Lumby United Church Celebrates 125 Years: The Celebration

By Brenda Franklin & Donna Easto

As noted last week, the first service in the Lumby Presbyterian (now the United) Church was held in 1895. Church goers were proud to raise their voices in song to the accompaniment of an ornately carved Pump Organ.  Allen Dawe shared this wonderful memory, “My Aunt Lillian Dawe played the organ, it would often have hick-ups and we used to run up and kneel down then pump like crazy to carry is through the hymns.”  The Organ was retired in 1985, but it still holds pride of place in the entrance to the sanctuary–an enduring reminder of the Church’s long musical history.

The name Lumby Presbyterian remained until the historic church amalgamation between the Methodist and Presbyterian congregations in 1925. It then came to be known, as it is today, Lumby United Church.

There are few records about the years from 1896 to 1912.   We do know the names of managers, and the first titles of board members, many of whom still have descendants living in Lumby today.

In the early 60’s the wooden roof was replaced and a creative and skilled Church goer handcrafted a beautiful wooden Cross from some of the original wood.   The Cross is a true work of art and hangs above the pulpit in the sanctuary. 

In 2002, the congregation dedicated original stained glass panels created in remembrance of family members. These panels still grace the windows to this day.  The artist, Jeanette Romeril, was married to the Minister. If you haven’t noticed them, they’ll be a highlight of your tour on August 7th. Christmas cards were created featuring these lovely images, and there are still a few available for sale.

 When the pews were beginning to show their age, the congregation painted them and the sanctuary a calming shade of plum.   The colour aged well and always leaves an indelible impression on visitors.

While reading through church history notes, we frequently see the names of volunteers and members repeated. Many of them not only worked for the church, but also were active in supporting the advancement of the growing village. Some still worship at Lumby United, and continue to do good works for the community.

For example, our eldest member, Margaret Derry taught 125 students in our Sunday School and CGIT groups over the years.   Her twin sister Marguerite Dahlmann (Derry) will attend our anniversary celebration with Margaret and is looking forward to answering questions about the life of Lumby and the Church in its early years. We honour the contributions and devotion over the years since 1895 of people like these loyal, faithful and hardworking women.

The church continues to be a vibrant part of Canada’s United Church Family, and an active supporter of the local community. This year, 2021, we hope to raise enough money through our many public events to send one or two Lumby children to Camp Mackenzie.   At Christmas we invite everyone in the area to join us in collecting new warm underwear and socks to be delivered to the food bank for distribution to anyone in need.   We would like to send a special note of thanks to the Lumby I.D.A. Pharmacy, Fields, and Sisters Restaurant for their wonderful contributions last year.

On August 7th, 2021, the little white church on the hill, with windows sparkling and doors wide, invites you share in its 125th anniversary celebration.

The celebration will start at 1 p.m. with a short tour, followed by a cup of fresh-brewed coffee and a piece of delicious anniversary cake.  It’s a great opportunity to get together with old friends and new.   FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK

(Of course, you’re invited to stop in any Sunday you feel the need to say a prayer of thanks or just need the comfort of a quiet sanctuary.)

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