Who We Are
History of Oakridge Presbyterian Church
The history of Oakridge Presbyterian Church is an inspiring story of a dedicated group of people from many walks of life and with varying backgrounds striving toward a common goal - the establishment and sustained growth of a Christian church in Oakridge Acres, a subdivision in London, Ontario, Canada.
In November 1955, the first service of Oakridge Acres Presbyterian Church was conducted at Riverside Public School, by the Rev. D. J. Firth.
In 1956 the Rev. Gordon Brett began preaching and property at Luxton Drive and Deer Park Circle was purchased for the church building and a house on Pinetree Drive was purchased for a manse. Fifty-one members' names were recorded on the Charter Roll.
In 1957, a church building was erected and the name was changed to Oakridge Presbyterian Church. In 1961, a ground-breaking ceremony took place for a larger church building, which was dedicated in 1962.
In 1964 a call was extended to the Rev. John Jennings and the church continued to grow. Following the induction of the Rev. Terry Ingram in 1982 a second Sunday service was added. A completed expansion of the Sunday School, office and Sanctuary areas was dedicated in 1986.
In 1987, the Rev. Lori Jensen was hired as the Assistant Minister, followed by the Rev. Peter Coutts in 1991. Two years later, a house on Luxton Drive was purchased to accommodate growing program space requirements.
The need to expand was evident, and in 1995 a dedication ceremony was held in a new sanctuary. The church congregation and its many programs continued to grow. A third contemporary-style worship service has been added and in 2001, the Rev. Sabrina Caldwell assumed the position of Associate Minister.
In November 2009, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to officially recognize the most recent building expansion. The original church building was demolished to make way for a new multi-purpose gymnatorium, the Acorn Christian Daycare, a new main floor kitchen, a large meeting hall and other renovations.
The Dedication Service was conducted on Sunday September 26, 2010. With over seven hundred members and over seven hundred adherents, this new building design will open wonderful possibilities to welcome even more families into our Christian home.
In June 2011, the Rev. John Park was Ordained and Inducted as the new Associate Minister. The Rev. Dr. Terry Ingram retired from Oakridge in August 2011, after twenty-nine years of ministry.
The Rev. Edward Hoekstra was Inducted as the Lead Minister in November 2011.
Who is the Presbyterian Church in Canada?
The roots of our denomination date back to the16th century and the Reformation in Europe. At that time the Reformed (Presbyterian) Church came into being under the leadership of Jean Calvin (of France) and John Knox (of Scotland). The Reformed Church spread through France, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Scotland, Hungary, as well as other countries to a lesser extent.
Presbyterianism was established in Canada by Huguenot(French), Scottish and Irish pioneers. The first worship service was held in 1604 among the Acadians. Locally, congregations were established in the early 1800's. William Proudfoot (for whom "Proudfoot Lane" is named) established three congregations locally in the 1830's, and made London his center for expanding the church through-out south-western Ontario.
In 1875 the Presbyterian Church in Canada was formed through the amalgamation of five smaller branches of Presbyterianism. Today we have over 1,000 congregations, with our membership exhibiting the same ethnic diversity we find in our country today.
We believe that:
- God is sovereign in our life and world
- Jesus Christ is our personal Saviour
- As disciples we are called to make Jesus our model for our lives
- The Bible is our rule and guide for faith and love
As members of the Church we are to grow:
- in spirit and love
- in community
- in service to and care of others