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authority records
United Church of Canada Pacific Mountain Region Archives Corporate body

Metropolitan Methodist Church (Victoria, B.C.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1859-1925

Metropolitan Methodist Church was originally known as Pandora Avenue Methodist Church, founded in 1859. Services began in the Victoria police barracks in February, 1859. In May, 1860, Pandora Street Methodist Church was opened and dedicated at the corner of Pandora Avenue and Broad Street. This church was expanded in 1872, but by the 1890s it was too small. New property was purchased, and a new church building was opened in May, 1891. At that point, the congregation changed its name to Metropolitan Methodist Church. Metropolitan Methodist Church entered church union in 1925, becoming Metropolitan United Church. At church union in 1925, the congregation became Metropolitan United Church.

Vancouver Heights United Church (Burnaby, B.C.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1925-1973

Vancouver Heights United Church was formed in 1925 in Burnaby from the local union of Vancouver Heights Presbyterian Church, established in 1911, and Vancouver Heights Methodist Church, established in 1912. In 1973 the congregation disbanded. Throughout its United Church history Vancouver Heights has constituted a single point pastoral charge in Vancouver Presbytery (1925-1959) and Westminster Presbytery (1959-1973).

Lakeview Multicultural United Church (Vancouver, B.C.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1962-

Lakeview Multicultural United Church has its roots in two former United Church congregations: Zion and Trinity. In 1958, they amalgamated to form Trinity-Zion United Church. The Trinity building was used until a new church could be erected, at which point the name of the congregation was changed to Lakeview United Church. In 1988, it changed its name to Lakeview Multicultural United Church.

Esquimalt Indian Mission (Victoria, B.C.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1911-[ca. 1970]

The Esquimalt Indian Mission was founded on May 31, 1911 (as Esquimalt Naval and Military Methodist Church). It was located at Jones’ Studio on Esquimalt Road. The first church service was officially held in June 1911. A year later, the property for the church was bought at the corner of Admirals Road and Lyall Street, and was dedicated in 1913, by Rev. Dr. W.J. Sipprell. At one point the church had a congregation of 200 members, and Sunday school was held in the Methodist Soldiers Home. The mission became a United Church mission at church union in 1925. A new Christian Education Hall was dedicated on March 27, 1965.

Metropolitan United Church (Victoria, B.C.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1925-1997

Metropolitan United Church was created in 1925 when Metropolitan Methodist Church entered church union. The building, constructed in 1891, was located at the corner of Pandora Avenue and Quadra Street. Shortly after union, First Congregational Church joined Metropolitan United. In 1997, Metropolitan amalgamated with First United Church to form First Metropolitan United Church, making its home at the former First United on Balmoral Road at Quadra Street. The Metropolitan United Church building was sold to the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

Collingwood United Church (Vancouver, B.C.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1926-1995

Collingwood United Church is rooted in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian and Wesley Methodist congregations (now St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church).

St. Andrew’s church first established a Sunday school at Central Park, which eventually grew into a large congregation. In 1895, the congregation was divided into east and west of Central Park; the west of Central Park organized Collingwood East, St. Andrew’s, whereas those in the east organized Henderson Presbyterian (Burnaby) and Knox Presbyterian (Collingwood District). In 1913, a new building was built at the corner of Joyce and School Streets.

About 1898, Wesley Methodist Church established a mission in Collingwood. Services were conducted in homes, then in Carleton Hall. In 1903, the Methodist church building on Kingsway was completed a short distance east of Joyce Road.

In 1926, Collingwood Methodist and Knox Presbyterian amalgamated to form Collingwood United Church. A year later, the church hall (gymnasium) was constructed. In 1931, the church proper was enlarged and renovated. A new church was built and dedicated in 1957 at the former location of Knox Presbyterian church, Joyce and School Streets. Collingwood joined Fraserview and Wilson Heights in 1995 to form a three point charge. The pastoral charge name was changed to Wilson Heights United Church in 1998, and was recognized as a single point charge.

Zion United Church (Vancouver, B.C.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1925-1958

Zion United Church had its roots in the American Presbyterian Church. In 1892, a church building was opened at Princess St. and Jackson Avenue. In 1898, the congregation merged with First Presbyterian Church at Gore and Hastings (now First United). Former Zion members left and re-organized as Knox Independent Presbyterian Church, and bought the old First Presbyterian Church building at Main and Cordova Streets. In 1902, the church members entered the Congregational Church of Canada and became Knox Congregational Church. A new building was opened in 1915 at Broadway and Woodland, and the congregation changed its name to Grandview Congregational Church. The congregation entered Church Union in 1925, as Zion United Church. The Rev. Charles E. Batzold served for 23 years as its first minister. In 1958, Zion and Trinity United Church amalgamated to form Trinity-Zion United Church. The Trinity building was used until a new church could be erected, at which point the name of the congregation was changed to Lakeview United Church.

