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Springbank United Church - Springbank, AB
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 51° 05.794 W 114° 21.042
11U E 685499 N 5663902
Quick Description: Built in 1910, this little country church was originally the Springbank Methodist Church, known locally as the North Church.
Location: Alberta, Canada
Date Posted: 8/9/2018 11:52:49 PM
Waymark Code: WMYY7R
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Weathervane
Views: 0

Long Description:
The first church in Springbank was a Union Church, built in 1895, serving Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist and Anglican congregations. By 1910 it was outgrown by the congregation and a new Methodist church (this church) was built two miles north of the Spring Bank Union Church. The two churches coexisted for many years, alternating services between them. In 1925, with Church Union in Canada, both became United Churches and in 1951 the original, South Church, was sold and moved from its cemetery site.

Dedicated on June 10th, 1910, the church was built on donated land by volunteer labour at a cost of $686.00. Though continuing to serve Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists and Anglicans, it was built by the Methodists as a Methodist Church. In 1912 a two storey frame parsonage was built west of the church. In 1950 the church was raised and a brick block basement built under it. At that time a 9' X 18' front entrance and basement stairs were added. In 1962 an addition with full basement was added to serve as a Christian Education building. This addition is now used for church services and the original sanctuary is used for Sunday School.

No longer looking much like a 1910 church, it has undergone upgrades to its exterior, as well. Closer examination reveals that the church remains clad in wood shiplap siding with wood corner boards and the original wood window frames. The tiny bell tower, with equally tiny screened Gothic vents, retains what appears to be its original tongue and groove siding. It stands over the old entrance to the original sanctuary, now the Sunday School. The tower's hipped roof and the church, however, live under very new asphalt shingles.

At the rear of the church, behind the small parking lot, is the church's cemetery. It appears to be older than the church, as the oldest headstone, a family stone, has a death date of 1907. It is that of Margaret Lila Lough, who was born in 1903 and died just four years later, in 1907. Find a Grave lists a total of 214 interments in the cemetery, the most recent in 2016. Surrounded by mature conifers and hedges, the cemetery remains in use today, as does its church, both of which appear to be well maintained.

Springbank United Church

1894 – Springbank Union Church
In 1894, a log church named the Springbank Union Church was built, in much the same way as the school, by the combined efforts of the settlers. “Then came the building of the church, and if anyone has ever helped to establish one in a small community he will know something of the stir it has caused. Mrs. Young, the prime mover in this enterprise was a much talked of person. From the day the church was started until it was finished, it was the one never-failing topic of conversation. I had no idea that amongst so few people such a difference of opinion could exist. One wanted this, another wanted that. One woman even went so far as to say that the devil’s money helped to build it. Strange to say, Wheeler Mickle, who was not at all a church going man, was the one who put in the most time and work on it, and I think he thoroughly enjoyed it. However, the church went on in spite of all the controversy and strange to say, it was the people who never contributed a cent or lent a helping hand who had the most to say about it.”
From the memoirs of Helen Hutchison

Laypeople and ministers conducted services in the church. One Sunday was set-aside for the Anglicans.

1910 – Springbank Methodist Church
By 1900 the church was already too small and an addition was built to house the Sunday School and a kitchen. From these tiny beginnings came the fowl supper, a tradition that continues today with the Harvest Supper. The women of the congregation, first the Ladies Aid and then the U.C.W, always worked hard and gave that little extra.

As denominational divisions grew in Calgary, it was inevitable they would invade the ecumenism and joint services in Springbank. In 1909 the Canadian Methodist Church organized an Official Board for Springbank Methodist Church and a new building was built two miles north of the Spring Bank Union Church. It was dedicated on June 10, 1910 and Rev Wm Hollingsworth, became the first minister.

It was neither spiritually nor economically viable that a community the size of Springbank maintain two churches for long. Nor was it in harmony with the historic unity of the people.

In the early 1900s, a donation of $5.00 a year was considered a sizeable gift and total church offerings on a Sunday sometimes fell as low as 50 cents. The minutes of the annual meetings reveal deficit financing and a struggle to pay the minister’s salary. Several ministers voluntarily cancelled the amount owing to them. The result of these pressures was that on March 16, 1916, the Board of Deacons of the Presbyterian Church passed the following resolution: “that it is in the best interest of the Kingdom of God and the advancement of the cause of Jesus Christ and, also in the best interest of all the people of the community, morally, socially and spiritually that the two congregations of Springbank unite into one body, having one congregation, one church building, one minister, and that we most cordially invite, and in Christian love urge our friends of the Methodist body to immediately take such steps as are necessary to consummate such a union”.

On March 24, the Annual Congregational Meeting of the Methodist Church accepted the principle of Union. It took two years to work out the details but on June 14 1918 Mr. Longeway and Mrs. J.D. McLaurin moved that “ we hold services and Sunday school in the two churches on alternate Sundays, for one year, always providing that there shall be an English Church Service in the Union Church (the original church) on the first Sunday of each month”. This was years before the official United Church Union in 1925.

NB - The link provided will not provide any real information until the church completes the update of its website. Text here is from the old website, which has been taken down.
From the Springbank United

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Reformed or Congregational Denomination: United Church of Canada

Associated Website: [Web Link]

Status: Active House of Worship

250011 Range Road 33
Calgary, AB Canada
T3Z 1L2

Date of Construction or Event Occurrence: 1/1/1910

Architect: Not listed

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