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First Union Church

148 5th Avenue E, Melville, Saskatchewan, S0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1982/07/26

Northeast elevation, 2005.; Government of Saskatchewan, Brett Quiring, 2005.
First United Church
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Other Name(s)

First Union Church
Melville Union Church
First United Church

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1919/01/01 to 1919/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/07/08

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

First Union Church is a Municipal Heritage Property located within the City of Melville at 148 Fifth Avenue East. The property features a one-storey, brick building built in 1920 and a non-contributing addition completed in 1959.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the First Union Church lies in its association with the Church Union movement. During the late-nineteenth century a church reform movement, known as the Social Gospel, sought to transform the face of society and the church. They believed the divided churches in Canada needed to be amalgamated in order to create a united front for social reform. In 1907, the Grand Trunk-Pacific Railway established Melville as a division point, leading to the rapid expansion of the community. Many of the rail workers had come from Winnipeg, the centre of the social gospel movement in Canada, and were influenced by the Church Unionists to establish the first large-scale, pan-Christian church in Canada. In 1908 the Union congregation in Melville was formed, largely composed of former Methodists and Presbyterians.

The congregation flourished in the years after 1908 and the First Union Church became a case study for Church Unionists across the country as it helped to foster the development of other Union Churches across the country. The congregation built a church in 1909, but the structure burned down in 1916. Construction of the present church began shortly after, but could not be completed until 1920 because of shortages of materials as a result of the War. In 1925, the Church Union movement reached its apex when the Methodist, Congregationalists and a majority of Presbyterian churches merged to form the United Church of Canada. As a central figure in this union, the Melville Union Church was one of the first congregations to join United Church of Canada.

The heritage value of the property also lies in the church’s architecture. Displaying subdued Georgian Classicism style the building features a mix of Classical and Georgian elements, including Classical columns and pediments intermixed with the red brick façade, segmented-arch windows, hip roof and subdued detailing common of Georgian design.

The heritage value of the property also lies in the property’s stained glass. The interior chapel is defined by the use of stained glass inset into each interior window frame. The glass exhibits a variety of religious motifs with each panel, dedicated to the memory of a former member of the congregation, including many of whom were founders of the church.


City of Melville Bylaw No. 30/82.

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the First Union Church resides in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements that reflect the property’s status as a Union Church in Canada, such as the signage on the front of the building;
-those elements that reflect the property’s Classical Revival architecture, including the columns, and pediments;
-those elements that reflect the property’s Georgian Revival architecture, including the red brick façade, hip roof, segmented arches and subdued detailing;
-the stained glass windows;
-the location of the church on its original location;
-the cross-shaped form and regular massing.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (SK)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation Heritage Resources Branch 1919 Saskatchewan Drive Regina, SK File: MHP 269

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

MHP 269



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