'Built in 1891 as a branch of the Wallace Street Methodist Sunday School, it owes its origins to the enterprise and foresight of a former pastor of the Wallace Street Church, Rev. W.W. Bauer…As a preaching appointment it first appears on the Wallace Street Plan of January 1892. In 1893 it was separated from the Wallace Street circuit and organized as a separate circuit with a minister of its own. It was a bold stroke to take, when it was considered that only about 20 members and these transfers from the Wallace Street circuit. The first Board of Trustees consisted of James Lister, H. Streighthorst, E. Devlin, E. Rogers, T. Miles, T. Bryant. These assumed responsibility for a debt of $1,000 which rested on the building; this was, however, soon liquidated.'
'The first pastor was a young ordained man, Rev. E.V. Smith, who left at the end of his first year to attend McGill University. In the year 1894 it was found necessary owing to the large congregation, to enlarge the church to its present capacity. This was done at an outlay of about $1,800, and made provision for the seating of a choir, an enlarged auditorium, and two large classrooms in the rear. The acoustic properties are excellent and the present pastor, Rev. Wm. R. Welch, is now completing the first year of his pastorate, preaching every Sabbath to eager congregations. His ministry is full of promise for the spiritual needs of the large population of the locality.' (Nanaimo Free Press, Golden Jubilee Edition, 1874-1924).
In an 1894 enlargement, the width of the church was extended about ten feet on each side, and an altar added. The first parsonage for the church was on Victoria Road. In 1898 Samuel Robins, General Manager of the Vancouver Coal Company, advised the Trustees to buy the property adjacent to the church, and in 1912 a new manse was built. In 1935, when the Wallace Street Church was being dismantled, the stones were purchased, and a stone wall erected around the Haliburton Street property; the $400 cost was raised by the Ladies’ Circle. In 1903, continuing labour difficulties cause the Federal Department of Labour to send the Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King, then Minister of Labour, to Nanaimo to investigate working conditions, and settle a labour dispute. He delivered a sermon at the Haliburton Methodist Church entitled 'The Young Man of Nazareth'.
The building is a very good example of late Victorian Eclectic architecture and is one of the oldest surviving church buildings in Nanaimo. The picturesque massing typical of this style is demonstrated in the asymmetrical, gable roofed towers. Although there have been some changes to the original building, it’s essential form is still intact.
The Haliburton Street Methodist Church’s tall