Sherwood Park history - The first churches

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Sherwood Park Fifty Years

The 1950's bring residents and their churches to Sherwood Park

The first service of what would become Salisbury United Church was held in the late 1890's in the home of George and Lova Ball. This church was established long before the idea of "Sherwood Park" had even occurred. The church, now located on Broadmoor Boulevard was moved when construction began on the Sherwood Park Freeway in 1964.

Soon after the first residents of Sherwood Park arrived in 1956, efforts began to establish other places of worship.

Ralph Johnson, who moved to Sherwood Park in February 1956, was instrumental in the establishment of the Anglican parish. The first Sunday school classes, comprised of 15 children, were taught in the Johnson's garage. The first service was held on November 11, 1956 in the Salisbury Rural School. It was attended by 13 people. Ralph's wife, Eileen, remembers playing the pump organ with someone sitting beside her to help with the pumping! The following year, an old parish hall was moved from Mannville to the corner of Fir and Ash Streets. In addition to Anglican services, it was used by many different denominations and community groups. The congregation moved in 1959 to a house on Conifer Street, where the vicar lived upstairs and the chapel was built in the basement. The current site of St. Thomas' Anglican Church on Raven Drive was dedicated in 1965.

In May of 1957, a survey of Sherwood Park residents was completed and it was determined that a new United Church could serve 200 families, including 400 children. The Sherwood Park United Church had its first service in the home of Tom Chappell, with the Sunday school across the street in Cliff Otto's garage. Later that year, space was rented in the Anglican Church on Fir Street and in 1958, services moved to Campbelltown School. The church opened its own building in 1960, but the growing Sunday school was housed in neighboring schools until 1965, when rooms were added to the church basement. Two further additions have been made to the church located on Fir Street, including a new sanctuary in 1982.

The first Roman Catholic Mass was celebrated in the late spring of 1958 in Campbelltown School. The Catholic Women's League formed that same year, along with a Men's Club, which became the Knights of Columbus in 1968. By 1959, one hundred Catholic families lived in the area and Father Kenneth Kearns was appointed resident parish priest. Fundraising for a new church building began and included turkey shoots, dances, bake sales and potluck suppers. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, located originally on Fir Street, was dedicated in 1961. OLPH School, the first school in the Catholic School District, opened in 1963. The church relocated to Brower Drive in December 1983 and the old building is now home to the Sherwood Park Presbyterian Church.

The Sherwood Park Alliance Church also got its start in 1958 with Sunday school classes held at Campbelltown School, with support from the Beulah Alliance Church in Edmonton. The first Sunday school picnic was held in a pasture at the corner of Baseline Road and Broadmoor Boulevard! In 1961, services moved to the Community Hall and in 1966, a new church on Sherwood Drive was dedicated. (It now houses the Sherwood Park Church of the Nazarene.) As the congregation outgrew its space, services were moved in 1971 to Salisbury Composite High School and again in 1975 to their present location on Wye Road. The Strathcona Christian Academy opened its doors to students in 1980.

Since the 1950's, other churches have established in Sherwood Park. When Sherwood Parks 25th Anniversary history book was published in 1983, there were 15 churches; this has grown to 25 in 2006.

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Last updated: Friday, December 01, 2017
Page ID: 42277