The Early Days:
Although the actual structure that was to become Crawford Park United Church was not begun until 1947, the actual community of faith began to form much earlier. This small group of people who met in the little red schoolhouse would eventually form the nucleus of Crawford Park United Church.
In the growing community of Crawford Park, a dozen or so faithful souls felt the need to gather together on Sundays to worship in some form of the Protestant faith. Permission was secured to use the two classrooms of the little red schoolhouse then standing on the corner of Lloyd George and Churchill Avenues. The Rev. Wilkinson came out to lead these services each Sunday beginning in the early 1940's and continuing until 1944. As time went on about 34 to 45 hardy citizens braved the pioneer conditions prevailing in the schoolhouse and supplied the enthusiasm and fellowship that more than made up for any lack of comfort.
In 1942 their Sunday collections amounted to $236.58 and in 1943 had swelled to $327.25.
As the word spread that a service was held each Sunday, the congregation sometimes filled all the desk seats and available chairs and those in charge at the door would hurriedly borrow kitchen chairs from the nearest homes to seat the overflow.
Begun as a joint community Church to serve the needs of the Protestant people of Crawford Park and neighboring environs, the present building of what is now Crawford Park United Church was begun in 1947. With such funds as could be given or pledged by members, adherents and friends and with the help of the Home Mission Board of The United Church of Canada, the group meeting in the little red schoolhouse planned and prepared the basement of what was later to be completed as the splendid Church which now stands on Clemenceau Avenue. A six roomed manse was constructed as well, and in February of 1948 the congregation began to hold its meetings in the basement hall of its own building.
After Mr. Wilkinson gave up the charge in the fall of 1944,the Rev. Meech carried on. The Rev. J.K. Brown took overall responsibility for the Church and filled in when needed. During the period from 1944 to 1947 the Rev. O. Stevens, Rev. Starkey and Rev. Williams supplied leadership briefly. The Rev. Douglas Reed, the Rev. W. Morris and the Rev. R. Purvis Smith came for somewhat lengthier periods. In 1947 Rev. J.C. Downing came from Greenfield Park and continued services in the schoolhouse and then took charge of the Church congregation preaching there in the morning and traveling to St. Jerome in the afternoon to hold evening services there.
Sunday School sessions began simultaneously with the Church services and continued diligently through the years offering leadership and training in Christian living to all children in the vicinity. The first Sunday School party was held in 1942 in the schoolhouse, and these festivities became an annual event. In 1948 the party was held in the present Church basement hall.
In 1944 the Women's Auxiliary (W.A.) was organized under the leadership of Mrs. Oke and Mrs. Hepworth and the group held regular monthly meetings in the homes. Soon the membership and popularity of this organization made a larger meeting place imperative, and in 1948 the basement hall made it possible to extend the hospitality and interests of this group.
Late in 1944, the Women's Missionary Society (W.M.S.) was begun under the leadership of Mrs. Maud Hall, gradually assuming responsibility for the extension of spiritual welfare in missionary work and younger groups.
C.G.I.T., Explorer and Mission Band groups were formed to service the needs of girls from ages 6 to 16. Cubs and Boy scouts began to meet weekly in the hall.
Beginning with a piano and small group to lead the singing in the schoolhouse, the choir met faithfully and unceasingly to prepare music to enhance the atmosphere of worship as the congregation moved on from the schoolhouse to the basement hall. It was very fortunate that upon completion of the Church and the gift of an electric organ from the Men's Club, a gifted and willing organist Mr. W. Hindle arrived in the district. Under the leadership and training of Mr. Hindle the music of the services contributed much to the enjoyment of the congregation.
Early historical sketch by church member (Author unknown)
A Chronology of Significant Events :
1939 - 1944 Crawford Park began as a Home Mission Field in the fall of 1939 when Rev. J. Wilkinson arranged regular Church services and Sunday School in a two-room Protestant school building located on the corner of Churchill and Lloyd George.
1944-46 Rev. J. Wilkinson retired in the Fall of 1944, due to sickness. Rev. J.K. Brown was appointed Supervisor of Pastoral Supply in February 1945.
1944-1945 Mr. M.O. Stevens was student supply
1945-1946 Rev. W.A. Morris supplied until May 1946
1946-1947 Rev. R.Purvis Smith supplied until May 1947
February, 1945, the Board of Stewards was organized and the congregation was officially constituted in March of the same year.
1944 The W.A. was organized under the leadership of Mrs. Oke and Mrs. R. Hepworth
July, 1945 Lots on Clemenceau Street were purchased for the new church building
September, 1946 Registers of Civil Status were secured.
February 1947 Permission to erect a church hall in the form of a basement for a Church was granted by Presbytery. In July permission to erect a manse was given.
1947 A properly constituted Official Board was formed. A Board of Trustees was also formed. The church decided on a seven year plan for the construction of the church basement and super-structure. In the summer of 1947 Rev. J.C. Downing was appointed Minister of Crawford Park Church. The cornerstone of the present building was laid on November 23, 1947.
November, 1952 the completed Church was dedicated in a special service and the first Sunday Service was held on Sunday, November 9, 1952 at 11 a.m.
1957 Crawford Park United Church moved from a mission to a fully independent status.
1967 The Centennial project was the reconstruction of the church basement.
1979 The burning of the mortgage took place on November 24, 1979
1972-73 Crawford Park became a shared pastoral charge with St. Paul United
1976 Crawford Park became a shared pastoral charge with Verdun United
1987 Crawford celebrated its 40th. Anniversary
1997 Crawford celebrated its 50th. Anniversary
based on the info from this chronologial timeline,.it looks like this Church will be celebrating it's 60th this year......................???