Okanagan Falls United Church (Blasted Church)

(Corner of Willow Street and 11th Avenue) PO Box 47
Okanagan Falls, British Columbia V0H 1RO Canada

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Our History (The Blasted Church)

The Okanagan Falls United Church began its life as a Presbyterian Church in the mining community of Fairview. When the town’s fortunes declined, the church was not being used. The Okanagan Falls congregation and their minister decided in 1929 to dismantle the church and bring it to their community.  It is the “dismantling” part of the church lore that is shared as a great story, and that named a winery.

The practice in those days was to board over the windows and seal the doors of a building in which a stick of dynamite was suspended. The resulting force loosened all the nails so that removal of the boards was accomplished more easily and with less damage to the wood. The material was then brought to Okanagan Falls, reassembled, and the church was reopened with a dedication service on January 19, 1930, with Reverend Feir officiating.

It was an interdenominational church for several years.  Many of the furnishings and stained glass windows are dedicated from and to the pioneers of the area. The pews (see picture) were originally made circa 1902 for use in Elliott’s Hall in Fairview, and were in place for the visit of the poet Pauline Johnson.  They were sawed by hand, the bench from one solid piece of lumber, and the backs of two pieces. When Elliott’s Hall closed, the pews were given to the church in Fairview, and subsequently came to Okanagan Falls. They are still in use.

This lovely old country church at the corner of Willow Street and 11th Avenue has served its communities well in the past, and continues to do so today. Please come and participate with the congregation in the continuing adventure and evolution of the “blasted church.”

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