The long and colourful history of St. Mark’s United Church can be traced back to 1859 when the church was first formed as a Methodist Society. Services were initially held in the home of Rev. Dr. Robert Wilson, who became the congregation’s first minister.
The first actual church building was built in 1861 and opened the following year as the Fairville Wesleyan Methodist Church; 22 years later, the name would be shortened to simply the Fairville Methodist Church. Sadly, both the church and manse were destroyed by two separate fires in 1892. A second church was started in 1893, being constructed on a new building site on Church Avenue, but a mere three months after the corner stone was laid, this too was destroyed by fire in August, just as it was nearing completion.
Undeterred, the congregation started to rebuild yet again and on January 13, 1895, the new church was officially opened and dedicated by Rev. Douglas Chapman.
In 1925, the church agreed to join the newly formed United Church of Canada (which was initially comprised of Methodists, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists) and the next year, under the direction of Rev. H. B. S. Strothard decided to change the name of the church. St. Mark’s United was overwhelmingly chosen, actually garnering more votes than the other three proposed names combined!
By the 100th anniversary, the congregation had outgrown the building, so a new building was proposed, to be constructed on a generously donated parcel of land from Mr. Dexter. In June of 1960, the sod-turning ceremony was celebrated and the laying of the cornerstone of our current church was held in December of that year. The next year, the new St. Mark’s United Church was ready and was dedicated on September 10, 1961 by Rev. Kenneth Findley.
2009 marks the 150th anniversary of St. Mark’s as a worshipping congregation. May God grant us the grace and strength to continue giving God all honour, glory and praise for another 150 years!