Grace United Church celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2016. Its history began in 1959 when the district church council took out an option on a vacant property on Willowdale Avenue (now Grove Street) and conducted a survey to determine if there was interest in forming a new United Church congregation in northeast Barrie. The survey showed strong support for a Sunday school and one was opened by a supply minister in the fall of 1959.
Grace was originally called Willowdale United Church and its first regular Sunday service was held at the school in January 1961. It was constituted as a United Church congregation later that year with 90 charter members and 58 families. Rev. A.E. Baker was called as the church’s first full-time minister in May 1963.
When Barrie changed the name of Willowdale Avenue to Grove Street in 1963, the congregation was renamed Grace United Church. The church was built in stages over the years, starting with a Christian education centre and meeting hall in 1964.
Rev. Art Storey was welcomed to Grace in July 1969. He was the church’s minister for 37 years until his retirement in June 2006. Rev. Dr. Susan Eagle has been our minister since July 1, 2010.
The church’s sanctuary was built and dedicated in 1979. Over the years Grace has produced seven candidates for ministry who were ordained.