Sunday, January 23, 2011

                                                                                                                              January 23, 2011
    3380 Lonsdale Avenue

The Church on the Hill
North Lonsdale United Church
North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

"North Lonsdale Church had its beginning in 1913 when a small group, of people met in a little store on Lonsdale Ave. at King’s Rd., with George Hamilton a student minister conducting the services.

Grocery store meeting place of congregation in 1913 at
south east corner of Lonsdale Ave. and East Kings Road.

"By 1915 a small church was built on East King Road, first called Bethel Methodist Church but the name was soon changed to North Lonsdale Methodist.

North Lonsdale United Church at 131 East Kings Rd., 1915

First Evangelical Baptist Church, 131 East Kings Rd., (2010)

" A Sunday School was with Mr. E.T. Bailey as superintendent. At the time of organic union of the Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational churches in 1925, this church became North Lonsdale United, its congregation augmented by those who transferred from St. Stephens Presbyterian. From 1914 to 1919, North Lonsdale was a joint pastoral charge with West Vancouver, from 1919 to 1934, with Lynn Valley, and from 1934 to 1957 with Capilano.

"The King’s Road church was bare, with plain wooded chairs for the congregation and a little pump organ. There was a small kitchen at the rear with a stove on which the ladies prepared hearty congregational dinners. This room was used also for meetings, as a Sunday School classroom, and as a dressing-room at Christmas concert time. Until 1948 North Lonsdale Church, received financial assistance from the Board of Home Missions, but from that time it was self-supporting, the minister’s salary and expenses of the manse being shared with Capilano.

"By 1948 it became evident that the little church was no longer adequate, and in 1950 two lots were purchased at the corner of Lonsdale Ave. and Osborne Rd. A building which was to serve eventually as a Christian Education Centre, but was to be used as church in the meantime, was erected largely by volunteer labour and was dedicated on December 13, 1953. The sanctuary furnished with dignity and good taste was truly appreciated, but it was soon realized that the building was not large enough, especially in view of the increasing Sunday School attendance. In 1956 a lot with house on it, adjoining the church property to the south was bought and Sunday School classes were held in the house as well as in the church building. In 1957 it was felt that the time had come for North Lonsdale Church to have a full-time minister, and Rev. Hislop Dickson who had been minister of the joint charge since 1946, was called to be our pastor. To meet our additional financial responsibilities, and to pay for the house and lot, a successful fund-raising drive was carried out under the chairmanship of Mr. T. D. Hammond.

"A church building was begun early in 1958, adjoining the one already in use and extending from Osborne Rd. south to the lane. When the house had to be torn down to make way for the new building some Sunday School classes were held in a vacant store on Lonsdale Ave. The Wells organization supervised a fund-raising campaign in the fall of 1958. The church building was completed and dedicated on May 15, 1960. With its bright and attractive sanctuary, comfortably-furnished lounge and commodious auditorium and well- planned kitchens it is indeed a contrast to the first little North Lonsdale Church." (3380 Lonsdale Avenue, south east corner of Lonsdale and Osborne.)(See Link 1.)

Sanctuary 2010

The sanctuary nave has of  blond wood  laminated beams forming the vaulted ceiling.  The two banks of pews are separated by a center aisle  with access facilitated by two side aisles.  The red carpting highlights the blond hue of the wooden pews and beams. A cloth screen covers the wall of organ pipes behind the altar and cross.  Along the west wall are a bank of  stained glass memorial windows.

Another part of North Lonsdale United Church's history was CGIT, Canadian Girls in Training.  CGIT was a weekly group for girls age 12 to 17.  It was based on the scripture Luke 2:52: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and favor with God and man."  In the booklet The Story of North Lonsdale 1913 to 1990-The Church on the Hill  there is a photo of a CGIT group that met in 1933.  The booklet also mentions that in 1967 there were 90 girls and 10 leaders in the CGIT group at North Lonsdale United Church.  Smaller CGIT groups continued to meet throughout the 1980's.

CGIT Girls Christine Robinson and Laura Wilson

Note: Suzanne Wilson was a CGIT leader at North Lonsdale United Church, the PR chairperson and later the President of the Provincial CGIT Board of B.C.  Both of her daughter, Amy and Laura, attended CGIT.

Reference: The Story of North Lonsdale 1913 to 1990-The Church on the Hill  is available at the North Vancouver Archives.

Photos: 1. Top photo of the 1960 North Lonsdale United Church building was
                     taken in September 2010 by SW. The part of the building that is on
                     the left, the east, is the 1953 church building.
                2. 1926 photo of the store, (available at the North Vancouver Archives
                     #5276), that was on the south east corner of  Lonsdale Ave. and 
                     Kings Road where the congregation first 
                     met. (Photo photoshopped.) First listing of the store in City
                     Directories is 1915, "J. Keene grocer and postmaster, Lonsdale Ave.
                     car, King, same".
               3. The church door with the pastor in front is the 1915 church at 131
                    East Kings Road. (See Reference.) It is still in use as the First
                    Evangelical Baptist Church. 
              4. The 1915 church at 131 East Kings now the First Evangelical Baptist
                   Church, photo taken September 2010 by SW.
              5. Photo taken of North Lonsdale United Church CGIT girls in 1982 by
                   Sharon Way.
             6.  Interior photo of the sanctuary and the stained glass memorial
                   windows taken in December 2010 by SW.

Link 1:



God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen (SW.)

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