In 1869 William J. Stairs established a rope works on the former Albro family land in North Dartmouth. Homes were built for his workers, and the area began to grow. A church was needed.
Stairs was deeply interested in the welfare of his workers. In 1869 he had a small building erected on the rope works property to be used as a school on weekdays and a church on Sundays. As there was no resident minister the services were conducted by visiting ministers, students or laymen.
The factory expanded quickly and the school/church building was moved to Dawson Street. It was named the Mission Church, and the congregation was under the leadership of St. James Presbyterian Church. In 1913 the Mission Church became a self governing congregation and was re-named, Stairs Memorial Church in honor and appreciation of the generosity of the Stairs family.