Minto United Church in Moose Jaw, SK (29.html)


"Watch Us Grow!" This banner fluttered on horse-drawn wagons creaking their way to Minto Church's first congregational picnic. That was 60 years ago. The history of Minto Church since then reflects the vigorous growth and development of community life in the northwest corner of Moose Jaw.

Begun in 1911 as an outreach of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Minto organized its first congregation on February 19,1912, elected its first elders in August of that year, became self-supporting in 1922, voted for church union in 1925, erected a new brick Church building in 1955 and added an attractive and functional Christian Education building in 1962. From an original membership of 21 in 1912, Minto's congregation now stands at 641.

Progress through depression, war and booom years reflects strong spiritual leadership of Minto's ministers who rose to the challenge of their time.

The Reverend H.R.Read of St. Johns, New Brunswick, accepted the call on May 26, 1912, to become Minto's first minister. He serverd until 1921. Minto's progress continued under the leadership of the energetic Dr. M.C. McIvor, who in 1928 resigned to become General Secretary of the Saskatchewan Prohibition League. The Reverend R.D. Tanahill from Antler, Alberta, brought Minto through depression years engendering a calm faith during these difficult times.

The war years which followed saw the Reverend J.Y. McGookin's ready wit and good grace inspire the congregation. Mr. McGookin served from 1937 to 1954, a remarkable record of 17 years. An unprecendented boom welcomed Reverend L.H. Anderson's ministry. Church membership spiralled from 137 in 1954 to 715 in 1960. Although economic setbacks followed during the next few years, the Reverend C.R. McMurtry who took up the challenge in 1960, pressed for a new Christian Education building and the congregation saw this dream realized during his ministry at Minto.

When the Reverend H.J. Mullens answered the call to Minto Church in 1967, Christian churches all over the world were alarmed and perplexed by the rapid decline in church attendance and membership. His ability to make the gospel relevant prevented a drastic dropout of Minto's congregation.

On this 60th Anniversary, with Reverend Alex Lawson in the pulpit, Minto Church congregation is again flying the banner "Watch Us Grow!"

-------From the Church Directory [1972]

Source: Early History of Saskatchewan Churches

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