895, FriPage 6–Kemptville



Clipped from The Ottawa Journal22 Aug 1896, SatPage 3–Richmond







Click here–Shakin’ the Family Tree




Clipped from The Ottawa Journal05 Jan 1897, TuePage 6



CLIPPED FROMThe Weekly British WhigKingston, Ontario, Canada02 May 1901, Thu  •  Page 10

Another One Bites the Dust –In Memory of the Holiness Movement Church Building (Hornerites)

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

5 responses »

  1. The Hornerite/Holiness Movement church building in Stittsville is still there on the Main Street on the west side on a hill opposite the Legion (formerly Orange) Hall.


  2. As a former member of the Loyal Orange Lodge I would be very surprised that Nathaniel Clarke Wallace 1844-1901, MP for York West and Grand Master and Sovereign of the Grand Orange Lodge of British America (now operating as the Grand Orange Lodge of Canada) didn’t take some action against the Hornerites for their plans to expose the lodge’s secrets.

    Also, I have yet to confirm this but according to family legend my sister-in-law Laura’s great-grandfather, William Henry Donahue 1866?-1943, was at one time a Hornerite minister; however, when his son William John Wesley “Bill” Donahue married my grand-aunt Mary Ethel Napier in 1923 the marriage took place at the Baptist Church in Almonte (Uncle Bill and Aunt Ethel are Laura’s grandparents).


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