Once an area located approximately four miles west of Bezanson known as Glen Leslie became settled, a dedicated church building was deemed necessary. Church services had been facilitated in Thomas Leslie’s home by Reverend Alexander Forbes who was the Presbyterian Minister from Grande Prairie. In November 1913, Mr. Leslie and Reverend Forbes applied for and were granted 10 acres on which to build a church and plot ground for a cemetery. The following November, a meeting was held to implement a plan to build a log structure 20’ x 30’.
By March 1915, the locally harvested logs were onsite and it was decided to hire a carpenter with volunteers to provide all other labour. Completion of the building subsequently occurred with the first service being held on October 31, 1915. Total cost for the Church was $468.00.
Although purpose-built as a Church, it also served as the school house for the Somme School District #3634 from 1918 to 1928.
Over the years, the Community renovated the Church however the ravishing effects of time had taken its toll. The building had deteriorated to the point where a comprehensive restoration was required before it collapsed into itself. The Glen Leslie Church Preservation Group was formed in 2011 to oversee the restoration project. In 2010, the Church had received its designation as a Municipal Historic Resource followed by in 2011, its designation as a Provincial Historic Resource. The restoration was complete in 2014 just in time to hold a Centennial Celebration in 2015.
The historical significance of the Glen Leslie Church lies in its provision of structural evidence of a small community in north-western Alberta. The heritage value of the building lies in its architectural significance as a rare example of a log church with exposed exterior walls. This type of construction was once common for buildings in Alberta however extant examples of this technique are now rare.
In 2016, the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation presented the Glen Leslie Church Preservation Group with the Heritage Conservation Award in recognition of its work on the restoration project.
The Church and surrounding grounds would make a spectacular backdrop for wedding, family and individual pictures. It would also be the perfect setting for special events such as box socials, weddings, memorial services and heritage meetings. Family re-unions, company picnics, church picnics, community get-togethers could also be easily facilitated at the site.
The Church and surrounding landscaped areas are available for bookings.
Glen Leslie Church
County of Grande Prairie No. 1
Parks and Recreation: 780-532-9727