St. Stephen's United Church (Vancouver, B.C.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1958-

In 1953, the area south of the Oakridge neighbourhood of Vancouver was growing and the Metropolitan Council for Church Extension purchased property at 54th Avenue and Heather Street with a view to establishing a new United Church congregation there. Survey work was done in the area, and in June 1958 a congregation was constituted, and an inaugural service was held at Trinity Baptist Church, where the St. Stephen's United Church continued to meet until November 1958. In November the congregation examined the results of their survey work and decided to suspend all activities until they could find a more favourable location for their development. In June of 1960, a portable church building was erected at 52nd Avenue and Oak Street. This was the home of the newly restarted St. Stephen's congregation for three years. In November 1960, the congregation purchased new property at the corner of 54th Avenue and Granville Street. In January 1962, the congregation voted to proceed with the building project, and Presbytery endorsed this action in June. The new church building was dedicated in November 1964.

Fair Haven Homes Society

  • Corporate body
  • 1949-

In 1946, BC Conference Executive appointed a committee to establish a home for senior citizens in the Greater Vancouver area. The Homes for the Aged Committee secured a site on Rumble Street, beside the United Church Home for Girls on Sussex Street. Funding for the project was provided by the United Church of Canada, the provincial government, and private donations and bequests. The Conference appointed a Board of Directors in 1949; it was registered under the British Columbia Societies Act in 1960. Several standing committees were established at the outset, including Building, Admissions, Furnishings, Executive, and Fund Raising committees. Also established early on was a Fair Haven Auxiliary (1950), which functions primarily to add to the comfort and welfare of residents and to assist with raising funds. The Fair Haven main lodge was dedicated in May 1950. A second site was developed in Vancouver in 1961, and is situated between East 48th and 49th Avenues. Both facilities have been redeveloped over the decades.

First Presbyterian Church (Victoria, B.C.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1863-1925

In 1861, the Presbyterian Church of Ireland sent a missionary to British Columbia. After months of travel throughout the colony, he organized "First Presbyterian Church of Vancouver Island" in Victoria in February, 1862. Initial services were held in various halls, until the church was opened in October, 1863. Difficulties arose in 1866, leading to the founding of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, and the closure of First Presbyterian Church from 1867 to 1876. In 1882, the First Presbyterian congregation joined the Presbyterian Church in Canada. It was burned in a fire in 1883, but rebuilt the same year, and expanded in 1890. In 1913, a new building was completed. The First Presbyterian Church congregation entered the United Church of Canada in 1925, becoming First United Church.

Presbyterian Church in Canada. Woman's Missionary Society. British Columbia Synod Branch

  • Corporate body
  • 1903-1925

The Presbyterian Woman's Missionary Society, nationally organized with a few auxiliaries in B.C., was originally concerned with foreign missions. Both native Indian and Chinese work in B.C. (as they were known at the time) were included as foreign. As an outgrowth of the committee, which supported the Atlin Hospital, a new organization emerged in 1903: the Woman's Home Missionary Society. In 1914, the two societies were united nationally as the Woman's Missionary Society and a provincial synod branch was organized. In addition to its support for the Atlin Hospital and a hospital at Telegraph Creek, it took special interest in the Loggers' Mission. Support was also give to Indian Residential and Day Schools at Alberni, Ahousaht, and Ucluelet. After church union in 1925, the society was merged into the Woman's Missionary Society of the United Church of Canada.

Renfrew United Church (Vancouver, B.C.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1926-2006

Renfrew United Church was constructed in 1926. From this period until 1929 the church depended upon supply ministers and theological students. From 1930 until 1934 Renfrew United Church was part of a two-point charge with Secord United Church. In the spring of 1933 as a result of growing attendance the Church erected a Sunday school building. In 1935 Renfrew United had its own minister however as the Second World War approached there was a shortage of clergy and Renfrew was linked primarily with Beaconsfield from 1936 until 1948. In 1949 Renfrew United Church was part of a two-point charge with Renfrew Heights which was called Renfrew-Renfrew Heights. Renfrew Heights was made a separate charge in 1952 and Renfrew United became self-supporting in 1953. The growing congregation soon outgrew the small Church and a new church was built, and was dedicated on November 14, 1957. During the years 1986 and 1987 the Renfrew Pastoral Charge included a East Vancouver Multicultural congregation.

On January 8, 1989 Renfrew United amalgamated with the Korean United Church calling themselves the Renfrew-Korean Pastoral Charge. In 1994, the amalgamation was dissolved through an act of Vancouver-Burrard Presbytery, and the the two congregations were recognized as equal partners in the single building. A joint oversight committee, consisting of three voting members from each congregation was established to make decisions on issues affecting both congregations. In 2003 the Korean United Church moved from the Renfrew church building to a church building in Burnaby, formerly used by St. Paul's United Church. Renfrew United Church was disbanded in 2006.

