A brief history of.. Westminster-St.
Paul’s Presbyterian Church.
…as an outreach of Knox Presbyterian, under the guidance of Rev. D. Crawford Smith,
to the fast growing north-east end of Guelph.
Miss Marjorie McKay, a deaconess at
Knox Church visited homes in the area.
This led to the opening of a Sunday School at John
F. Ross High School with 51 children.
Services were conducted by three Guelph ministers
and some students from Waterloo College.
Rev R.G. Thomson served as Interim
Moderator and an interim Session was started
with two elders from each of the Guelph churches.
Church Services held at Ottawa
Crescent Public School along with
classes started September 22.
Rev J. Douglas Gordon is called to
the fast-growing congregation.
The manse at 9 Shirley Avenue is purchased.
133 Charter members added to the
Knox and St. Andrew’s churches agree to support the
The Building Committee meets.
Session is formed-John Gillespie is
The Presbyterian Women’s Association
The first congregational meeting is
held at Ottawa Crescent School.
Land on Victoria Road is donated by
Mr. Norman McMillan
for the construction of a church
The corner stone is laid September
The unique building designed by
architect Richard Pagani is completed..
The first Worship Service is held on
October 25, 1959.
The congregation of St. Paul’s closes
its doors and unites with Westminster.
The membership is more than 300 with
130 children in Sunday School.
Norm Brydges is named as the first
organist and a choir is formed.
The first meeting of the newly
appointed Board of Managers is held.
The St. Paul’s church building is
The Service of Dedication is held.
A Boy Scout group and a Cub Pack start
with Howard Mitchell as leader.
Rev. J. Douglas Gordon retires.
The first Vacation Bible School is
held with 100 children in attendance.
The first annual Turkey Supper is
Rev. Gordon Hastings becomes the
Westminster-St. Paul’s and Trinity
United arrange to hold church services
at Trinity during July and at Westminster-St. Paul’s
A Lectern is donated to the church by
Mrs. D. Reid.
Norm Bridges is hired as organist and
A strip of land to the north of the
church is purchased for $450.00.
There are now 472 members. Brownies start using
church facilities for weekly meetings.
Plain glass windows in the Sanctuary
are to be replaced with stained glass,
to be purchased as memorials.
Rev. Hastings retires.
Rev. William Nicholson becomes the
Rev. Nicholson resigns as a result of
Permission is given for drapery to be
hung behind the Communion table.
Rev. Ron Courtney inducted as fourth
Westminster-St. Paul’s starts
combined summer services with Trinity United Church
(continued until 1976).
Cubs, Girl Guides, Brownies, Boy Scouts, Couples
Club and Trailblazers (young people)
are active and several of the groups are led by
A Junior Choir starts with 20 members.
The choir is moved from the choir loft to the
chancel as an experiment.
Evening Communion Service initiated
(continued until March 1982).
The congregation is now
524. 260 copies of The Book of Praise purchased.
Session members host a
bedding- plant sale.
Ron Courtney resigns.
Ken Wilson “preaches for the call”.
Rev. Ken Wilson inducted
as the fifth minister and moves to Guelph
with his wife, Donna, and sons John and David.
A speaker system is installed in the Sanctuary.
The first Vacation Bible School is led by Rev. Ken
and Mrs. Donna Wilson.
The first year of coffee and fellowship after
Landscaping is done to the front of the building.
Bibles are presented to graduates of Church School.
The 21st Anniversary is celebrated with the
burning of the mortgage.
Westminster-St. Paul’s takes
responsibility for the Tran family from South Viet Nam.
Ceiling fans are installed in the
Sanctuary. CGIT presents a Vesper Service in
The Tran family relocates in Toronto.
The 25th Anniversary. An Adult Bible Study group
The 25th Anniversary an
Adult Bible Study group starts.
A new Allen Organ is
installed. The roof is replaced.
This is a year when the young people
of the church take major responsibilities in the
life of the congregation.
The Youth Group takes charge of the
Easter Sunrise Service. CGIT presents the Vesper
Explorers present a World Day of
Prayer Children’s service and
presentation of David and Goliath.
Avril Brown and Betty
Larter start work on documenting the history of
Children of the Church and the
Christian Education Committee come into being.
The electrical system is upgraded .
The furnace is changed to a high-efficiency oil
The introduction of a computer for
the Church Secretary. The church purchases a
CGIT presents the Vesper Service.
Explorers take part in The World Day of Prayer
There is a CGIT led Vesper Service.
