Fort McMurray First United Church Welcomes You

History of Fort McMurray Pastoral Charge

1966 March -First meeting of United Church with visiting clergy from Edmonton

-Services held every second Sunday with visiting clergy in Dr. Clark School

-UCW group and Sunday School established

1967 April 30 -Fort McMurray Pastoral Charge officially constituted as a

congregation within the United Church

1967 Fall -Joint services with Anglican Church

1970 Fall -Joint services with Anglican Church ended

-United Church searches for a minister

1971 June -Rev. Peter Joyce appointed to serve as first ordained

Minister of Fort McMurray Pastoral Charge

1974 July -Rev. Dale Irving was called to serve as minister

1975 February -Congregation decides to build their own church

-Services move from Anglican Church to Clearwater School

1978 May -Ground breaking ceremony on leased land – site of present church

1978 July -Rev. Ken Rentz was called to serve as minister

1979 Fall -Basement excavated

-Mortgage price rises to $440,000; design changed

-Construction continues for three years

-Congregation experiences many adversities through building phase – bankruptcy

of general contractor, rejection of structural design and overrun of budget

1982 July -Rev. Bob Harper called to serve as minister

1982 December -Exterior of church completed

1983 March 26 -First Sunday service held in new First United Church

-Debt load of $405,000 with high interest rates

1980’s -Community suffers setbacks due to low oil price, plant

layoffs and an extended strike at Suncor

-Congregation trains six intern ministers

1990 September -Rev. John Pressey called to serve as minister

1993 June -Rev. Rob Meintzer and Rev. Joan Heffelfinger called to

serve as ministers sharing a 1.25 position.

1990’s -Trained three interns

-Debt reduced significantly and 10% tithes are paid regularly to United Church

-Membership continues to ebb and flow with the price of oil and the tides

of employment at the plants, but overall remains steady

-Congregation remains busy and healthy working with the community

2000 October -Ian Otterbein provides lay ministerial support from Athabasca

2001 July -Rev. Joanne Knobbe called to a two year interim position

2004 January -Rev. Donna Harris called to serve as minister

2008 July -Rev. Terry Shillington provides interim ministry for one year

2009 July-2010 June -Services continue with Presbytery representative, Rev. Britt Jessen, lay leadership, and visiting clergy

2010 July -Rev. Donalee Williams is settled in Fort McMurray