Emo Knox United Church in Emo celebrated its 100th anniversary on Sunday with a service, followed by a potluck supper and program at the Donald Young School gym that attracted 150 guests.
Rev. Frances Flook, who acted as master of ceremonies, said the program was a culmination of the hard work of many people to which we say thanks.
She added the planning committee wanted the program to be a reflection of the history of the congregation yet also meaningful to all those present.
Nonagenarian Maurice MacMillan, along with David Loney, Heather Ogilvie, and former minister Don White, reflected on the history through the experiences of different generations, also noting the family ties that have kept the faith aflame.
Rev. White shared some humourous thoughts on congregation members, and how he and his wife, Barbara, had benefited from these memories.
The Sung Teuony family, who came to Canada in search of a better life and supported by the local United Church congregation, later shared their experiences of welcome they had received here on arrival.
Cindy Judson later sang “Love Will Be Our Home," followed by the children presenting the selection, "Love is All Around.”
David Ogilvie and Lincoln Dunn then led the audience in the following songs—“His Banner Over Me is Love," "Butterfly Song," "Part of the Family," and "Go Tell it on the Mountain.”
The children then came back to perform “We are Marching in the Light of God,” followed by a number by the girls’ quartet of Rosalie and Allison Loney and Heather and Allison Ogilvie.
Guest speaker Janet Buckley, secretary of Cambrian Presbytery, chose for her sermon topic, “Service of Celebration with Thanksgiving.”
David Ogilvie also directed the church choir in the anthem, “Give Thanks,” while Gordon Woollard read the scripture passage from Genesis.
Doug Young had said grace prior to the potluck dinner.
Knox United Church in Emo actually dates back to the Emo Presbyterian Church that had met in the Grand Union Hotel.
A church was erected in 1896, which became self-supporting in 1908. The land for the church was donated by Duncan Reid, David Allen, John Reid, and Fred George.
In December, 1912, the Methodist parsonage, situated on the lot where the United Church manse now stands, burned down. It was during this period the Methodists decided to leave the Emo field and sold the lot to the Presbyterians.
The two congregations had services at different locations. The present manse was built in 1914, with figures in an old account book showing it was built at a cost of less than $1,000 (this was shared by Devlin and Emo).
In 1925 came church reunion but this presented no problems in Emo since there was no Methodist Church there by then so the name Presbyterian was merely changed to United.
In 1930, one minister had charge of four services on Sunday—Box Alder, Devlin, Emo and La Vallee. Mr. Hockin was the first minister, at which time the Depression was felt and the church was no exception. His salary was only $1,300 per annum.
One of the saddest incidents was the funeral in the Emo church in 1938 for 12 victims of the Dance fire, conducted by Mr. Lavender.
In 1951, about the time when Rev. William Hogman, a newly-ordained minister, arrived, the church was sold to the Christian Reformed Church and the present building erected. The lot was purchased from the estate of Jack Wilson, with Laurence Loney the chairman of the building committee.
Nat Lougheed and Cal Buchanan were the carpenters. The church was dedicated in September, 1951 and fully paid in two years. Since that time, repairs have been done.
The congregations at Knox United (Emo) and Guthrie United (Devlin) have gone through the following ministers since William Hogman—Rev. Staples, Wesley Harland, Don White, Wilbert Dawson, Doug Young (the longest term served at 10 years), Molly Kitchen (interim), David Pierce, Louis Pelletier, and Elaine Frazer.