Our building was built in 1909 as the home of Victoria Avenue Methodist Church. On June 10, 1925 this congregation joined the union with the Presbyterian, Congregational and Methodist churches to form the United Church of Canada. On the southeast corner of 15th and Victoria Avenue stood the Knox Presbyterian Church, which also joined the union. The two churches worshipped as separate congregations until 1933, when due to the Great Depression and its impact on the economy, the two congregations merged to become Victoria Avenue United Church.
The United Church congregation used both buildings for a short time, worshipping in the former Knox Presbyterian Church building and holding Sunday School and mid-week activities in the Victoria Avenue Methodist building. As the Depression deepened, in 1935 the congregation ceased worshipping at the south east corner building and all activities were held in the building on the north west corner of Victoria Ave. In 1937, the old Knox Presbyterian building was torn down and in 1938 the congregation adopted the name Knox United Church. You can still see the foundation of the former church as a house has been built on it.
By the early 50’s the Knox congregation outgrew the capacity of this building and launched a building program. In 1954 they sold the building to the First Christian Reformed Church, a relatively new church in Brandon, for a grand sum of $25,000. They in turn moved into the building they currently occupy on 18th Street, taking the corner stone with them, which you can see in their lobby.
Presently, the First Christian Reformed Church building has been modified during the years to better serve the needs of the congregation. The original church was built with a Casevant tracker action pipe organ. Sometime before 1954 it was replaced with an electric organ and all that remains of original organ is the front and the speaking pipes you currently see. Since then, several electric organs served the congregation before, ultimately, a keyboard was favoured. The former lights which hung from the beams were replaced with the “modern” bullet indirect lighting on the walls. The original circular stage with its round pulpit was removed and a large straight pulpit from the Knox building was installed.
In the late 1970’s this congregation found the large stained glass panels were expensive to maintain and installed the more heat efficient panes you see today. The upper portions of the windows still retain the original stained glass. In the late 1990’s the large, square pulpit and the choir loft were removed and the entire pulpit area was changes to accommodate contemporary worship. The pulpit you see was made from the wood of the former one.
Improvements to the building include an addition, then a total renovation of the “Annex” (a former barracks from the decommissioned Brandon air base) which now houses offices, the renovation of the basement to accommodate a large nursery and meeting space and the installation of an elevator.