Twenty years ago, Chapel Ridge Free Methodist, the church I began, had managed to gather up about twenty or so people from the community of Almonte, some twenty-five miles northwest of us. Almonte is famous for being the birthplace of James Naismith, the inventor of the game of basketball.
With all of the commuting, in time it only made sense that we start a more convenient, mid-week Bible study in the area to accommodate these folks. It was then that we had the idea to take it a step further and hive off a completely new congregation in Almonte. After a few meetings, that’s what we decided to do. We asked Mark and Kathy Priddle if we could temporarily use their home and see how it might go. Jamie Robertson, who then lived in the Carleton Place area, drove up on Sundays and served as their pastor and preacher. At first they rented various facilities until they were able to build a building on about four acres out on the edge of town.
Although I had little to do with the formation of the church except for the idea and giving people to the dream, they still refer to me as the founding pastor and invite me to speak whenever I’m available. That’s where I was on Sunday morning and preached a warm cozy sermon entitled, “Put in the Sickle, The Harvest of the Earth is Ripe.” It was good to see the founding families still in attendance.