How Pentecostal Came to Ridgetown

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Rev. S.H. Wilson opened a work in Chatham and in the summer of 1937 erected a tent in Blenheim. A few from Ridgetown attended these tent services. Following these services a hall was rented and regular meetings held there with Rev. Gordon Mills of London as pastor.

The people finding it inconvenient to go so far to church, desired to have a place of worship in Ridgetown. The Pastor was consulted and the Township Hall rented. Services were held here twice on Sunday with Sunday School in the afternoon and a mid-week service on Thursday evening. Prayer meetings were held in homes in Highgate once a week.

As the congregation grew they decided they would like a place of their own to worship in. A building was purchased in Tillsonburg and a lot obtained on Head Street. The building was trucked here and erected.

Mr. Mills and his successor Rev. Victor Brown conducted services in both Blenheim and Ridgetown, along with Prayer meetings in Highgate. The work became so heavy it was found necessary to divide the work in Blenheim from the work in Ridgetown, and the Rev. Bruce Stallwood became Ridgetown's Pastor.

Mr. Stallwood's successor was the Ernest Clemens who in turn was followed by the present pastor, Mr. Robert McKay, who has not yet been ordained.

In 1946 one end of the church was partitioned off to furnish living quarters for the minister.

Mr. McKay had a fine aggressive Church and Sunday School. He was followed by Rev. Alex Ness, who was greatly blessed and saw a Manse purchased which is beside the Church. He was followed by Rev. G. Lucas. He was succeeded by Rev. T. Campbell, who stayed for four years and who in turn was followed by Rev. R. Hiscock in 1958.

In 1961 and 1962, the congregation are in process of building a new Church. It is being built on the same site of the old one. Some help is being donated by the congregation of the Pentecostal Churches near here.

The new church was opened and dedicated April 7th, 1963 with the Supt. of the Western Ontario Pentecostal Assemblies, Rev. J.H. Blair, and many visiting Pastors and officials in attendance. This was a red letter day for the assembly. The estimated value of the new church was $25,000. Three quarters of the cost was paid for on opening.

Mr. Sales, 90 years of age, has so wonderfully assisted in this new building, his family donated a lovely $2,000 Conn Electric organ in memory of Mrs. Clara Sales. Mr. G. Sales officiated at the organ.

Mrs. Clemen, whose husband was a former Pastor, was present and dedicated a lovely Communion Table in memory of her husband.

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Transcribed from the records of Mrs. Geo. S. Brien, Rural Ridgetown Women's Institute.
2004-10-29