Crossroads United Church began on July 1, 2009 as the amalgamation of Royal Heights United Church and St. John’s Strawberry Hill United Church.
As early as 1910, Christians gathered for worship in the rural area known as “Strawberry Hill.” In 1922, a Presbyterian congregation built a little white steepled church on the current site of Crossroads, but did not become a “Union church” in 1925 when the United Church of Canada was formed. By 1942, that Presbyterian congregation disbanded, the building stood empty, and the congregation of the United Church of Canada which had used the building for their evening services between 1937-1942 petitioned the Presbyterian Church in Canada to rent or sell the building. In 1945, the United Church congregation bought the property for $800, and after considerable repair and alterations, the little church was re-opened for services on May 6, 1945. A Christian Education hall was built in the 1960’s.
During the 1950’s, when the church was growing, and settlement of North Delta increased, those living in the North end of North Delta began to talk with United Church officials about planting another congregation. Royal Heights United Church, located on 116th Street at 92nd Avenue, was constituted in May 1959 and a small church (lovingly known as “Solomon’s Porch”) was built in 1960. In 1969, Royal Heights joined with Oak Avenue United Church to become the two-point pastoral charge of Oak Avenue-Royal Heights. In 1984 Royal Heights became a single-point charge and employed a full-time minister on its own.
During the 1980’s both founding congregations of Crossroads were experiencing significant growth, and began to feel their worship space was inadequate. In 1983, St. John’s built a new sanctuary, office space, and classrooms. In 1987, Royal Heights made a similar extension to the existing church, including a new spacious sanctuary.
The founding congregations of Royal Heights and St. John’s cooperated as neighbouring congregations in ministry through the decades, and even occasionally mentioned the word amalgamation, but it was not until 2007 that the conversation began in earnest. A visioning event (held at St. Cuthbert’s Anglican church and facilitated by the Rev. Don Robertson) provided both the energy and the vision the two congregations sought in order to amalgamate for more than merely practical reasons. The vision statement articulated out of that event, and the sense of shared purpose, cooperation and faithfulness to God’s call increasingly felt by members of our two founding congregations, carried us through many difficult decisions. The overwhelming experience of Crossroads United Church is that throughout our journey, God has given us everything we have needed. Thanks be to God!
Where did we get our “Crossroads” name?
During our amalgamation process, we held a potluck dinner with several courses, during which proponents of various potential names for the new congregation could “pitch” their name, then we had a series of votes. With each course of the meal, there were fewer names on the list of possibilities.
The name of “Crossroads” United Church was inspired by this verse in Scripture:
“Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies, and walk in it, and find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16)