Methodist Church of Canada. Woman's Missionary Society. British Columbia Conference Branch

  • Corporate body
  • 1891-1925

The first branch in B.C. of the Methodist Woman's Missionary Society was organized at the old Pandora Avenue Church in Victoria in 1888. It soon became the auxiliary of Metropolitan Church, and its original purpose was to help in the setting up of a "rescue home" for Chinese women and girls who had been forced into prostitution. Other local auxiliaries soon appeared throughout the province, and in 1891 they were unified through the establishment of the B.C. Conference Branch of the W.M.S. In 1904, District branches were created for Victoria, Vancouver, Westminster and Kamloops. Besides the rescue home in Victoria, the Methodist W.M.S. in B.C. supported Residential Schools such as the Crosby Girls' Home in Port Simpson (Lax Kw'alaams), the Coqualeetza Institute in Chilliwack, the Elizabeth Long Memorial Home in Kitamaat (Haisla); the Turner Institute in Vancouver; and Methodist hospitals at Port Simpson, Bella Bella and Hazelton.

Vancouver Japanese United Church

  • Corporate body
  • 1896-

The Japanese Methodist Mission was established in Vancouver in 1896. It fell within the purview of the Home Missions Board until well after WW II, even though the congregation had become self-supporting by 1936. The congregation's first building was constructed in 1907 or 1908 at the corner of Jackson and Powell Streets. It became known as the Powell Street Church. A gymnasium and social hall were added in the 1920s, for which the congregation raised $12,000. The Woman's Missionary Society (WMS) was involved with the Japanese Mission from very early on. They taught kindergarten and home economics at the Mission, held prayer meetings, and raised funds to add to the voluntary contributions of the congregation and Home Missions. The congregation boasted an excellent Sunday school, Tuxis and Explorers groups, Mission Band, and CGIT. The Rev. Dr. Kosaburo Shimizu served the congregation from 1926 to 1942. He introduced many Christian education opportunities within the congregation, established the Young People's Union, introduced monthly English-speaking worship services, and started a relief department providing food and clothing during the Depression of the 1930s. He also helped the congregation achieve self-supporting status.

Members living in Vancouver's Fairview neighbourhood raised enough money, along with a Home Missions grant, to build a second Japanese Church in 1928 (by then part of The United Church of Canada).The Fairview Mission later became known as the Columbia Street Mission (from 1949 on), which was sold in 1977. From 1942 to 1949, the two buildings were used by First United Church, St. Giles, and the WMS. The Powell Street and Columbia Street buildings were held in trust by the Board of Home Missions during the war. In 1953, the Powell St. property was sold. From then on, the Japanese- and English-speaking congregations met in a number of different venues, none of which they owned, beginning with First United Church. In 1958 both Nisei and Issei (Japanese speaking) church members were worshipping in Fairview Church on Columbia. In 1962, they moved to Renfrew United Church. In 1978, the congregation purchased St. Luke’s United Church building.

At its general meeting in May 2009, BC Conference made a statement of Recognition and Apology to the Japanese United Church for the sale of the Powell Street church building 56 years earlier. In June of that year, a Service of Reconciliation took place at the Vancouver Japanese United Church. Early in 2017, the English-speaking congregation disbanded.

First Metropolitan United Church (Victoria, B.C.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1997-

First Metropolitan United Church resulted from the amalgamation of two historic Victoria churches in 1997: Metropolitan United Church, with Methodist and Congregational roots, and First United Church, with Presbyterian roots. The former First United church building became the home of the new First Metropolitan United Church. The former Metropolitan United Church building was sold to the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

Powell River United Church

  • Corporate body
  • 1925-

The first religious service at Powell River was conducted on July 11, 1910, by Rev. A. McCauley of the Presbyterian Logger’s Mission. McCauley visited Powell River and held a Sabbath evening public worship service where four hundred were present. On September 19, 1911, a meeting was held for the purpose of organizing a church society and securing a resident pastor. The Rev. G.A. Watson became the first minister of St. John's Presbyterian Church. The congregation became part of The United Church of Canada at the time of church union in 1925. In 1968, Westview and St. John’s congregations joined to become St. John’s–Westview United Church and Cranberry Church remained a separate congregation. The congregation is now known as Powell River United Church.

Cranberry-Westview Pastoral Charge (Powell River, B.C.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1968-1989

From 1928 St. John's was a "parent" pastoral charge to the districts of Westview, Cranberry and Wildwood. Construction of Cranberry Church was started at this time. The Westview services were held in the annex of Westview School. In January 1933, it was decided to operate the churches under the constitution of The United Church of Canada. The Westview Church built its church hall in October 1933. The St. John's and Westview pastoral charges shared the same ministers until July 1941. From 1946, congregations of Westview and Cranberry met in Westview United Church. A new church building was dedicated at Westview in April 1951. The church was badly gutted by fire in August 1954 and rebuilt in 1955. A change took place in 1968; Westview and St. John’s congregations joined to become St. John’s-Westview United Church and Cranberry Church remained a separate congregation. It is last mentioned in the United Church Year Book in 1988.

Collingwood Methodist Church (Vancouver, B.C.)

  • Corporate body
  • 1898-1925

About 1898, Wesley Methodist Church (Vancouver, B.C.) established a mission in the Collingwood district of Vancouver. Services were conducted in homes, then in Carleton Hall. In 1903, the Methodist church building on Kingsway was completed a short distance east of Joyce Road. In 1926, Collingwood Methodist and Knox Presbyterian (both of which had become United Church congregations in 1925) amalgamated to form Collingwood United Church.

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