Most of you know that I spent two weeks with my parents in Ontario over the Thanksgiving weekend. It was so relaxing and a wonderful refreshing time. I especially enjoyed all the “outside” time D and I were able to share. On our walks around the good, old town of Milton I was hit by such a feeling of nostalgia. Milton is changing drastically and there are so many parts of it that are vastly different from when I lived there. The end of our street used to be a cow pasture and now it’s a subdivision (we used to be able to smell the manure in summer if the breeze drifted the right way). In my attempt to hold on to part of “old” Milton I started snapping pictures and I got quite a few and met some amazing people at the same time. I think I missed my calling as a journalist – it was fun. =) So, for the next four or five weeks (however many subjects I find to archive on here) I am going to lead you on a tour of Old Milton and really, through my childhood.
I thought I’d start today with my church.
Graceway Baptist Church has played an important part in who I am today through the years I spent under Pastor Isaak’s ministry and through the Christian school that I graduated from. Not all the memories are wonderful ones (that would be a fairy tale) but they are still memories that I am thankful for.
This building holds my earliest memories of Graceway. We rented it from a union. Growing up I always imagined what it would look life if we could buy it and fix it up – but I’ll tell you about how it was. The doors opened up onto a main meeting area where, each Saturday, my dad would put down the chairs for Sunday service (my dad was the janitor and spent all day, every Saturday, cleaning this building and getting it ready for Sunday) and, after service Sunday night, pick them up again (if there were no union meetings scheduled we could keep the chairs down and then they’d be there for Thursday night prayer meeting). At the back of this room was a big kitchen (what Baptist church doesn’t need one of those!). To the left of the doorway was a set of stairs leading down into the dungeon..hehehe. At least, that’s how I always viewed it. This building had a HUGE basement. The washrooms and all of the Sunday school classes were located down here and it was ALL concrete, the walls, floor, everything. Our classes were cordoned off with those fabric dividers that were quite popular back then. During choir practice we used to turn off all the lights and play hide-and-seek in the dark – until we got caught – usually by my dad, hehe. When it was nice out we spent all our time outdoors, hanging off those trees (until my dad yelled at us) and running around the parking lot. We were a wild lot. But it was fun. So many memories of missionaries and special meetings fill this building. But, when the union decided to sell it, it became apparent that our church just did not have the money to do the necessary renovations to bring it up to code. So they decided to buy this building and fix it up instead.
This was, originally, built as a church building and was used as an armory during the wars (if I remember it’s history properly). It was then bought by a union and used by them until we bought it many years ago. I was entering grade 7 or 8 when we moved into this building. I remember this nasty carpet on the floor and a big bar before you enter the main meeting area. This building was perfect for the needs of our church, though (except for a minor parking issue). The upstairs (you can see five windows in the picture) was where our school met each day. The upstairs is only half of the building and the main sanctuary has a really high ceiling. There’s a balcony overlooking it and then a room behind that for the schoolroom. We did ACE so we had desks that ran along all the walls that we sat at. When you come in the front door there is a kitchen to the left and a nursery area to the right.
The church is still meeting here and the Lord has greatly blessed them. It was full to overflowing when I visited. God has truly blessed Pastor Isaak’s ministry and the people of Graceway Baptist Church.
Next time we’ll take a peek at some businesses in Milton that have stood the test of time (that means they’ve been there for over 25 years!) – as long as we’ve lived in Milton. Check back next week for the next installment of “A Walk Down Memory Lane”.