Church building's century of history celebrated

The church building that stands at the corner of 13th Avenue and 102nd Street in North Battleford is 100 years old this year.

It is now known as Third Avenue United Church, but in 1912, when construction began, there was no United Church of Canada.

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In the early days, church services were held in the homes of the people in the community with ministers providing services, travelling long distances and often in adverse road and weather conditions. However by 1905 when the railway came north of the river, a village started and quickly grew into a town.

The first Presbyterian church was built at 1191 Edward Street (now 102nd Street) and the following year a Methodist Church was built at 1201 King Street (the corner of 12th Avenue and 101st Street).

North Battleford was growing and by 1912 the Presbyterian congregation had expanded to 100. They saw the need for a larger building and undertook the ambitious project of a new red brick building, which stands at the corner of 13th Avenue and 102nd Street.

The architect was W.W. La Chance and the contractors, Guillot and Warnock. The building was completed in 1913 at a cost of $35,000.

It wasn't until 1925, that this building became the United Church of Canada after the union of Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregationalist denominations.

The church congregation continued to grow throughout the years and in the late 1950s an addition was built. This provided a new entrance to the church and much needed space for Sunday school and youth activities. It still provides well used space for community activates.

June 9, a special celebration will take place in the sanctuary at 10:30 a.m. to mark "100 Years of Mission and Service." It is expected former ministers, music staff and former members of the congregation from out of town will attend. This will be followed by a reception and lunch in Wesley Hall.

An invitation is extended to members of the public who would like to attend. We do ask they RSVP to the office at 306-445-8171 by June 3, as the lunch is being catered at a cost of $10 per adult and $5 for children over five.

The following Sunday, June 16, Third Avenue United Church is being honoured by a visit from Rev. Gary Paterson, Moderator of the United Church of Canada. He will preach a sermon that day and we look forward to his visit to our community.

Again, the public is cordially welcomed to attend at 10:30 a.m. This service will be followed by the monthly brunch.

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