Historic black church loses name of Halifax's controversial founder

A historically black Halifax church whose longtime name paid homage to the city's controversial founder has a new appellation.

Members of the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church voted Sunday to change the church's name to New Horizons Baptist Church.

The white clapboard church was founded by Rev. Richard Preston, the son of a slave, in 1832, and has long been a gathering point for the African-Nova Scotian community.

The change comes after years of public debate about the namesake of the street for which it is named, Edward Cornwallis.

Shortly after arriving in Chebucto Harbour in 1749, Cornwallis issued a reward of 10 Guineas on Mi'kmaq scalps, prompting calls, centuries later, for his name to be removed from schools, rivers, streets, parks and monuments.

Senior pastor Rhonda Britton said the new name reflects the church's vision for new opportunities and growth.