History of Wasaga Beach United Church
In 1997: After a 40 year absence of a United Church in Wasaga Beach, a committee was formed in October, 1997 to start Wasaga Beach United Church. Public services were held in various buildings as well as parks. Toronto United Church Council purchased the current property which included a Christian school building and portables in 1998.
In 1998: The FIRST SERVICE was held in one of the portables Christmas, 1998 with Rev. Tom Lowry leading worship and from January to June 1999 Rev. Rudy Plug from St. John's United Church in Elmvale led the worship services. Our official opening was Sunday, April 18, 1999. Our first Minister, Rev. Fred Snyder, joined us in July, 1999 and before leaving in June 2000, a Plan of Organization was drawn up, and a Constituting Service held, which allowed Wasaga Beach United Church to become a full member of the United Church of Canada instead of a Mission church.
In 2000: Pastor Keith Lockhart D.L.M. and his wife Margaret joined us in July 2000 and the now growing numbers of members and adherents tackled renovation of the school in earnest to create a "church where people can find their way to God where everyone's gifts will be received and shared." The call and challenge now is to reach out further to invite those moving to the Beach to share the word of God, to prepare to expand our facilities and to prove that we are alive and well and ready to provide a facility for all ages and meet the needs of the community better. We are excited about the future and where God is leading Wasaga Beach United Church
In 2014: We were fortunate enough to begin the building of our new enlarged church.
In 2015: We moved into our new building, and began projecting our worship services onto the big screen for the whole congregation to read and sing from. We have welcomed many new members since that time, and continue to welcome more. Our church is fully wheel chair accessible and has hearing assistant aids.
In 2016: We welcomed our new Choir Director, Bonnie Potvin who has really enhanced our worship services with beautiful music. We still have a very dedicated group of volunteers who work at the Wasaga Ministerial Food Bank every week helping to provide food to those in need. Our future in this community looks very promising and with God's help we will continue to move forward spreading His word!
In 2017: We started thinking about our next expansion as our congregation was continuing to grow and space was getting limited for the many functions and services we hold. Our goal is to be able to accommodate young families with children as up until now it has been mostly seniors moving into the area and retiring. We have also been doing a great deal of outreach to the community providing summer BBQ's and concerts, monthly Open Mic Nights for those with musical talents and those wanting a relaxing night out, Euchre Club, sewing and knitting groups for fellowship, and many other activities. Some of the charities we have supported are Campbell House, the Town's Youth Group and United Church Missions.
In 2018: We voted in the spring to expand with more parking facilities and a building addition that will provide more space for our continuing growing congregation. We expect the shovel to be in the ground in the Spring of 2019. We invite you to stop in and share in our Sunday Services that start at 9:30 a.m. each Sunday. We are known to be a welcoming church and don't be surprised if you see someone there that you already know.
In 2019: In the summer of 2019 we started construction and things are well underway... we are undergoing a beautiful addition and some renovations to our current church building. We will be updating our progress in the near future. In December of 2019, Pastor Keith Lockhart retired after many years of ministerial service to Wasaga Beach United Church and also in his previous ministerial roles throughout Simcoe County. We all wish Pastor Keith a blessed, peaceful, and enjoyable very well-earned retirement and he will be greatly missed by the congregation and the community of Wasaga Beach and surrounding area to which he has so greatly and loyally served for so many years.
In 2020: In 2020 we saw the completion of the church expansion, which has been named Lockhart Hall.
This hall has been completed as well as many upgrades to the existing church sanctuary, existing fellowship area, parking lot and outdoor gardens. With the leadership[ of our Supervising Minister, Rev. Rudy Plug and the ministerial team of Rev. Rudy Plug, Rev. Calvin D. Evans and Rev. Sandra Ann McCarl the ministry of WBUC continued throughout the year of 2020. We thank Rev. Rudy, Rev. Calvin and Rev. Sandra Ann for their dedication and service to WBUC. While WBUC is a church that normally holds many activities on a weekly and monthly basis not just for the church members but for those in the community, many of these activities had to be cancelled in 2020 due to Covid. The church was still able to hold a couple of successful fundraising events, thanks greatly to the community, and all municipal Covid protocols were in place. The wonderful, hardworking and dedicated congregation members who volunteered, baked, made crafts and worked at these events and the members that supported these activities are the reason that WBUC succeeds in all that they do. With the challenges associated with Covid 19 for the church's ministering to occur, it adapted to many forms of communication, such as new restrictions and safety protocol's for in-church services when permitted and email services. As well, Zoom meetings occurred and an online newsletter has been happening so that the members could stay connected to their church family. Along with the retirement of Pastor Keith Lockhart in Dec. of 2019, brought the need to find a New Minister and the New Minister Search team worked very diligently to recruit an Interim Minister
They have successfully accomplished this goal and Rev. Jeff Werner will be joining WBUC in January of 2021. We are all very excited and awaiting the arrival of Rev. Jeff as he will lead the congregation of WBUC as it looks to the future. Covid might be altering the way people worship but the fellowship continues, as we all continue to use technology and other means of communication to worship and stay connected, while staying safe. We look forward to welcoming Rev. Jeff to WBUC and the leadership that he will bring to WBUC!
JANUARY 2021: We Extend a very warm welcome to Rev. Jeff Werner as he has arrived to lead the Ministry of Wasaga Beach United Church.