38 Aldborough Avenue, St. Thomas, Ontario, N5R 4T1
United Church of Canada
Rev. Jim Phone: 519-860-1161
Church Phone: 519-631-5705
Minister of Word, Sacrament and Pastoral Care:
Reverend James (Jim) Evans, B.A.A., M. Div.
On Oct. 14, 1873, Edward Miller deeded a parcel of land to the Balaclava Street Congregation of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada. The main part of the old building was built that year and named Grace Church at 18 Balaclava Street.
In 1909, following a wind storm damaging the south gable it was decided to build a new church. On June 12, 1910, the formal opening and dedication of the Grace Church was held. In 1952, following Union, Grace United Church is formed. The sod was turned for the Christian Education Building in 1962.
Since the Church was over 100 years old and with the cost of constant maintenance, upgrading and updating to meet the Provincial Accessibility Act, a financial burden too great for congregation to handle, in September 2011, the Congregation votes to worship at St. Mark’s United Church and votes for trustees to sell property at 18 Balaclava Street.
The last Christmas service was held on December 24, 2011, and in November 2012, a deconsecrating service was held at 18 Balaclava Street.
The building was bought by G&L Holdings, St. Thomas, in March 2013. After having a full evaluation of the building structure and with the cost to repair so great, G&L Holdings decided to demolish the former Grace United Church which began on March 28, 2013. Demolition was done by Higgs Excavating, St. Thomas and was expected to take two weeks but clearing the site did take longer.
Since then the congregation continues to worship in St. Mark’s United Church, a vote was held at a congregational meeting on June 2, 2013 and as of January 1, 2014, we are officially merging the Congregation of St. Mark’s United Church and the Congregation of Grace United Church together.
Erected in 1909 as Grace Methodist Church, the building had walls five bricks thick in places.