According to the 1871 census, there were 1,620,851 people in the Province of Ontario. Of these, 356,442 were Presbyterian. The number of clergy serving Presbyterian congregations is unknown but, at least in our area, Church Services, Sabbath Schools, and Cottage Prayer meetings were being held throughout the region.
In 1875, members and adherents of Willis Presbyterian Church in Lunenburg, who lived in Avonmore and its vicinity, petitioned the Presbytery of Glengarry to build a spin-off church in Avonmore.
The Presbytery approved their request, and the first Avonmore Church was built just south of the village in what is now called Paul's Hill. While two church buildings now existed (Lunenburg and Paul's Hill/Avonmore), there was still only one church government (one Session).
In 1876, while the new church was still being built, the same people again petitioned the Presbytery and the Session of Willis Presbyterian to officially split from the Lunenburg Church so they could form a separate congregation. Approval was given and St. Andrew's was born.
In January 1877, the congregations of Lunenburg and Avonmore were joined together into a single pastoral charge, but each had its own Session and each conducted its own business.
The Rev. John S. Burnet of Martintown was given permission to ordain elders and, with Mr. W.W. Brownell and Mr. Levi Runions, constitute a Session for the new congregation. More elders were chosen and, in September 1877, the first communion service was held in the new congregation building with 72 people receiving communion.