Presbyterian prayer meetings were most likely held in Malpeque as early as 1770, the date when Scottish settlers first arrived in the region on 'The Annabella.' After being shipwrecked and losing all their possessions, the Scots must have relied heavily on their faith to tide them through the first hard winter.
In the 1790s, the Reverend James MacGregor travelled to Malpeque (map) from across the Northumberland Strait in Pictou, Nova Scotia. The preacher performed ceremonies in Gaelic, and during his 1791 visit, he baptized over thirty children. Somewhere between 1789 and 1794, the first Presbyterian church in the Malpeque area was built, a rough-hewn affair made from logs. It is said that the chimney on the chapel was fashioned from four ladders lashed together with their rungs filled with 'cat and clay,' or clay mixed with straw. This improvised chimney was not entirely safe, however. On one occasion, the heat from the fire set it ablaze, and church-goers had to go outside and extinguish the burning chimney by heaving snowballs at it! There was no official Presbyterian congregation on the Island until 1800. During that year, the Reverend John Urquhart arrived in the colony, and decided to establish himself in Malpeque.
The Kensington Presbyterian Church was built in 1886 on land donated by William Glover, the town's first postmaster. It was opened and dedicated on Christmas Day of that same year. Its services were conducted by clergymen from other areas until 1888, when the Reverend J.M. MacLean was named as its first minister. During his stay, which lasted until 1895, the church established its first Missionary Society, with the stated aim of "glorifying God by doing good." Under Reverend A. D. Sterling, the church was enlarged and even ran its own schoolroom between 1904 and 1910. Reverend A.W. Robertson became church's seventh minister and served from 1922 until 1925, when the church became part of the United Church of Canada.
Not all Presbyterians in Kensington were happy with the idea of joining this union of Methodists and Congregationalists. When a vote was taken, only a small number of parishioners voted in favour of the amalgamation, and the local church split into two opposing factions. Those in favour of joining-- the Unionists-- continued to meet in the Presbyterian church for two years after the formation of the United Church. Those against joining the United Church began holding services at the King George Hall, and Rev. Robertson agreed to continue ministering to this anti-Unionist congregation. In 1927, the two sides traded places. The Unionists moved into the King George Hall, and eventually decided to join the Methodist congregation in 1928.
A few years after settling back into their familiar surroundings, the Presbyterian congregation purchased the manse. They have continued to maintain and improve the church itself over the years. Perhaps the most major renovation was the removal of the old steeple in 1954. As the building reached its seventieth year, the steeple had begun to rot out and there was some danger of it collapsing. When the Rev. E. H. Bean decided that it should be removed, there was considerable outcry from the congregation. So when the steeple was hoisted off the roof, he stipulated that it should be left on the church grounds for Sunday service. Once all got a closer look at the condition of the internal framework, beneath the white exterior, the consensus was quickly reached that the Reverend had made the right decision.