Explorers present a Christmas Play at the church and
to the residents of Heritage House.
The three circles of the Presbyterian Women’s
Association, -- Crescent, Victoria and Goodwill
report on their various activities in their Annual
Report -- among them, support for the
Explorers and Children of the Church, Sunday School
picnic and Christmas party,
presentation of Bibles for attendance at Sunday
School, flowers in the sanctuary,
Christmas gifts for shut-ins, delivery of “Meals on
Wheels”, and the Annual Bazaar.
The children and youth
groups have a very active year. Eleven babies are
The Grand piano is
“The Challenge”, an in-house quarterly newsletter,
is published. It’s editor, Margaret Beale
and assistant, Wanda Thompson produce the first
issue of “church” news,
cartoons, Crieff news, weddings, deaths, new members
A Bible Study group
A library is started in
the Fellowship Hall.
A large growth in fellowship activities. “Special
Days”, an outreach to seniors
providing a hot meal and fellowship starts.
luncheons for the congregation become a feature on
first Sunday of each month.
Board of Managers
organizes a Garage Sale.
Rev. Ken Wilson retires after 17 years of service.
A “Search Committee” is
appointed to seek a new Minister.
The decision is made to
sell the Manse.
The Church Library
starts with adult and children’s books.
Norman Brydges, retires after 33 years.
A new manse is
Rev. John Young as the
Interim Moderator, organizes
Ministers to fill-in during the vacancy.
The teen/ youth event
“Super Stars” is hosted by Westminster-St. Paul’s.
The first year of the team ministry of the Revs.
Herb and Shirley Gale.
The congregation grows
by ten new members. Eight children are baptized.
60 children take part in Vacation Bible School.
John Taylor is appointed
the new organist and choir director.
“Vision 2000 Committee” is established to do
long-range planning for the church.
New choir gowns
purchased. “Every household visitation”
First “Talents and
The start of
“ConneXions”, a young adult group. Victoria Circle
the “turkey pie” fund–raiser.
Video cassettes and
Audio cassettes are added to the Library.
established to visit sick and shut-in members.
Prayer Group established
to respond to prayer requests and to pray for the
on-going work of the church.
The Fellowship Committee
is established “to encourage and promote fellowship
within our church.”
The Personnel Committee
is established to “act as a Human Resource function
for the church office staff”.
Special Days, an
outreach ministry, starts.
New speakers and portable microphones installed in
New offices and storage
areas completed. New Hymn Books.
Three active Bible Study
groups.: Women’s, Men’s and Mixed. “Live the Vision
Committee” raises over $5,000 for a project in
Nicaragua to provide milk and bread for children.
Four issues of the
congregation’s “ Challenge” newsletter are produced.
A computer and printer are installed in the office.
New hymn books and Psalters are purchased.
A fine year for eating!
A “Robbie Burns” dinner, an Irish Potluck, A
a Corn Roast and a Christmas Family potluck are
The choir and the organ are re-located to the
chancel from the choir-loft.
Heather Darrington takes
on the responsibility for music.
Westminster Belles joins
the three Women’s groups.
The Session hires a
moderator, Dean Peachy, to resolve a number of
"The Clarion”, a
newsletter for the congregation makes its first
The old Hymn books are
sent to a church in Hamilton and to the Presbyterian
Church in Grenada.
"ConneXions" makes plans
to re-start in January.
Carolyn Milke assumes
the job of Organist/Choir Director.
Architect David McAuley
is hired to assist Session with the need for
improving the church facilities.
The Bell Choir under the
direction of Nick Kaethler is added to the music
The 40th Anniversary of
the church is celebrated throughout the year. The
Bible from St. Paul’s is dedicated. Joy Pollard
organizes a Children’s Choir.
The first Pancake Supper
is held and there is a Fish Fry dinner.
represents the youth at the Triennium in Indiana.
"Moment for Mission" is
added to the service with stories of Presbyterian
Missions around the world.
The first "Cancer
Survivors Day" is organized by Westminster-St.Paul’s
and staff at the Cancer Society offices. The
celebration starts with the Worship Service in the
sanctuary followed by a large
“Music in the Park” event at Riverside Park,
featuring many local musical groups including folk
Children are welcomed to
the Lord’s Table.
The Endowment Fund is
Hanging Files are
introduced to facilitate communication throughout
the congregation through notices, etc..
The Prayer Chain has its
The second Cancer Survivors Day is celebrated. The
Welcoming Committee is established.
