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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 2
Rev. R. Lorne McTavish

Rev. R. Lorne McTavish, pastor of the McDougall Methodist church at Edmonton, accepted the call to his present charge in 1918 and has here since lived and labored, doing splendid work in the further upbuilding of what was the first Protestant church of the city. A native of Ontario, he was born in Perth district, August 29, 1879, and is a son of Douglas and Annie (McGregor) McTavish, the latter a native of Scotland, while the father was born in Perth district, where their marriage was celebrated. He was educated in the public schools of Perth district and in Toronto and became a successful teacher. He and his wife were members of the Presbyterian church in early life but after the death of his wife Mr. McTavish united with the Methodist church. He was also a member of the Home Circle and of the Royal Templars and in these associations were indicated the rules that governed his conduct and shaped his relations with his fellowmen. In politics he was a Liberal. His family numbered eight children, six of whom are living.

R. Lorne McTavish, the youngest of five sons, acquired his early education in the public schools near his father's home and afterward attended Victory College at Toronto and also the Wesleyan College at Winnipeg. In the latter institution he qualified for the work of the ministry and was ordained in 1905. Since that time he has devoted his attention to this holy calling and his labors have been far-reaching and resultant. Following his ordination he was appointed pastor of the Methodist church at Fort Frances, Ontario, where he continued his labors for a year and then accepted a call to St. John's Methodist Episcopal church at Norwood. He also served seven years as pastor of the Young church at Winnipeg and afterward filled the pastorate of Zion church at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where he remained for three years. On the expiration of that period he was assigned to the pastorate of the United church at Wolseley, Saskatchewan, there serving for a year and then filled the pulpit of the Fifth Avenue church at Medicine Hat, Alberta, for two years. He next came to Edmonton, arriving in 1918 and through the intervening period of five years he has been identified with the McDougall church, which was the first Protestant church established in Edmonton. The original house of worship was built in 1871 and since that time two other church edifices have been built, the congregation now having a most attractive church home. Under the guidance of Rev. Mr. McTavish the work of the church has been splendidly organized and is being carried steadily forward. There is a membership of between seven and eight hundred people and the church building has the largest seating capacity in the city. The auditorium is well filled at the various church services and Mr. McTavish is regarded as a most earnest, fluent and convincing speaker. He is also chairman of the western Edmonton district for the Methodist church and his work in that connection claims a considerable portion of his time, while his specific duties in his home church are many, making his life a very busy and useful one. He is regarded as a strong factor in the moral progress and development of Edmonton and the cause of Protestantism is making steady advancement under his leadership.

In 1908 Mr. McTavish was married to Miss Eva Houston, who was born in Stratford, Ontario, and they have become parents of three daughters: Grace, Edith and Isabel, all now in school. In politics Mr. McTavish is all voter, supporting men and measures rather than party. He became a charter member of the Rotary Club at Medicine Hat and was elected vice president at its organization. He attended the national meeting of Rotarians as a delegate from his club at Kansas City and he is ever interested in projects promoted for the uplift of mankind and the benefit of the community at large. His indefatigable energy declines no call to labor or to service and his efforts have been highly resultant as an influential factor for moral progress in the lives of many.


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