Keith McManus and his wife Wendy will always have fond memories of their lives at Mandaumin United Church, which had its last service on June 26, 2016.
It’s where McManus, who farms not far from the corner of Mandaumin Sideroad and Confederation where the church building stands, met his wife Wendy, now a retired Registered Nurse.
They married in the church, raised their three children, and, sadly were at the last service.
The facility has now been sold to another congregation, which takes ownership at the end of July.
It’s been 161 years since the church first opened, the first meeting place being a nearby school and then a frame church that was erected in 1859. In 1881 the current building was constructed.
The was at first a Presbyterian church, but in 1925 it became part of the United Church of Canada.
McManus is a third generation attendee, and his grandfather was also a farmer who came to the area in 1914.
Memorial stain glass windows that were installed in 1930 as part of the 75th year celebrations are being removed before the new owners move in, said McManus.
The memories he and his wife and others continue to share have as much to do with service as anything else.
Those include the donations of pennies by Sunday School students (a young Keith McManus among them) to a medical mission in Angola that was operated by Dr. Walter Strangway and his wife Alice.
The congregation also raised money for a cow for the mission.
Sadly, a gradual decline in attendance has put an end to those happier times, although historical photos and artifacts associated with Mandaumin United will be preserved in local museums and archives.