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Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church Fundraising Campaign

The Journey to Freedom - Oro African Church Fundraising Campaign

The Township of Oro-Medonte has launched the Journey to Freedom fundraising campaign in an effort to raise $140,000 for the restoration project for the Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church located on the corner of Line 3 North and Old Barrie Road in Oro-Medonte.

The Oro African Church is a monumental depiction of freedom and equality in North America.  Designated as a National Historical Site in 2003, the church and the site it stands on is a tribute to the Black militiamen that served to defend Upper Canada during the War of 1812, subsequently Upper Canada land policy.

Today, many countries are exposed to radicalisms associated with culture, race, creed and colour. As Canadians, we are fortunate to live in a country that protects our cultural freedoms without discrimination. This modest Church is a true testament of the sacrifices made by those who served to defend our rights and freedoms which are now carried out in the Canadian Constitution - a truly remarkable story of the journey to freedom.

Built between 1846 and 1849, the Church is one of, if not, the oldest African log church still standing in North America. Passionate community volunteers worked diligently to preserve the Church for nearly 75 years before it was abandoned in the 1920s. Later, the Township of Oro-Medonte took ownership of the Church and cemetery to maintain and preserve the site. 

A Cultural Heritage Assessment was prepared in 2013 to assess the building condition and develop a long term strategy for its preservation. The assessment concluded that the condition of the Church is far worse than expected.  The structural integrity of the Church is compromised and its survival is now at risk. As a result, the Church has been closed to the public.

Help us save and preserve this important part of Canadian Heritage of how fortunate we are to live in a country that protects our equality and freedom.