St. David & St. Martin Presbyterian Church

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History Of St. David & St. Martin Presbyterian Church

The beginning of the congregation of St. David and St. Martin Presbyterian Church in east Ottawa dates back to October 1955.  The Presbytery of Ottawa recognized a potential expansion in the Manor Park and Overbrook areas of the City.  Over 50 families in each area indicated strong interest in services and somewhat over one hundred children would potentially attend Sunday School.

St, David’s was off the mark with the first service in the Overbrook Public School conducted by Rev. J.H. Thompson being held on October 16, 1955 with forty people attending and ninety pupils at Sunday School. 

On April 19, 1956, a petition to Presbytery seeking congregational status for St. David’s Presbyterian Church was approved.

St. Martin’s first service in the Manor Park School, conducted by Reverend Thompson was held on November 13, 1955, with some fifty adults attending along with about fifty Church School students.

On May 8, 1956, following a recommendation of, the Management Committee, 130 individuals representing some 70 families, signed a petition to Presbytery recommending the name of St. Martin’s Presbyterian Church.  The Presbytery granted this petition and St. Martin’s Presbyterian Church became a reality

With the assistance and support of Presbytery and many of the Presbyterian congregations in Ottawa, St. David’s Church was established and built at 473 Donald Street, with St. Martin’s at 444 St. Laurent Boulevard.  The Reverend Dr. P.C. Wotherspoon was inducted to serve St. Martin’s on February 1, 1957 with the Reverend W. H. Brown appointed as minister of St. David’s Church on September 13, 1959.

Both Churches served their respective areas well, however, by 1968 both congregations experienced a decline in participation such that a decision was taken to amalgamate the two charges into one.  On September 15, 1968, a special service was held in the Church on St. Laurent Boulevard to unite the two congregations under the name of St. David and St. Martin Presbyterian Church.  The merger of the various groups from St. David’s with those from St. Martin’s resulted in a revitalized church.   The first service of Worship for St. David and St. Martin Presbyterian Church was conducted at 444 St. Laurent Boulevard on September 22, 1968.

The retirement of Reverend Brown in 1966 provided the opportunity for Dr. P.C. Wotherspoon to become minister of St. David and St. Martin Presbyterian Church.  The property on Donald Street was sold and the cornerstones of both churches were placed in the sanctuary of St. David and St. Martin Presbyterian Church in May of 1969.

Since inception of the two congregations and to the present, the people of St. David and St. Martin Church continue to fulfill their stated purpose within the community and the world.  While the factual history over fifty years is summarized in this document, many projects and programs have come and gone.  All served their purpose during their times of existence and we are thankful to all participants who have built and developed this congregation over half a century.

St. David & St. Martin is a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Canada.