Posted by: Kathy Krywicki
Now in its 80th year, Southminster United Church was formally dedicated on January 10, 1932. From the Ottawa Citizen January 11, 1932, this is one of many stories published that day about the new church.
Southminster United Dedicated With Simple But Deeply Impressive Services
The stately edifice of Southminster United was yesterday officially added to the number of beautiful churches of the United Church of Canada, as all families of the devoted congregation gathered for the dedication ceremonies. The main auditorium and gallery of the church were filled by 10:30 o’clock in the morning. The overflow audience was accommodated in the Sunday School Hall and commodious social hall of the basement, a special public address system enabling these members of the congregation to hear the entire service. The same held true in the evening.
Ideally located, beautifully lighted, imposing of interior and exterior, Southminster is modern in every detail. Citizens of Ottawa South and Glebe districts demonstrated their pride in the building by the large attendance.
The morning service of dedication was impressive in its simplicity. First came the statement of dedication by Rev. Russell McGillivray, respected minister of the church.
“This church”, he said, “has been erected as a living testimony of the belief of this congregation in the yearning for God; the desire to know, love and follow the mind, way and life of Jesus; and the determination to have things good, beautiful and true prevail for all mankind.”
After the congregation had responded according to the order of the service, the minister led in prayer. Followed the pronouncement of the dedication:
“This building is now, as it has been in all planning, set apart by your hearts’ desire and words of dedication to all those greater uses in the life of people that have to do with God and Jesus Christ.”
Six Infants Baptized
A hymn was sung, “The Church’s One Foundation”. An interesting part of the ceremony was the baptism of six infants by the minister and Rev. Dr. W.H. Sedgewick, of the Metropolitan Church, Toronto, special preacher at both services.
The large organ of the new church was heard to excellent advantage, touched by the hand of Cyril J. L. Rickwood, director of music and organist. The choir was also heard in the anthem “I Was Glad” by Elvey.
A Healing Influence
Dr. Sedgewick proved himself an able preacher as he stressed the benefits to be obtained from churchgoing.
“Why go to church, build churches, maintain them?” he asked, approaching his subject from its beginning.
The speaker held a man found a quiet healing influence in church. The church was a sanctuary.
“The church offers a true sense of life’s values amidst the world’s shifting fashions,” he declared. “It provides a reinvigoration of ideals in the face of life’s insinuations and difficulties.” He ended with a prayer for the progress of the church.
At Evening Service
Dr. Sedgewick again spoke in the evening, an equally large congregation following his remarks with keen interest. Mr. McGillivray again occupied the pulpit for the order of the service.
Two anthems were sung by the choir in the evening. The first of these was “Achieved Is the Glorious Work”, a composition of Haydn. The second anthem rendered was “Worthy is the Lamb” by Handel. The choir also provided another feature of the service, when the evening prayer had been completed. It sang a response written by John Oxenham, famous British author, and set to music by the church’s own musical director, Mr. Rickwood.
Rally in the Afternoon
An enthusiastic rally was held by the Sunday School in the afternoon, at which preparations were made for a year of activity. A busy time is certainly planned for the church this week. On Tuesday evening at 8 o’clock, a congregational meeting will take place at which Mayor J.J. Allen will speak. Rev. C.F. Logan, of McLeod Street United church, and other ministers will also be heard. Then on Thursday at 8pm there will be the congregational “at home”.
Of outstanding interest to Southminster adherents will be the special service next Sunday. At this service Rev. G.A. Macdonald, former minister of Calvin United church, and Rev. H.L. Morrison, former minister of Ottawa South United church, will deliver special messages. Ottawa South and Calvin are the two churches which were merged to form Southminster. The congregational supper takes place on January 19.
Many comments were heard yesterday on the beauty of the church and its marvellous situation. Tours of inspection were made by many members of the congregation and all expressed themselves as gratified with their new home of worship. Hopes were expressed that the ultimate future of the church would be more glorious than its present.
Both services were broadcast over radio station CKCO. Messages from Ottawa and district poured into the church following the morning service and Rev. Mr. McGillivray expressed his pleasure at the evening service for the many kind wishes from the listeners of the air.