Montreal West – The Past, The Present and The Future
The congregation formed in the late 1800’s enjoyed strong growth in the 1950’s and 1960’s only to fall victim to severe decline in the 1970’s and 1980’s. This unprecedented decline not only affected Montreal West but many of the other congregations on and around the island of Montreal. Certainly the congregation also suffered as a result of the decline in the Anglophone community and also the overall decline in church attendance no matter the denomination.
In 2004 the congregation was at a crossroads: close or change and move forward into the future. The congregation clearly wanted a future so it began a process that forced a self-diagnosis. The congregation determined that over the years in “survival mode” it had become very inward or closed minded in its thinking. Reaching out was key to change and the future. The Renewal Troup led by Bart Alexander followed by our own outreach work with Tyndale St-Georges turned the congregation around spiritually and these changes augured well for Montreal West. Our renewal has come mainly from within the congregation due to its ability to embrace change and the congregation continues to carry its vision and mission with the induction in 2014 of its new Minister, Rev. Sampson Afoakwah.
As Montreal West moves into the future, the congregation is prepared to continue to change and adapt to reaching out to a multicultural city. Our doors are widely opened to all who seek for sound biblical teachings. Jesus Christ is the center of our ministry as He is the head of the Church.
The majority of our parishioners are drawn from the southwest part of the Island. Thus, it is evident that people are willing to travel greater distances to attend worship at Montreal West Presbyterian Church.
For the past couple of years, Montreal West Presbyterian Church has experienced some significant changes. Many of the changes were positive such as the numerical growth of the congregation; the welcoming of a new culture and new people; and the calling of a new Minister. Couple of years ago, the church was known as the fastest growing church in the Presbytery of Montreal, and it continues to grow. Many new families are becoming more and more involved.
The new cultural group are slowly integrating into a new society, country, and a church different from what they are used to although they may be from the Presbyterian background. It is clear that Montreal West is now ministering to a different cultural group which was caused by the drastic transformation that took place in the life of the congregation couple of years ago due to the influx of new immigrants. The church is definitely not what it used to be or previously existed as members from the old congregation have actually left, moved, and/or admitted. Montreal West Presbyterian Church seems to be largely ministering to a new community of new immigrants from Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, West Indies, etc. This is a congregation that was strictly traditional Anglo-Saxon, serving the Community of Montreal West and is now serving beyond the Community.