After four months of discussions, two Sault Ste. Marie church congregations have voted to amalgamate.
The Summit at 302 Queen Street East and Peoples Church at 424 Second Line East will start joint services on May 1 at the Queen Street location. The combined congregation will be known as The Summit.
Details of the merger will be determined over the coming months but Jeremy Murdoch, lead pastor of The Summit, said that the merged church will operate out of both its Downtown Campus on Queen Street and its North Campus on Second Line East.
“We’re better together,” said Pastor Murdoch.
The Summit began in 2004 as a campus-only church at Sault College and Algoma University. By 2006 it was providing services for whole families and in 2009 The Summit moved into a permanent location downtown at the corner of Queen and Bruce. The downtown congregation has become known for extensive involvement in community events such as Rotaryfest and The Summit’s own downtown back-to-school carnival.
Peoples Church has had a much longer history, beginning in 1948 as a Sunday School in Annie Stevens’ home on Peoples Road. Initiatives based at the Second Line East location have included a soup kitchen and, more recently, the Hand in Hand Daycare.
“When you look at the history of both churches, there was a natural synergy for us to join together as one church family to continue our community involvement in a stronger way,” Pastor Murdoch said.
For the next two Sundays, April 17 and 24 there will be services at both campuses at their respective times (10 a.m. at The Summit and 10:30 a.m. at Peoples Church).
The first unified service is planned for 10:30 a.m. May 1 at the Downtown Campus at Queen and Bruce.
“While preparations are made for our growing congregation at our North Campus, we will continue to meet downtown,” Pastor Murdoch said.