Talents and Treasures
Auction and the Garage Sale are held in May.
A joint summer
children’s program is held with St. Andrew’s.
A telephone – visiting
ministry to supplement Elders’ visits starts.
The team ministry of
Herb and Shirley Gale is amended to a full call to
in light of Shirley’s ill-health.
An Alpha course series
is held with 24 participants.
sponsors the second celebration for Cancer Survivors
The congregation becomes
actively involved in the support of a school in
A church member, Dara Thompson, goes to Malawi on a
mission tour supported by the church.
Bob Stinson teaches at the school for two terms.
An attendant is hired to
staff the nursery during church services.
Fund raising events
include Talents and Treasures Auction,
Garage Sale, Fish Fry and Turkey Supper.
The Prayer Partnership
bookmark is introduced. “Moments for Mission” –
stories of missions around the world were part of
ministry is established with several specific
responsibilities for trained volunteers.
Shirley Gale retires and the congregation holds a
“Farewell” celebration. Penny Garrison, Intern
Student, starts her year at WSP. Herb Gale suffers a
heart attack followed by by-pass surgery.
Rev. Tom Kay serves as Interim Moderator during
Session accepts “term
Ann Clark takes charge
of the children’s choir.
with the architect on the possible options for an
addition to the church building.
The third Cancer
Survivors Day is organized by Westminster- St.
Paul’s. Dara Thompson receives the support of the
Session in her application to be a candidate for the
Term Service for Elders
is approved by the congregation.
The first Tenebrae
Service is held on Good Friday.
A number of new Elders are elected to Session.
comes to WSP as an Intern Student.
She is focused on families and children in the
church and she starts a women’s Bible study group.
The Guelph Male Choir
starts weekly practising in the sanctuary. Paul Mack
Associates (Architects) are hired to do a study in
preparation for a fund-raising campaign.
information re emergency arrangements and
information re funerals and memorials.
New lighting fixtures
are installed in the Sanctuary.
The mission project
raises money to support a soybean plantation in
The Kiwanis Music
Festival uses the church facilities for several
The first year of a
with the architect concerning an addition to the
A gift from Knox church
of a hearing-impaired system is gratefully received.
A Sunrise Breakfast is held before the Easter
The Children’s Library
is installed in a handsome cupboard built by Bob
The children’s choir is
directed by Ann Clark.
A toy teddy bear named
“Stu Bear” is introduced at the children’s time to
teach about stewardship.
A Seder meal is held at which the children are
Children take part in welcoming at the door.
There is a growth in
attendance at Sunday School. A “Kids activity table”
is set up in the Sanctuary to provide “quiet”
activities for the children prior to Sunday School.
The Nursery is
decorated and Sue Linton, with other volunteers,
takes responsibility for providing Nursery care.
Avace Barrie photographs
all the children in the
Sunday School so the congregation can get to know
Vacation Bible School
takes place in August.
The third Cancer
Survivors' Day is celebrated.
Sod is turned for an addition to the
building Sunday, May 4.
Architect is J. David McAuley
Features in the addition
include a large narthex, a new minister’s office, a
a library/lounge, a wheel-chair accessible exterior
ramp, a small elevator and a large nursery,
a youth room and wheel-chair accessible wash-rooms
on both levels.
The well-lit paved
parking- lot and handsome landscaping, complete the
Jennifer Donnelly comes
to WSP as the third Intern Student. Jennifer’s
interests led to the addition
of several new resources in the Children’s library,
and close work with children and families.
Herb Gale resigns to
take a job with Church Offices.
Jennifer is hired to stay at WSP until a new
minister is called.
Laura Hargrove is hired to fill in during the
pastoral vacancy left with the resignation of Herb
Rev. Karla Wubbenhorst
is called to WSP.
The manse is sold.
Some changes to assorted procedures are made, the
primary one being the change from accepting children
to partake in Communion to a decision to stop the
inclusion of children.
Session initiates new
groups: Christian Education and Nurture, FISH
(fellowship, inspiration, spirituality and
hospitality), Outreach and Worship. McGillivary
Circle is dissolved.
Carolyn Milke, Organist
for over 8 years, resigns.
The Alpha course is held.
The first edition of a
news letter “The Burning Bush” is published.
Brian Garner is hired as
The 50th Anniversary of Westminster-St. Paul’s is
celebrated with events planned for the whole year. A
commemorative banner is constructed and hung in the
Sanctuary with the motto for the year
year of Jubilee” – (Leviticus 25).