Grace-Westminster’s story begins as the story of two neighbouring congregations in the Nutana area of Saskatoon – one Methodist and one Presbyterian. The earlier congregation was the “Methodist Mission” established at the beginning of Saskatoon as a settlement on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River. As the new community struggled to survive and develop an identity, so, too, did that first congregation. Early services were held in whatever space was available, including the open air, pioneer homes and the Stone School. Worship leaders included John Lake and his brother Silas, as well as local lay people and student missionaries sent by the Methodist Church.
The present church property was obtained in 1884. The first Official Board meeting was held in 1886 and a new church was dedicated on this site on January 15, 1893. When that building was replaced in 1910, the congregation took the name Grace Methodist Church, thereby honouring Grace Fletcher, one of its early members.
Knox Church, the first Presbyterian congregation in Saskatoon, started across the river. When that church moved northward to its present location, a new Presbyterian congregation was founded in Nutana. Thus “Westminster” was born in 1913. This was a time of rapid growth for Saskatoon and many Nutana area residents transferred from Knox to Westminster. Built at 12th Street and Eastlake Avenue, two blocks north of Grace, Westminster quickly became a strong congregation. Both churches became part of the new United Church of Canada in 1925. They continued as friendly neighbours for many years, each with its own distinctive program and loyal congregation.
As Saskatoon continued to expand, younger families and leaders of both churches transferred to new congregations in the suburbs thereby affecting attendance and finances of both Grace and Westminster Churches. By 1968 circumstances seemed appropriate for amalgamation. Grace had added an auditorium, new offices and Sunday School rooms, and it was chosen as the home of the new Grace-Westminster congregation.
In the years since amalgamation, many “former things” have passed away, and the church is constantly experiencing “new beginnings,” whether it be in ministry, membership, governance, community outreach, demographics, or online services. Who knows what the future will bring. We trust that in all we do we might be faithful stewards of God’s blessing.