Fonds VAN FI - First United Church (Vancouver, B.C.) fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

First United Church (Vancouver, B.C.) fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on contents of the fonds

Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

CA UCCBC VAN FI

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area

Date(s)

  • 1887-2010 (Creation)
    Creator
    First United Church (Vancouver, B.C.)

Physical description area

Physical description

  • 9 m of textual records
  • 730 photographs

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

First United Church has its roots in First Presbyterian Church (organized in 1885) and Princess Street Methodist Church (begun in 1888). The two congregations were involved in mission work very early on, and performed joint outreach projects since the early 1900s. By the time of the First World War, the national mission boards of both churches put the two congregations under their control in order that the mission work could continue. Princess Street Methodist Church, which had become Central Methodist Church in 1908, became the Turner Institute in 1916.

First United Church in Vancouver was established in 1925 through the amalgamation of First Presbyterian Church and the Turner Institute. The amalgamated congregation chose to meet in the Presbyterian Church building, which had been erected in 1892 at the corner of Gore and Hastings Streets. The minister, referred to as Superintendent, served as pastor to the congregation and had oversight of mission operations.

After church union, the old Turner Institute building was used for First United's Welfare department, later known as Welfare Industries. The Rev. J. Richmond Craig, who had served as Superintendent of First Presbyterian Church from 1921, helped establish Welfare Industries, as well as Camp Fircom, and the congregation's radio ministry. Welfare Industries was organized to provide employment, training, rehabilitation and opportunity for those unable to find employment in normal industries. Camp Fircom was established on Gambier Island as a fresh air camp for mothers and children. The Rev. Andrew Roddan is another significant Superintendent (1930-1948), who saw the mission through the Depression and war years. The original Presbyterian Church building was torn down in 1964 and the present building opened in 1965 at the same spot.

Welfare service work and advocacy programs have been the central components of the mission. Over the years, First United Church has mainly addressed the needs of the homeless, the unemployed, and ethnic groups (including the Finnish and Japanese congregations). In 2007, the congregation was disbanded, but the mission remains active.

Name of creator

Biographical history

Previously known as Princess Street Methodist Church (1888-1908), Central Methodist subsequently became known as the Turner Institute (1916-1925).

Name of creator

Biographical history

Previously known as Central Methodist Church (1908-1916), Turner Institute amalgamated with First Presbyterian Church at the time of Church Union, 1925.

Name of creator

Biographical history

Princess Street Methodist Church was subsequently known as Central Methodist Church (1908-1916), when Vancouver's Princess Street was changed to Pender Street.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds includes records of First United Church and its predecessors, First Presbyterian Church and the Turner Institute. Fonds consists of the following series: Baptisms (1919-2005), Marriages (1897-1996), and Burials (1948-2004); Membership records (1943-1968); Board and Committee records (1897-2007); Superintendent's records (1934-1984); Administration – General (1955-2007); Personnel records (1952-1984); Women's Group records (1894-1971); Men's Group records (1960-1972); Sunday School records (1893-1968); Youth Group records (1952-1955); Financial records (1916-1992); Annual Reports (1917-2004); Building and Properties records (1929-1987); Worship Bulletins (1952-1988); Choir records (1924-2005); Communication records (1976-2007); Radio Ministry records (1954-1983); Outreach and Social Action (1969-2010); Welfare Industries records (1954-1979); Camp Fircom records (1954-1980); Visitor registers (1930-1974); Photographs; and Reference Materials (1935-2004).

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Transferred directly from First United Church

Arrangement

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Access to vital event records (baptism/marriage/burial records) may be restricted according to requirements of the B.C. Personal Information Protection Act

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

File list available

Associated materials

See also related records in Camp Fircom fonds
George Maxwell fonds, City of Vancouver Archives (Maxwell was minister at First Presbyterian Church in the 1890s)

Related materials

Accruals

No further accruals expected

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Description record identifier

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Rules or conventions

Rules for Archival Description

Status

Final

Level of detail

Full

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created July 2009
Revised March 29, 2011
Revised by BCANS Coordinator, March 30, 2011
Revised August 22, 2014

Language of description

  • English

Script of description

Sources

Accession area