By Rev. Robert Campbell
The beginnings of the United Church in Gunningsville-Riverview go back to the spring of 1940 when under the guidance of ministers of the three Moncton United churches, a Ladies' Guild was organized on May 8. The purpose was to establish and maintain a Sunday School in the village.
The first session was held on September 8 in a building on Rivercrest Avenue with an enrollment of 18 students.
In the fall of 1941 land was purchased by the Guild on Howard Avenue for the erection of a permanent building to house the Sunday School, which at the time was meeting in the local day school building.
The land was held in trust by two members resident in Gunningsville of each of the three Moncton churches. On January 31, 1945 Mr. James Crawford was appointed to chair a building committee with four other members.
Excavation was begun on Howard Avenue on May 17, 1947, and 80 students entered the new premises on February 1, 1948.
In the Fall of that year, the completed building was dedicated by the Moncton Presbytery. In the spring of 1950, Gunningsville shared a student minister with Lakeburn, Riverview and Mountain View, until the arrival of Rev. Kenneth M. Findley who held his first service on May 119 of that year. On Decemeber 10 the Rev. W.S. Godfrey, then president of the Maritime United Conference, constituted the Gunningsville United Church on behalf of the Presbytery.
The various church boards were elected on January 4, 19551. On the 22nd, a Building Committee under chairman Dr. A.E. McEwan was formed and on January 28, 1953 a building program to remodel and complete the building was approved by the congregation. Most of the work was done by the men and women of the church.
From this time to 1947 the pastorate was handled by Mr. Findley and from then to July 1958 the charged was well served by students from Mount Allison in Sackville.
In July of 1958 the Rev. James H. Hicks was appointed minister and he served until June 1963 when the Riverview-Gunningsville charge was dissolved. The Rev. John L. Rose then was engaged as Supply Minister in July of 119363, to serve the newly formed Bridgedale Pastoral Charge until such time as a full time minister could be found. Mr. Rose's leadership guided the charged through the firs year of its existence during which time steady growth was evident.
In July 1964 the Rev. Waldo G.C. Elliott moved into the new Manse on Peck Drive and was inducted minister of the parish.
Sod for the new church was turned on August 15, 1965 and the cornerstone laid June 30, 1966.
Trinity United Church was dedicated to the glory of God and the service of its faithful at unique services held on March 27, 1966.
The Rev. Waldo Elliott served the congregation until July 1, 1960 at which time the Rev. Diane McVicar came, to begin a ministry which would span the decade. Under her leadership the congregation continued to grow along with the community.
As the congregation moved into the 80s, a strong complement of Layreaders was in place as a direct result of the consistent direction of the Rev. McVicar. She accepted a call to Nova Scotia in July of 1980 and her father the Rev. F.M. McVicar agreed to fill in as interim minister for one year.
In the summer of 1981, the Rev. Robert Campbell, his wife Donna and their two boys, Adam and Ian, came to begin their ministry with the Bridgedale Pastoral charge in Riverview.