Rev. William Chalmers Burns was the man used mightily of God in Dundee, during the tenure of the young saintly Robert Murray McCheyne. McCheyne was on a preaching visit to Bible lands when God, in His sovereign mercy, was pleased to pour out a notable shower of revival blessing in his home church.
Subsequently, in August 1844, Burns sailed to Canada and, for two years, ministered along the Montreal – Hamilton corridor. Burns returned to Scotland in 1846 after two years of incessant service, then went as a missionary to China where he served faithfully until his death in 1868.
In a book on the life of Burns it is said of him and other stalwarts who came to Canada, that they, “laboured in the cities, and occasionally in the rural districts, to the edification of multitudes of hearers, and to the effect of laying firm and deep the foundations of what was in its character as a ‘united church’ may now with perfect propriety be called the ‘Free Presbyterian Church of Canada.’ [Emphasis ours – Ed].
It is interesting to note that the name would not be registered in Canada until 130 years later, when our church became the Free Presbyterian Church of Canada.