Prairie Spirit United Church is a newly amalgamated community of faith serving the former congregations Kirkfield Park United, Silver Heights United, and Sturgeon Creek United, in St. James, a suburb in the city of Winnipeg.
This amalgamation took place October 1, 2018. Dedicated on Sunday, October 6, 2019, the first anniversary of our amalgamated congregation, the Prairie Spirit Banner hangs in the sanctuary as a representation of the name of our church.
This amalgamation is an outcome of ten years of prayerful and intentional engagement amongst the St. James United Churches. The initiative was called Open Doors and began with a membership of Silver Heights, Sturgeon Creek, Kirkfield Park, Crestview United Churches and was later joined by St. Charles and Headingly United Churches.
Kirkfield Park United Church
Kirkfield Park United Church had existed in Winnipeg since 1954. A Sunday School was organized in the Kirkfield Park district in 1954 by Mr. R. Burrows, student minister of St. Charles-Headingley. Sunday School services were held on Portage Avenue, in the Ladies’ Auxiliary Building of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Church services began in 1956 and were held, along with Sunday school services, in the Municipal Hall until 1958. In 1957, the Church Extension Council of Winnipeg Presbytery purchased a site at 472 Kirkfield Street and a temporary prefabricated building was moved to the Kirkfield Park site. The temporary building was dedicated by the congregation in 1958. In 1960, Kirkfield Park United Church became officially recognized as a self-sustaining charge. Construction of a permanent church structure began in 1962, and on February 3, 1963, the new Kirkfield Park United Church was opened and the sanctuary was dedicated. On January 1, 1972, Kirkfield Park United Church and Crestview United Church amalgamated to become the United Church of Assiniboia. However, for a variety of reasons, the amalgamated congregation of Assiniboia faltered and a request was made of Winnipeg Presbytery in April of 1973 to reinstate the two separate charges of Kirkfield Park and Crestview, as had existed prior to January 1, 1972. Kirkfield Park United Church was previously located at 472 Kirkfield Street.
Silver Heights United Church
Silver Heights United Church had existed in Winnipeg since 1954. In 1954, the Church Extension Council of Winnipeg Presbytery purchased property at the corner of Garrioch and Mount Royal in the community of Silver Heights. One year later, a portable building was moved from Westworth United Church to the site. In 1957, the Silver Heights United Church Christian Education Building was opened and dedicated. In June of 1965, Silver Heights United Church dedicated a new sanctuary. Silver Heights United Church was located at 199 Garrioch Avenue.
Sturgeon Creek United Church
Sturgeon Creek United Church has its roots as a local ministry unit sanctuary Methodist/Congregationalist/Presbyterian/Local Union/Aboriginal congregation prior to Union in 1925. Sturgeon Creek United Church has a long history that may be traced back to 1868 when Dr. George Young, a volunteer Methodist minister, arrived in the Red River settlement from Toronto and began holding worship services in the homes of settlers. Over the years, immigrant families arrived to take up homesteads in the area and a number of ministers served the constantly expanding community. In 1906 a new church building had been constructed south of Portage Avenue, between Thompson Drive and Woodbridge Road, and was named the St. James Methodist Church. It was later moved to Thompson Drive and after a fire in 1922, the church was rebuilt. In 1925 the pastoral charge became a part of the United Church of Canada when the Methodist, Presbyterian, and Congregationalist churches amalgamated to form the United Church of Canada; the church then becoming known as Sturgeon Creek United Church. In 1948, as the congregation grew, the sod was turned for a new facility and in 1963 a new sanctuary wing was added. In October 1992, a fire broke out following Sunday worship service and the sanctuary wing was destroyed. Within days, the congregation had made the decision to rebuild. Today Prairie Spirit United Church continues in this building at 207 Thompson Drive.