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The following is a history of Pine River United Church and its buildings, adapted from the "Pine River Presbyterian Church" - by Bob Courtney The first regular Presbyterian services were held in this community in 1862. A Kincardine minister, Rev. Walter Inglis, conducted the services. At the first service on March 16, the charter members of the congregation were received. They worshipped in the old S.S. No.1, Huron School house, and in May of that year the young congregation baptized John, Mary, and Janet Watson and celebrated its first communion service on Sunday, June 1. In December of that same year, the present site at Reid’s Corners, was selected to build a new church. Three Elders, William Wilson, Donald Blue and George Shiells, were nominated on Feb. 23,1863. At their ordination in April, the Rev. Walter Inglis threw down his tartan plaid for them to kneel on. The tender for the new church - to be 40-feet-by-30-feet - was let out Oct. 12,1863, to William Calley for the sum of $136. It was completed for worship on May 15,1864. Brush fires were a frequent occurrence at that time, and just four years after it was built, the new church burned to the ground. Nothing was saved except the pulpit Bible. Young Miss Jane Moore, later Mrs. Malcolm MacDonald, dashed into the flames and retrieved it. This Bible is preserved in a glass case in the narthex of the present church. Undaunted, the congregation set about to rebuild. In 1869, the new church was completed, Four years later, the first manse was built. Again William Calley was the builder. In 1900, Mr. Jack Tout laid a stone foundation under the church, and erected a lobby which served as a vestry on the west end, and a lobby on the east end which served as an entrance. He also covered the building in brick veneer. His total bill was $1,229. Over the next 50 years, various additions and improvements, such as stables and sheds, were built. I n 1951, the present manse was built jointly by Pine River and Bethel congregations. In 1958, the Pine River congregation decided to replace the old church. Its closing service was held on May 18 of that year, after which it was carefully dismantled and moved to the farm of Ian MacKenzie of Kincardine Township. The present church building was opened and dedicated to the larger glory of God on July 13,1958. At the time the new church was built, the minister was Rev. John C Hutton. The church was built by: · Contractor: H.E. Ratz Lumber Co.,Waterloo · Manager: Mr Herbert Gerster, Waterloo · Architect: Mr Charles Voelker, Waterloo - 2- · Foreman: Mr H. Bowman, Waterloo · Dedication and opening service was held July 13,1958 · Guest Minister for the morning service was Rev.D.D. Gaynor of Chatham · Evening service was taken by Rev. Duncan McTavish of London, formerly of Olivet · The mortgage on the church was burned on June 29,1964 · The cost of the church was $33,000 · $17,500 was received from the department of highways In 2000, the congregation discussed a vision of more space. Oct. 9, 2005, Doug Brown, Steve Caslick, Jean Colling, and Rev. Bob Putman turned the sod for the new addition. The new addition includes: · More Sunday school space · Elevator · Two new wheelchair-accessible washrooms on two levels · Multi-purpose room, named in memory of Gail Lowry, who played the organ in the church for 40 years · A nursery/cry room at the sanctuary area · A new minister's office and administration office and area · A new septic system · A new well, had already been drilled, with an ultraviolet water treatment system The new addition was built by Steve McPherson, a Lucknow-based firm, Hometown Custom Builder, for the general contractor. Volunteers of the church did all the trim, painting, parking lot, patios, walkways, landscape, and donations of hard materials were also made. The new addition was paid for with, donations, pledges, and by debentures. A formal dedication for the wing was held on Aug. 20, 2006, at the morning service by Rev. Robert Putman. In 2008, a steeple was erected on the church by the Appleton family in memory of Barb Funston Appleton. Lynn Brown bought the manse and moved it on Feb.17, 2006, from Concession 4 to Concession 8 in Huron- Kinloss. This made way for a larger parking lot. In 2012, part of the parking lot was paved. Pine River is a church which is known for music, starting in the earlier years with many solos, quartets, and choirs, many piano players and organists through the years, helping out with the services. Since the 1980s the music director Patt Lowry, organist Dianne Rotteau, and many piano and organ players have taken over when needed. The church has an outstanding choir, and the famous Cherub choir which has sung at other churches and with the Community Singers. The Pine River Strings plays for the congregation at special services. - 3 - Over the years, CGIT was held and the Youth Group has gone to, movies, skating, square dancing, skiing, had pizza parties, and for many years has worked on the Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child project. Sunday mornings, while church is going on, the Sunday School takes place with many capable leaders leading the children, with stories of the Bible and singing. Christmas concerts every year entertain the congregation, parents, and grandparents. The Women’s Missionary Society and the Ladies Aid, joined together and are now called the United Church Women. June 12, 2012, the UCW celebrated 50 years. What a difference a few years make as the ladies used to be called Miss or Mrs. - today they are called by their first name. UCW reaches out into the community by helping fire victims, Women’s House Serving Bruce and Grey, Children Aids in Bruce and Huron counties, and much more, including the famous Kountry Kitchen Bazaar. The ladies also collect used stamps, soup labels, greeting cards, cloth for bandages, used eye glasses, pop tabs, and grocery tapes. Comforters are also made, as well as cloth bags which are filled to go overseas and to northern communities. In 1979, the UCW decided to hold its first Kountry Kitchen Bazaar. It began in the church then overflowed over to the hall at Reid's Corners then moved to the Point Clark Community Centre. And in October, 2013, Kountry Kitchen will come back to the church. Kountry Kitchen has been a community outreach and extended families come from far and wide. The meat pies have been a success over the years. In 1999, the first musical concert was held, with the church choir and musicians from Huron and Kinloss townships. The concerts continued over the years to aid relief all over the world like 9/11 in the United States, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes. Thousands of dollars have been raised and sent to many disaster-afflicted areas. Food is collected every week for the Kincardine Food Bank which is in Kincardine at the Anglican Church. The Food Grains Bank is also another outreach program in which members of the congregation donate land to grow grains. In 1980-81 Pine River Church adopted a Vietnamese Family who moved to Toronto. Ladies started to come in 1989 to quilt and tie comforters every Tuesday morning. The men of the church meet Friday mornings for coffee and do repairs when required. Over the years, many marriages, baptisms, and funerals have been held at Pine River, and today the church is still growing, with a strong church family. - 4 - MINISTERS OF PINE RIVER UNITED CHURCH

  • · Rev. Walter Inglis, 1862-69
  • · Rev. William Graham, 1874-78
  • · Rev. John McFarlan, 1880-1909
  • · Rev. Charles Rutherford, 1911-19
  • · Rev. Gilbert Gomms, 1919-24
  • · Rev. D. L. Campbell, 1924-32
  • · Rev. J.C. Nicholson, 1932-43
  • · Rev. John C. Hutton, 1944-62
  • · Rev. Donald A. MacKenzie, 1962-1964
  • · Rev. Harold Pillen, 1964-67
  • · Rev. John C. Hill, 1967-1973
  • · Rev. Robert C. Putman, 1974-1982
  • · Rev. Robert Stokes, 1982-1987
  • · Rev. George Ball, 1987-1988, 1990 -1991
  • · Rev. Tom Crothers, 1988 -1990
  • · Norman Laird, 1991-1995
  • · Rev. Shirley McGregor McCuaig, 1995-1998
  • · Rev. Dr. G.. Paul Stemp, 1998-2000
  • · Rev. Robert Putman, 2001-2010
  • · Rev. Gordon Williams, 2010-2012
  • · Rev. Vicki Johnson, 2012-2020