not the grandest church in Olde Walkerville, nor the oldest but
it does share a common denominator: the conviction of early members
to see their faith represented in solid form.
the fall of 1911, a committee was appointed by the Bruce Avenue
Church in Windsor to hold cottage prayer meetings in Walkerville.
By March 1912, a Regular Baptist Church was organized with 37 members
including 20 from the Bruce Avenue church under the leadership of
Rev. J. S. Hall, a student from McMaster University.
was purchased n 1914 for the construction of Walkerville's first
Baptist Church and the Ladies Mission Group swung into action selling
bricks to help pay for the construction. Their efforts were successful
and in January 1916, the structure was completed on the corner of
Windermere and Cataraqui at a cost of about $6,000.
the residence of Mr. Scott at 815 Windermere was purchased for use
as a parsonage. By 1921, the membership had increased to 275 and
the church was enlarged to accommodate 300 people comfortably. In
the mid-fifties, major renovations occurred to provide a new kitchen,
new study for the Pastor and a choir room.
four renovations have taken place including fairly recent ones that
provided handicap access into the church, an elevator and a side
1982, the present Pastor, Raymond A. McCready arrived to take over
leadership of the church. Part of his challenge has been to accommodate
the needs of the congregation which consists of younger members
who prefer the more modern approach to worship and the older members
who don't want to see tradition disappear.
years ago, a worship band accompanied by singers was formed that
offers a mix of traditional and contemporary music during the services.
This has proven to be a popular addition to the church, as has the
use of drama to bring biblical stories to life.
Baptist performs full immersion baptisms two or three times a year.
A baptismal tank is located at the head of the sanctuary. According
to Pastor McCready, the full immersion baptism symbolizes the death
and resurrection of Jesus Christ. "When the person is completely
submersed, he can identify with the death and burial of Christ.
As he comes up out of the water, he can now appreciate the resurrection
of Christ's life and the fact that God's life is in all of us."
baptisms are preformed on adults only. Children undergo a dedication
service with parental assistance but there is no water involved.
the last eighty-three years, the church has had seen many members
come and go. McCready recalls one former member, Harold Simmons,
who died about twelve years ago. "Harold was a talented violinist
who played for many of our services. Not only could he play the
violin but also knew how to make them. In addition, he was sought
after to repair violins for the area schools and music teachers."
summer, the church holds a vacation bible school. One summer during
the 1980's, a bat got into a classroom. "The kids thought it was
great," remembers Pastor McCready with a smile, "but one of the
two teachers wasn't too happy. She was worried that the bat would
get in her wig!"
performs a variety of good works including taking part in an international
effort called "Operation Christmas Child" which provides shoe boxes
full of small toys, school supplies, hygiene items, candies and
other items to needy children around the world.
home front, the church holds its bi-annual Small Household Goods
and Clothing Giveaway every November to provide area residents in
need with good, serviceable household necessities for free.