History

Morningside Presbyterian Church, Swansea, named after Morningside Church, Edinburgh, held its first Sunday Services, Dec. 8, 1889 conducted by Rev. Wm. Patterson of Cookes Church, in a home on Kennedy Avenue provided by one of its founders, Wm. Rennie.

A cedar-shingled church designed by John Gemmell was erected on a site donated by Wm. Rennie and opened Nov. 29, 1891. For sixteen years student missionaries from Knox College conducted the services.

In 1907, the Rev. John T. Hall was inducted as the first regular minister. Rev. J. Gordon Cheyne began his ministry in 1914. In 1916 the original church was rotated 90 degrees and moved to a new foundation facing Kennedy Avenue where it was used as a Sunday School for the next 10 years.

Mhp-002LRThe present gothic sanctuary, sketched 12 days before John Gemmell died and generously endowed by him, was opened Dec. 19, 1917, centered on Ellis Ave. by the purchase of thirty-three feet more of adjacent property to the east. Starting in 1924, the Rev. Edgar Foreman carried on a successful and distinguished ministry during which the present Sunday School addition and manse were added in 1927. The Congregation was proud to have three of Morningside’s young men, Charles A. Winn, G. Lockie Royal, and Alex Orr join the Presbyterian Ministry during Dr. Foreman’s tenure.  In 1936 there were 360 members on the roll and a Sunday School enrollment of 300.

In March 1955, the Rev. J. K. Lattimore, BA, DD began his devoted ministry. The new chancel and addition were dedicated on Jan. 26, 1958.

High Park Presbyterian Church amalgamated with Morningside at a service Nov. 28, 1968. High Park was founded as a result of church union when Alhambra Avenue and High Park  Presbyterian Churches decided to enter the United Church of Canada. On Jan. 25, 1925 the new congregation of High Park held their first service in the Revue Theatre. The Rev. Peter Taylor was inducted Nov. 12, 1925. The Boustead School property was purchased renovated and re-opened by Nov. 15, 1925. In 1927 the Rev. John McNab was called and served with distinction until 1938. The new Church building was dedicated Apr. 11, 1930.

In 1938 the Rev. John V. Mills was inducted and served for three years before entering the Chaplaincy Service. The pipe organ was installed during his ministry. The Rev J. S. Short left retirement and acted as supply while Dr. Mills served with the armed forces and, in 1944, Dr. Mills having resigned his charge, the Rev. Robert W. Manning was called and served until his death in 1962. Dr Mills served as Stated Supply until the decision was reached to seek amalgamation.

Dr. Lattimore served as minister of the amalgamated congregation with Dr. Mills as Minister-Emeritus. During the amalgamation the pipe organ was moved from High Park to Morningside–High Park and enlarged to a total of 1,630 pipes.

Dr. D. M. Oliver served from 1982 to 1990 with Rev. S. Rescorl following as interim-minister from 1993 to 1995.  In September of 1996 a new era began with the induction of Rev. Will Ingram. Rev. Ingram served at MHP until August 2007.  On January 11, 2009, the Reverend Dr. Karen Dimock began her ministry at Morningside-High Park, and served as minister until November 2014.

Morningside–High Park ministers have taken an active part in the work of the Church at large and have been supported by dedicated members generously giving of their time and talents for over one hundred and twenty-five years.

This is a very brief view of Morningside–High Park Church; born in faith, supported by sacrifice, occupied with spiritual labour; not yet made perfect, but dedicated to the glory of God and the good of the neighbourhood, the city, the country and the world.