A Brief History of Apsley Community Chapel
This ministry was started in 1951 by Bert & Pearl Trotter in their home off the present highway 28 in Clanricarde. They wanted to start a Sunday school for their family and other children who lived in the area. Various workers from Peterborough, Lakefield and Bancroft shared in the ministry. The work grew quickly and as it grew a vision for missions also grew. A son of one of the first missionaries is still supported by this church.
In 1959 a Youth Group was started under the leadership of Ernie Trotter (Pastor Ward’s Brother). In 1960 a move to Apsley was necessary as the congregation had outgrown the home of Mr. & Mrs. Trotter. They rented the Anstruther school house for meetings, which was located in the area of the Lion’s park or the old fire hall. After the move the church was named Evangel Tabernacle.
In 1963 another move was needed to accommodate the growth of the congregation. Property for the building was donated to the church by Earl Trotter, Pastor Ward’s brother. Although the footings were started in that year the building was not completed until May of 1964. The name was changed again to Apsley Community Chapel, the name we have today. The Sunday school classes were divided and many different speakers shared in the ministry, but Ward Trotter was placed in the position of pastor. Pastor Ward was ordained in December 1968. Sanford Trotter was the Sunday School Superintendent until 1978 at which time Carol Wilson took the position.
With the opening of the new church, funerals and marriages began taking place, making it a busy centre in the community.
In the early 1990’s it was decided that a larger church building was necessary. The logs were cut from the property of Uwe Fischer under the leadership of Sanford Trotter for an auditorium 50 ft. X 80 ft. George Trotter hauled the logs to be planed and prepared for use. Jesse Payne was the building contractor and many of the men of the church worked hard to see the building completed. By March 7, 1992 when Pastor John and Julia were married most of the pews had been put in.
In 1993 a school was established under the supervision of Michael Shpikula (son-in-law of Pastor’s Ward & Josephine) . This began with two students and to date there are approximately 20 students. Michael also assumed the leadership role of in the Kids Church with the help of Dolores Bennett.
In 1994 our present pastor John started a youth group. Only Pastor John can tell you of the real results of this endeavour: the trials, the victories and the weekly ventures. Our leaders of the youth now are Josh and April Perks, which were a part of the original endeavour.
In the past years a weekly prayer service and a ladies group have developed. The Prayer Service being led by Pearl Shpikula and the ladies group lead by Julia Trotter.
In 2005 Pastor’s John and Julia took the baton from his father and mother, Pastor’s Ward and Josephine.
An era ended in the fall of 2012 as Pastor’s Ward and Josephine were both hospitalized due to poor health. Fortunately they shared the same room in the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. They passed into glory within 10 days of one another. Great sorrow was felt by the Chapel congregation, not to mention the immediate family. Only eternity will reveal the legacy that Pastor’s Ward and Josephine have left not only to their children and grandchildren but to the many friends they had as well as the community at large. The ministry they worked so diligently in has been carried on through their children and their spouses.
Over 60 years of ministry has given us much to celebrate in what the Lord has done through those who have been faithful in his service. For those who have gone on to their reward and to those who are still labouring in his vineyard. We give God all the glory.