1970s

1972 & 1973 The City of Edmonton developed and began selling serviced lots in Mill Woods, which consisted of nine square miles of farmland the city had purchased as a land bank experiment. Edmonton Presbytery of the United Church of Canada bought a block of un-serviced land consisting of 14 lots that they held for a future United Church site at 38th Avenue and Grand Meadow Crescent. Later, 7 of these lots were serviced and sold for residential purposes to recover part of their investment and ownership costs.

1974, Dec. 8 The first United Church service was conducted at Grace Martin school jointly by Rev. Stuart MacLeod of Knox-Metropolitan United Church, and Rev. Ian MacMillan of St. Paul’s United Church. Services continued for a few months as other visiting ministers took turns conducting services.

1975, Jan. Rev. Douglas Berry was appointed pulpit supply by Edmonton Presbytery and continued to conduct services at Grace Martin School. During the summer months, services continued in private homes.

1975, Sept. 8 Services resumed in the music room at Grace Martin school with 30 adults in attendance and 25 children registered in Sunday School.

1975, October The Mill Woods United Church Directive Committee was formed by a nucleus of eight people to build a foundation for a formal organization.

1975, Dec. 31 By year-end our congregation had grown to about 60 families with 40 children in Sunday school.

1976, Feb Edmonton Presbytery extended financial support for a Minister and Knox-Metropolitan United Church extended help for the Sunday School after meetings with our Directive Committee.

1976, May Edmonton Presbytery announced that Rev. Bill Beach had accepted the position of Church Extension Minister for a 3-year period and would spend half his time with the Mill Woods congregation. He conducted his first service on August 28, 1976.

1976, Nov. 14 At Grace Martin school gymnasium an evening Service of Constitution of Mill Woods United Church was jointly conducted by Rev. Stuart MacLeod, Rev. Aubrey Edworthy, and Rev. Ray Leppard, on the initiative of Edmonton Presbytery, our Minister and the Directive Committee. There were 48 charter members inducted and about 250 United Church members attended this service in a gesture of support from various other congregations in the city. This service of constitution elevated us from being a mission of the United Church to being an official congregation. By the end of 1976 the congregation had grown rapidly and there were now about 90 children in Sunday school.

1977, May 15 The congregation decided that a building (later dubbed “The Church House”) should be built in Mill Woods to provide us with office and mid-week group space. The minister’s temporary rented office space at Avonmore United Church would not be adequate in the long term. Planning for this project took place during the next year.

1977, Sept. Services were moved from the music room to the gymnasium at Grace Martin due to the rapid growth of the congregation and the Sunday school expanded to 125 children.

1978, Apr. 16 A House Action Committee was established to look after decisions concerning the building of the church house. Mortgage loans were obtained, $40,000 from Knox-Metropolitan United Church, and $10,000 from the United Church of Canada.

1978, October Construction of our Church House was begun on one residential lot the congregation purchased from Edmonton Presbytery at 27 Grand Meadow Crescent. A slightly modified 1,217 sq. ft., residence-type, 3 bedroom bi-level house with a fully developed basement level was chosen as being the most flexible to accommodate our need for offices and working space. A pre-fabricated shell package was purchased from Beaver Homes Ltd. so that our own congregational volunteers could easily do most of the erection and finishing, with limited sub-contracting required. It was completed during the fall and winter, and “officially” opened on June 10, 1979.

1979, July 1 Rev. Bill Beach was called as our first full-time minister after completing his 3-year appointment to Mill Woods United as Church Extension Minister from New Church Development, of Edmonton Presbytery.

1979, Dec. Christmas Service was the first service held in the Church House. By now there were over 200 families in the congregation with 225 children registered in Sunday school.