Residents of the small community of North Buxton in Chatham-Kent are calling it a "David and Goliath” battle.

Historian Bryan Prince tells CTV News officials with the British Methodist Episcopal Church of Canada have told the congregation that they need to vacate the church and hall buildings.

The local group would also have to hand over control of the cemetery next to the church.

The church and hall buildings, and the cemetery, have been used by the community for decades.

The North Buxton church became independent from the BME Church of Canada in 2003, but the Toronto-based organization maintained ownership of the property.

North Buxton has roots dating back to the first settlers of the area, many of whom were slaves and children of slaves in the underground railroad.

The final service is slated for this Sunday.

Officials from the BME Church of Canada have not returned inquiries from CTV News.