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100 YEARS

WESLEY

UNITED CHURCH

Rev. Heather M. McClure

SUNDAY MORNING

10:30 A.M. WORSHIP

OTHER SERVICES & EVENTS

AS ANNOUNCED 



5964 Notre Dame de Grâce
N.D.G., Montreal


514-484-7221 
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Our History

 

The first Methodist prayer services, of what would become Wesley United Church, were held in homes beginning in January 1913.  On July 12, 1913 the first worship service was held, in the McConnell home on Clifton, but when membership reached 18 people a tent was pitched on the corner of Sherbrooke and Melrose to accommodate the growing membership. The tent served as a suitable “church” until it was blown away in an October storm.  The congregation, not discouraged, met in the Melrose Hardware store for services until a portable wooden building was erected on the same spot as the tent.

 

On December 1, 1913, Wesley Methodist Church was named and land for the future church was purchased on the corner of Draper and Cote St. Antoine.  By 1916 membership had grown to 119 souls and the congregation saw that it was time to build its first permanent building.

 

By 1918, a two story Sunday school building was planned for the Draper Avenue property.  The front of the lot was preserved for the future sanctuary.  When the building opened in 1919, there were 65 children enrolled in Sunday School. However, with the growing development of NDG and Church Union in 1925, it became clear that a larger church than planned would be needed as Wesley Methodist Church became Wesley United. 

 

The land for the current church was acquired in January of 1926, with construction beginning in May of the same year.  The first service in the sanctuary was held in January of 1927.  By 1931 the Sunday school building was completed and the many rooms and large halls it housed were essential to the busy ministry happening at Wesley. 

 

Despite the hard times that came with the Depression years, the 1930’s saw continued growth and the congregation blossomed to 2,200 members by 1938.  Growth continued during the years of WW2 with more than 3800 members and adherents by1947.

 

With the postwar baby boom in high gear, the congregation remained steady during the post war period, but with the rise of secularism in the 1960’s, Wesley began to experience some decline.  By 1964, membership had slid to 1500, a drop of 1000 in a mere 15 years. The decline continued and by 1971 it had nearly halved to 846 members.  The exodus of the 1970’s further decimated the Wesley ranks.  Decline continued in the 1980’s and 1990’s and there were many who forecasted the end of Wesley.

 

However, despite the many ups and downs over the years, Wesley has not lost faith.  Beginning in the late 1997, with the granting of heritage status by the province of Quebec, Wesley has renewed its building and life through a variety of renovations inside and out.  A detailed description of the major renovation in 2004 is described in How the Wesley Community Centre Came to Be – PDF.  Most recently we have had the chancel painted and the “Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness” inscription restored over the chancel arch.  In addition to the physical changes, Wesley has enjoyed some growth in our congregation in the last two years and we celebrate the energy these new members and adherents have brought to us.

 

Ministers at Wesley

1913 – Rev. W.E. Baker, Minister of Westmount Methodist, conducted prayer services.

 Mr. A.S. Doggart, Student Minister

1914 – Mr. R.W. Armstrong, Student Minister

1915-18 – Rev. F.J. McClement

1918-24 – Rev. Dr. Robert Smith

1924-47 – Rev. B.B. Brown

1935- 44 – Rev. R.B. Hallett, Assistant Minister

1944-46 – Rev, Cameron Quigley, Assistant Minister

1947-64 – Rev. Dr. Norman McMurray

1948-53 – Rev. Robert S. Beal, Assistant Minister

1964-69 – Rev. Donald J. Miller

1969-70 – Rev. Dr. Stanley B. Frost, Interim Minister

1970-83 – Rev. Alex J.T. Henderson

1985-85 – Rev. Dr. Stanley B. Frost, Interim Minister

1985-97 – Rev. P. Anne Hall

1997-99 – Rev. Dr. Stanley B. Frost, Interim Minister

1999-2006 – Rev Martha Nell Thomson

2006-Present – Rev. Heather McClure