Historic Sites of Manitoba: Bethel Mission / Maclean Mission / Maclean United Church / Maclean Mission Apartments (730 Alexander Avenue, Winnipeg)
The Bethel Mission was established by the Methodist Board of Mission in 1894, with assistance from Thomas Argue and John [McLean] Maclean. The congregation worshiped at a small wood frame chapel on Dufferin, near Parr, in the North End of Winnipeg with capacity for about 130 attendees. In October 1900, the chapel was relocated to the southern junction of Alexander Avenue at Lulu Street, during which time services were temporarily held at the former Icelandic Lutheran Church at the corner of Nena Street [now Sherbrook] at Pacific Avenue. Now at 730 Alexander, the building was expanded in 1904 based on architectural designs of Alexander D. Melville and William N. Melville, with Maurer Brothers as contractors. The $2,300 improvements enlarged the building to 29 feet by 40 feet and more than tripled seating capacity to 500, including space in Sunday School rooms as well. The renovated facility was reopened on 27 November 1904. In early 1917, the congregation came under the auspices of the Young United Church and the mission was renamed Maclean Mission in commemoration of Reverend Maclean. In June 1921, that structure was demolished.
The Maclean Mission was opened by Manitoba College Principal John Alexander MacKay on 11 December 1921 and dedicated by Rev. Dr. S. D. Chown on 18 December 1921. The new two-storey brick building was designed by architect John Nelson Semmens and built by contractors Wyatt & Ireland Company. It was completed at a cost of about $30,000, paid for by the Methodist Board of Mission, as a Mission Church and Sunday School facility. Around the mid-1920s, it became known as the Maclean United Church, operating as such into the 1960s. On 14 November 1943, an Honour Roll with 97 names listed was unveiled by Lieutenant-Governor Roland Fairbairn McWilliams.
After the congregation disbanded, the church was converted into a six-unit apartment block.
Photos & Coordinates
City of Winnipeg Building Permit 1549/1904, City of Winnipeg Archives.
City of Winnipeg Building Permit 2301/1921, City of Winnipeg Archives.
“City and general [There will be no service in Bethel Methodist ...],” Manitoba Daily Free Press, 20 October 1900, page 16.
“The death of Rev. T. Argue,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 18 September 1902, page 4.
“Tenders [additions and alterations - Bethel Methodist Church],” Manitoba Free Press, 29 September 1904, page 2.
“Reopening of Bethel Church,” Manitoba Free Press, 26 November 1904, page 6.
“Local briefs [Welcome to new Pastor],” Winnipeg Tribune, 8 August 1911, page 5.
“Methodist [Bethel Methodist Church],” Manitoba Free Press, 7 October 1911, page 11.
“Sunday Church Services [Bethel Mission 730 Alexander Avenue],” Manitoba Free Press, 11 October 1913, page 31.
“Young to celebrate birthday,” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 January 1917, page 23.
“Methodist [Maclean Mission],” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 June 1917, page 8.
“Observe anniverary of Maclean Mission,” Manitoba Free Press, 19 February 1919, page 41.
“To welcome pastor,” Manitoba Free Press, 26 July 1919, page 11.
“Methodist Deaconess will serve in China,” Manitoba Free Press, 4 June 1921, page 42.
“MacLean Mission to open Sunday,” Manitoba Free Press, 10 December 1921, page 30.
“Opening services held in McLean [sic] Mission,"” Manitoba Free Press, 12 December 1921, page 3.
“Maclean Mission concludes anniversary festivities,” Manitoba Free Press, 20 November 1923, page 9.
“Reception for Minister,” Winnipeg Evening Tribune, 31 July 1924, page 10.
“Rev. John MacLean, pioneer missionary of west, is dead,” Manitoba Free Press, 8 March 1928, page 7.
“Church will mark its 40th anniversary,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 December 1934, page 9.
“Maclean United,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 November 1943, page 7.
“Maclean United Church celebrates 65th year,” Winnipeg Tribune, 30 May 1959, page 9.
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Preparation of this page was supported, in part, by the Gail Parvin Hammerquist Fund of the City of Winnipeg.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 19 March 2023