A BRIEF HISTORY OF PARK ROYAL UNITED CHURCH

Every church has its unique beginnings. In the mid 1950’s when the congregation of Trinity United Church in downtown Charlottetown was literally bursting out of its physical facilities, it came as quite a shock when their minister Rev. Frank MacLean first suggested that the members of its congregation on the eastern side of the railway tracks might consider forming a congregation of their own to fulfill the needs of the Parkdale, Central Royalty and East Royalty communities.

Unfortunately many of the personal stories of adventures and deeds have not been publicly told or transcribed as a history of accurate and interesting facts leading to the formation of the new pastoral charge. We do know that following the suggestion in 1956 a meeting was called for May 26, 1957 at Church when the new Pastoral Charge was established.

At a Charter Roll and Constitution Service 191 persons signed the charter roll and 53 signed as adherents of the new congregation. The Rev. Howard Christie became the interim moderator (supervising minister). Thanks to a suggestion by Martha Johnston Brooks the name Park Royal was chosen on July 17, 1957, “Park” from Parkdale and “Royal” from the Royalties. Later Central Royalty became known as Sherwood. Land for the new church facility was donated by G. Stewart MacKay. Construction began on August 20, 1957 after the first contract was awarded to M.F. Schurman Co. Ltd. Rev. J.M. Sheen, chair of Presbytery, presided at the church’s opening following the laying of the cornerstone on June 22, 1958. The first minister, Rev. Burton Crowe, was called and the energetic builders did not cease in their committee work and labours. A new manse was constructed and dedicated on March 5, 1960.

Park Royal was the only Protestant church serving this immediate area at the time so, like its mother church, Trinity, it also became a quickly growing and large congregation. As a result the basements at the church and manse could not effectively accommodate the large enrollment in the Sunday School classes and mid week groups. People living nearby offered their homes for overflowing of classes. It was peak population time and Park Royal too “builded better than they knew.”

 

Staff at Park Royal United Church

Rev. Howard Christie (1957)

Rev. W.B. Crow (1959-1961)

Rev. Henry Tye (1961-1967)

Rev. Isaac Walls (1967-1974)

Rev. David Shaffeburg (Assistant Minister) (1973-1974)

Rev. Garland Brooks (Assistant Minister) (1974-1976)

Rev. Douglas Gass (1974-1981)

Rev. John Foster (Assistant Minister) (1978-1980)

Heather MacDougall (Staff Associate) (1980-1982)

Rev. Douglas Woods (1981-1988)

Gail Hopkirk (Staff Associate) (1982-1984)

Gail Carter Jay (Staff Associate) (1984-1986)

Linda Myers (Staff Associate) (1986-1987)

Rev. Nathan Bowering (1988-1989)

Rev. Dr. Henry Tye (1989-1994)

Rev. Marilyn Carter (Assistant Minister) (1989-1991)

Rev. David Ogilvie (Staff Associate) (1991)

Ms Patricia Lisson (Diaconal Minister) (1991-1994)

Mr. Harold Tuck (Staff Associate) (1995-2005)

Rev. Kevin MacKenzie (1994 – 2019)

Barbara Cairns (Staff Associate) (2006-2012)

Kathy Campbell (Staff Associate) (2012 – 2014)

Rev. David Campbell (2016 – )

Rev. Keith MacPherson (2019 – )

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