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On the Centennial Grace United Church [2006], we looked back with gratitude at the far sightedness of our forefathers.  In 1903, the largest group of British Immigrants to ever make the trek to Canada arrived in this area and "Lloydminster" was born.  The colony was named after Reverend Lloyd, who was one of the organizers, and the English term for a "mother church" - a "minster". Anglican followers built the first church in 1904.  The Methodists were meeting in the Immigration Hall.  In 1906, a small church, called the Wesleyan Church, was built on the same corner [50 Ave. at 47 St.] as our present church now sits. Southminster and Marshall were part of the Lloydminster Charge.  Later, each of these areas built churches for themselves.  The Gully School reported services led by the Methodist Minister in 1909.  The Minister traveled to many homes in the area before church buildings were erected.  In 1937, Hillmond came under the Lloydminster Pastorate.  These areas are all a part of our congregation now. Our rural people have been very important to our history, and have been vital to our congregation.

In 1920, the Wesleyan Church became known as Grace Methodist Church.  In 1925, the United Church of Canada was born, combining Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian congregations.  Locally, a number of the Presbyterian congregations joined the Methodists in what became known as Grace United Church, part of the Vermilion Presbytery.

"Praise to the Lord" - Psalm 113

Thirty-eight ministers have served the Lloydminster Pastorate over these 95 years. These leaders have each left a little bit of themselves with this congregation. Each person had their own special talents, and we have been fortunate to receive their legacy.

"And I will raise you up on eagles wings" - Psalm 91

Services at Grace have varied: morning and evening, just morning, two morning services, and two morning services as well as one evening service. The purpose has always been the same - to glorify God in study, prayer and praise. Our ministers and many lay people have led these services. Our congregation loves Special Services. From the earliest records, there were Christmas and Easter Cantata’s, a welcoming service for new ministers, parting services for clergy leaving, CGIT Vesper services, Graduation and Anniversary services. We are proud to continue with these many special occasions. The earliest issues of the Lloydminster Times show that our Church (Methodist at the time) carried out numerous Teas, Suppers and Lunches - a practice we continue today. These special occasions allow us to celebrate our Christianity, practice our humanity and feed both body and soul.

"Make a joyful noise all the earth; Sing to the Lord with gladness" - Psalm 100

Music, music, music. The Lloydminster Times tells of Musical Evenings right back to its first publications in 1905. Long, informative write-ups about the Church, report on special music and soloists included in the services. There have been Junior Choirs, Intermediate Choirs, Senior Choirs, Bell Choirs and combinations of these. The accompaniment has been provided on the organ, piano, bells, guitar, saxophone as well as wind instruments and the drums.  

Instrumental solos often add to our worship services. This congregation has come to expect an Anthem on Sunday morning, the Christmas Cantata and solos or other special music at every Church celebration. The last five years, the choir has presented a Gospel Service for the enjoyment of all. "Praise to the Lord" in music has been and still is a strong point of this congregation. The dedication of endless Musicians, Leaders, and Choir participants has made this possible.






"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord" — Psalm 122

The first church built had a capacity for 120 people and was dedicated to the glory of God on October 14th, 1906. The second building, (now our upper and lower halls), was built in 1949-1950. The basement was used for several months before the upper part of the building was finished. Many in our present congregation were married in the lovely new sanctuary between 1950 and 1961. Sunday School and all other functions were held in the basement. The third structure, our present sanctuary, was dedicated on October 21st, 1961. Offices, a meeting room and a narthex were built at the same time. The balcony was removed from the old structure and turned into a baby fold. A kitchen was built into the back of the Upper Hall, giving two levels for midweek and Sunday groups. In 1981, more renovations were made, with a car-port being removed and another office built. The narthex was doubled in size and a three story structure was added to the west end of the Upper Hall. This housed two more large Sunday School rooms, as well as a Choir room below.  

Although not physically part of our Church building, our fair booth has become as much a congregational gathering spot as our Upper Hall. The fair booth has been a great place for fellowship, hard work and fund-raising over the years. Many friendships have been formed and strengthened while cutting pies, serving fries or cleaning up. The first fair booth was an old building that had been hauled in during the Thirties. The "new" booth was built by the congregation in 1962. It was organized and operated by the U.C.W. from 1962 until 1988. As per an earlier agreement, the booth was turned over to the Exhibition Board in 1988. In 1990, the Exhibition Board sold it back to our Church for $1.00, and a fair booth committee was formed from the Congregation. This committee has operated the Grace United Fair Booth since that time. The booth has been an excellent source of fundraising, but also provides a service to the community. Until recent years, our booth was the only "indoor" booth at the Lloydminster Exhibition grounds.



"Let all creation bless the Lord" - Psalm 148

There was good reason for all the renovations and additions to the church. We were bulging at the seams. Through the late Sixties and early Seventies, Sunday School was being held in the Scout Hall, and private homes, as welt as every available corner of the church. The choir loft of the new church had been renovated within the first few years to hold the more than 90 voice Youth Choir. For a time, Sunday School was held in two shifts: at 9:30 and again at 11:00 A.M., to alleviate the congestion, but this was found not to be satisfactory. Even when two church services were held in the morning to coincide with Sunday School, it still split up families and friends from worshipping together. Mid-week programs included Bible Study, Tyros, CGIT, Explorers, Messengers, and A.O.T.S., and U.C.W. Communicant classes are held each year for youth and adults. Many Cubs, Scouts, Brownies and Guides have received their Religion and Life badges after several weeks of classes.  


"What does the Lord require of you" - Micah

The congregation of Grace United rents out space for a downtown Playschool, which is a need of our community. Through the years, free space has been provided to a large number of non-profit groups, especially health related groups. Members of this congregation serve the community on an endless number of boards, committees and associations. No matter what goes on in the community, you can be sure that there will be a United Church member playing a vital role.

"Service above Self" is the motto of Rotary, but it could be our motto as well. Our Mission Statement has been updated and changed through the years. This present one was compiled about 10 years ago after many hours of Soul Searching, Prayer and Study.


Reference material from Grace United Church Archives, scrapbooks, and the Lloydminster Times.

Anniversary notes by Marg Dumouchel. Compiled by Shirley Aston.


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GRACE UNITED

A CHURCH HISTORY


"Oh God our help in ages past, our hope for years to come" - Psalm 90

c. 1950’s - courtesy Keith Wright