Winnipeg St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church

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Winnipeg St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church

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St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church existed in Winnipeg from 1881 to 1925. In 1873, Winnipeg Presbytery decided to divide the overgrown congregation of Knox Presbyterian Church into two parts. The Knox Church property at the corner of Portage Avenue and Fort Street was sold and the proceeds were divided in half. Notre Dame Avenue was the point of division of the city and congregation; the northern portion was named 'St. Andrew's, and Knox Church retained the southern portion. Organizational meetings of the new St. Andrew's congregation were held in City Hall and the Courthouse in 1881. That same year, Rev. C. B. Pitblado held the first worship service of the congregation in the Courthouse. By 1882, the St. Andrew's congregation had secured a site on Logan and Machray Street, and had erected a building named Selkirk Hall. Soon outgrowing their original building, the congregation purchased lots on Logan and Ellen Street in 1894, and began construction on a larger church. The first services in St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church took place in January 1895. The church was slightly damaged by fire in 1904 and the church tower was struck by lightening in 1923. St. Andrew's played a role in the establishment of several Winnipeg missions: the Point Douglas mission, the North End mission, and the Sherman Street mission. St. Andrew's also initiated Chinese classes around 1896, contributing to the foundations of the Chinese Christian Association. In 1915, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church expanded into the River Heights district. St. Andrew's River Heights Presbyterian Church was built on a lot located on the corner of Oak Street and Kingsway. The new church opened in October 1915, but was destroyed by fire shortly thereafter. Services were held for the River Heights congregation in the auditorium of Kelvin School until a replacement church was erected and opened in June 1916. From 1915 until 1925, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church carried on two church homes. In 1925, the church joined the United Church of Canada. In 1926, St. Andrew's officially divided into two separate congregations. Winnipeg Presbytery decided to make both Elgin Ave and River Heights self-supporting, assigning the names 'St. Andrew's Elgin Avenue United Church' and 'St. Andrew's River Heights United Church' to the newly defined congregations, splitting the former debt between the two churches accordingly.

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