History of First Presbyterian Church, Collingwood

In 2015 we celebrated the 160th Anniversary of First Presbyterian Church on Sunday June 7th. The Rev. Doug Schonberg, who was associate minister at First from 1995-1998, was the guest speaker at both the 9 and 10:30 a.m. services. Doug's wife, Wendy, accompanied him. Also in attendance was Rev. Wally Little and his wife Audrey. Wally was minister at First from 1993-1998. It was wonderful to have both ministers here at the same time to fellowship and renew old acquaintances. Three delicious cakes were enjoyed in the Lower Hall, with Doug, Wally, Isabel Wilson and Rev. Tim cutting and serving.

 Below please see timeline of growth from 1855 to present

  • 2017:  Julia Sheffield called to the full time position as Director of Youth & Family Ministries
  • 2017:  Catherine Brown called to the part time position as Director of Pastoral Care
  • 2015:  Celebrated 160th anniversary.  Rev. Doug Schonberg returned to provide the message on June 7
  • 2015:  Grenville Bray called to full time position of Director of Youth & Family Ministries
  • 2014:  Replace sanctuary lighting that was originally installed in 1990
  • 2014:  Rev. Carson Hansford called to part time position of Minister of Pastoral Care
  • 2011:  Rev. Lynda Graham called to part time position of Minister of Pastoral Care
  • 2010:  Sean Angel called to full time position of Director of Youth & Family Ministries
  • 2005:  October communion welcomed children for the first time
  • 2005:  179 Beech Street property purchased
  • 2004:  Rev. Karen Horst was called to co-minister
  • 2002:  Sale of manse at 212 Pine Street, Collingwood
  • 2000:  Rev. Tim Raeburn-Gibson called to co-minister with Rev. John Henderson
  • 1999:  Rev. John Henderson was called to minister
  • 1996:  First two women ordained to Session
  • 1995:  First time for two ordained ministers to serve congregation as team
  • 1995:  Rev. Douglas Schonberg called to minister
  • 1993:  Rev. Wallace I. Little called to minister
  • 1990:  An addition to the south side of the building was added with new entrance into the balcony and lower hall, along with an elevator
  • 1984:  Rebuilding of the lower hall and a room under the north transept
  • 1980:  Building of Douglas A. Wilson Christian Education Centre
  • 1977:  Rev. Douglas A. Wilson called to minister
  • 1966:  Rev. Marshall S. Jess called to minister
  • 1962:  Discontinued evening service
  • 1961:  Miss Dorothy McCombie, a member, was ordained as a Presbyterian minister
  • 1958:  Nursery completed, renovations of Board Room and Choir Room
  • 1957:  Rev. W.L. Young called to minister
  • 1954:  New sound system; extended parking lot; major renovations in sanctuary for 100th anniversary (i.e. 12 Elders chairs and one for the minister to match communion table donated, new pulpit, choir loft and pews, new carpet, light fixtures
  • 1953:  Dedication of Memorial Window in honour of those lost in WW2
  • 1952:  Digging out of church basement by volunteers for large recreation room
  • 1952:  First 3 women installed in Board of Managers, membership at 830
  • 1950:  Rev. Peter B. Reid called to minister
  • 1946:  Baptismal Font placed in the church be WA
  • 1945:  Church completely debt free
  • 1943:  Donation of communion table and silver cup service
  • 1942:  Memorial organ paid off
  • 1942:  Rev. J.R. Greig called to minister
  • 1939:  Rev. Charles Boyed called to minister
  • 1932:  A member, Bessie MacMurchy, was appointed to Bhil Field in India
  • 1926:  Manse purchased for $7,000.00 located on Pine Street.  Membership at 665
  • 1925:  Vote 396 to 130 to remain Presbyterian
  • 1925:  Rev. Wm. MacMillan called to minister
  • 1919:  Memorial organ installed and dedicated in memory of the 19 lost in war
  • 1918:  High death rate in membership due to flu epidemic
  • 1916:  Rev. Samuel Farley called to minister
  • 1914:  First World War - 116 men and 9 nurses went from congregation, 19 men killed in action
  • 1913:  Rev. D. Urqhart called to minister
  • 1913:  Nov 9 great storm killed 30 Collingwood mariners, 9 of w hich were members of First Presbyterian Church
  • 1910:  Rev. J.T. Thompson called to minister
  • 1906:  Galleries added to Christian education wing, a vestry for the minister and a basement kitchen
  • 1901:  Rev. J.A. Cranston called to minister
  • 1892:  Rev. D.L. McCrae called to minister
  • 1888:  Rev. John Campbell called to minister
  • 1885:  Wing installed at rear of church for Christian education
  • 1878:  New church building erected on present corner where manse was.  New organ installed
  • 1878:  Present lot purchased and manse relocated to a different lot
  • 1875:  Manse built at Maple and Third Streets
  • 1875:  Congregation becomes self-supporting & addition to church building
  • 1872:  Cemetery purchased on Poplalr Side Rd.  A caretaker`s residence was erected (sold in 1975)
  • 1872:  First Session established
  • 1862:  Rev. Robert Rodgers called to Minister
  • 1862:  First permanent minister called.  No organ.  Only preceptor
  • 1856:  First building erected at Ontario & Elgin Streets.    20ft x 30ft destroyed by fire.  Second building erected 26 ft x 36 ft.  Pulpit served by theological students
  • 1855:  Inception of Congregation