Historic Sites of Manitoba: Zion Methodist Church / Zion Apostolic Church (335 Pacific Avenue, Winnipeg)
The history of the Zion Methodist Church dates back to 1874 when it was founded as a mission church by Reverend George Young. To better accomodate residents in the north of Winnipeg, he enlisted the help of J. H. Ashdown, John Palk (1848-1885, husband of Anna Bella Maclean), F. C. Shipps, A. Jackson, and Colonel Kennedy in the acquisition of property at the southwest corner of King Street and Logan Avenue. Total costs for the land and church were around $1,900. Its doors opened on 24 May 1874 and Young delivered the first sermon.
In 1879, land was purchased at the corner of Henry Avenue and King Street. A building was built there at a cost of $6,000 and was opened by Rev. Young on 27 June 1880. Within two years, the building was too small so it was rebuilt at a cost of $9,000. Further reseating improvements in 1887 cost $2,500. The facility served the congregation into the next century when, in 1903, they purchased the Pacific Avenue property of Mr. Otty’s greenhouses and adjacent land along Alexander Avenue owned by Mr. Wilson at a total cost of $10,130. True to the adage that “cleanliness follows godliness,” the church sold their old facility to a soap company for $20,000.
Construction work on a 1,500-seat building began in 1904, by local contractor George Thomas Clark Halford, based on designs by architect James Chisholm, and the cornerstone was laid by Mrs. J. H. Ashdown on 15 June 1904. Inside the cornerstone were church records, newspapers, civil publications, and a coin collection. The congregation moved into the new basement for the first service on 22 January 1905 and services continued there while construction went on overhead. Their new premises were formally opened on 22 October 1905 by Rev. R. Milliken and Rev. John Semmens. Total cost for the building was around $65,000 and a further $6,200 for the grand organ from the Casavant Brothers of St. Hyacinth, Quebec. The building was sold in 1934 to become the Zion Apostolic Church.
The building was destroyed by fire on 8 February 1970.
Photos & Coordinates
“Zion Church site,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 February 1903, page 12.
“Corner stone of new Zion Church,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 June 1904, page 3.
“Corner stone well and truly laid,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 June 1904, page 2.
“First services in Zion Church,” Winnipeg Tribune, 23 January 1905, page 2.
“Costly organ decided on,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 March 1905, page 1.
“Magnificient pipe organs,” Winnipeg Tribune, 29 August 1905, page 5.
“Musical and dramatic [Zion Methodist Church ...],” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 October 1905, page 6.
“Dedication of Zion Church,” Winnipeg Tribune, 23 October 1905, page 7.
“Record year in building,” Winnipeg Tribune, 16 December 1905, page 21.
“Zion, 40 years old, hums with activity,” Winnipeg Tribune, 17 October 1914, page 19.
“Zion Church to mark its 55th anniversary,” Winnipeg Tribune, 2 November 1929, page 8.
“Downtown church falls to flames,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 February 1970, page 1.
“Fire destroys church; fourth in area since ’68,” Winnipeg Tribune, 9 February 1970, page 3.
We thank Rob McInnes for providing additional information used here.
Page revised: 17 January 2021