Manitoba Historical Society
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MHS Centennial Organization: Crescent Fort Rouge United Church

Fort Rouge Methodist Church, the earliest founding church of Crescent Fort Rouge United, began as a mission congregation of Grace Methodist Church, which used to stand on the corner of Notre Dame and Portage in downtown Winnipeg. In 1883, when the decision was made to found a congregation south of the Assiniboine River in the new Fort Rouge district, the area consisted only of scattered residences.

For the first four years, the congregation held services in Gladstone School, and was served by a minister who divided his time between Fort Rouge and McDougall Methodist Churches. (McDougall Methodist was located on Main Street North.)

On Sunday, 21 August 1887, amidst much fanfare of opening ceremonies and celebrated with social events, Fort Rouge Methodist Church, on the corner of Stradbrook Avenue and Scott Street, was dedicated to the glory of God.

The other founding church of Crescent Fort Rouge United was Crescent Congregational Church, formerly located at the corner of Arbuthnot Street and McMillan Avenue. The church was erected there in 1910; young people’s work was always a prominent feature of the church’s activities. In Minute books of Crescent Congregational Church, mention was made of evening church services in 1920, when the capacity of the church was taxed to the limit with members of the Young Worshippers League sitting on the platform. Tuesday evenings during the summer, La Verendrye School grounds were made available and baseball proved popular; a “married” and “singles” team competing. References were made throughout the minutes to the love and appreciation of the pastor who served the congregation.

In 1930, an effort was made to bring about a local union between Crescent and Fort Rouge United Churches, but too many obstacles were found and the matter was dropped. In the early months of 1935, the situation was once again surveyed and after some consideration, a plan was developed for a provisional union for a period of two years. During this time, the minister of Crescent Church assumed the care of both churches, with most of the activities centred in the Fort Rouge building. The Crescent building continued to provide facilities for the Sunday School and Young People’s work. At the end of two years, the two congregations in separate meetings, decided on the permanency of the plan. On 1 July 1937, the united congregations became Crescent Fort Rouge United Church. The Crescent property was sold in 1944 to the St. John Ambulance, and in 1943 the parsonage at 346 Stradbrook Avenue was sold and a new one purchased at 886 Dorchester Avenue.

An MHS Centennial Organization Award was presented by Jacqueline Friesen on 16 April 2004.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Fort Rouge Methodist Church / Crescent - Fort Rouge United Church (525 Wardlaw Avenue, Winnipeg)

Page revised: 16 May 2015

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