OUR HISTORY 1870-2004
North Gower United Church
1870 – 2004
Our North Gower United Church today, erected in 1870, stands on a stately corner lot on 2332 Main Street in the centre of the village of North Gower. It originally was the Methodist Church in the North Gower Circuit, comprised of North Gower, Malakoff, Kars and Manotick. In 1874 North Rideau was added and in 1877 Kars and Manotick were separated from North Gower circuit and Carsonby then joined, as it is to date.
Before Union the Methodists and Presbyterians had a friendly relationship between congregations and voted to amalgamate its activities after the formation of the United Church of Canada at North Gower. This amalgamation was resolved on 17 August 1925 following the inaugural services of the United Church of Canada on 10 June 1925.
Those of the Presbyterian congregation, who wished not to unite, traveled to Kars Presbyterian Church. The former Presbyterian Church In North Gower remained vacant until the doors reopened in 1933 as the North Gower United Church Hall. This building was destroyed by fire on 8 Sept 1967. Two years later, Malakoff United Church closed with its last sermon being preached by Rev. J.D. Chapman in June 1968.
Serving from Church Union, 1925, a total of 12 ministers have served our church. In 2002, to date, Rev. Carolyn Buyers joined the North Gower United Church Pastoral Charge consisting of two churches located in North Gower and Carsonby.
In the year 2000, our church made the decision to adopt the Unified Board organizational guide as identified in The Manual 200-213 to replace the traditional Session/Stuart guideline. This tremendous administrative change allowed us to tap on all the available resources/expertise that a congregation can offer to create a single mission purpose. The change provided greater congregational participation, from the ringing of the church bell, to the serving of communion and the sharing of the decision-making process in the life and work of our church.
In 2002, Presbytery approved the new Board, which is comprised of the following groups/committees, Worship, Christian Education, Music, Finance, Stewardship, Outreach, Maintenance & Property, Pastoral Care, Internal Social activities, Nominating, Communication. Spiritually guided and supported by our Minister, Rev. Carolyn Byers-Insley, chaired by Mary Montgomery with secretary Wendy Branson, the board meets approximately eight times per year, for groups and committees to share/seek advice and acquire Board’s approval on its activities if needed.
The North Gower United Church will be celebrating its 134th anniversary in May 2004. Throughout these years the church building and grounds have experienced has seen major renovations. A newly renovated sanctuary was dedicated in 1987. Major renovations to the sanctuary and upper balcony were undertaken to allow the installation of an elevator in 1994. In order that time should not stand still, two electric clocks were installed in the bell tower, in addition, a parking lot was purchased in 2000.
The most recent huge undertaking was the installation of a new steel roof and painting of the church steeple in 2003, which creating a major and successful congregational fundraiser event in 2003. In 2004, the church was again challenged as a water well had to be drilled and a new notice board was erected. These challenges clearly mark and confirm that we are a very active, dedicated and supportive church family. A special prayer and thanks to our Maintenance Committee, Lloyd Montgomery, Garry Montgomery, Keith Ramsay, Garnet Finlay, Ken Hill who oversaw that all these challenges were dealt with.
The North Gower Church’s spiritual outreach and growth is also a great part of our church life. Our Worship Committee not only oversees our worship needs but have supported two Lay Ministers, Marg Hyland and Bridget Meszoros throughout their two years of study.
We are blessed with a growing active Sunday School. A children’s choir and a vibrant senior choir provides musical leadership for our weekly church services. A newly created youth group, shared with our Anglican friends, will provide that needed outreach within a young and growing community. Our every busy UCW, who nurture and looks after the general well being of our church and congregation as a mother does her young.
Also reaching out is our very busy and dedicated Stewardship Committee. This committee not only organizing our church’s Stewardship fundraiser events, such as fashion and musical shows, annual Spring Fling luncheon/bake table/ bazaars, but tries to create through activities, programs and even worship, a sensitivity and awareness of generosity of one-self and of one’s givings. Our famous spring beef and fall turkey suppers, with it numerous of homemade pies, are also yearly attended and supported by our own congregation and surrounding community.
To learn more about North Goer United Church history, click the link below.