Anne’s faith was strong and she was always on the lookout for an ideal pastor. In 1837, Anne convinced James Wallis, the timber baron of Fenelon Falls, to donate land for a church. In fact, he gave the first sermon in the new church once it was completed on May 6th, 1838. The property was located high on a hill in Fenelon. The site was chosen so that the new church would be a beacon for the community.
The history of St. James Anglican Church is synonymous with the village history. Today you can still follow the path up to the site of the first church of St. James the Apostle, which was a modest log building. The logs were rough-hewn from local trees and built by community “bee” that was the common practice in those early days. The land included a graveyard, which is still in existence, and bears the names of early settlers. This was the only graveyard in Fenelon Falls until 1869.