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  • Cecil Gratrix


Reverend Ross Cumming,

1952 to 1960

Rev. Ross Cumming grew up on a farm outside Barrie Ontario, (one of eleven children). He obtained his BA and BD at University of Toronto and Emmanuel College, was ordained at Collier Street United Church in Barrie, and after the requisite mission field work, he became the minister to the Huttonville United charge, and married Alice Colbourn (a teacher) in 1948.


Ross and Alice and their two young children moved to minister to the Coldwater/Eady/Waubaushene/ North River United Church Pastoral Charge in 1952.


During their time in Coldwater, three more children were born. Ross always felt that both he and Alice were in ministry together, even if he was the one being invited to a charge.

Ross also felt that seven years was the most he should provide ministry in one charge – that both he and the congregation would benefit from a change after that, but in Coldwater when he talked about leaving in 1959, the church asked him to reconsider, so he stayed there till 1960, when he and his family moved to Watford United charge; during their seven years in Watford, two more children were born and a toddler was adopted as well.


It was during Watford time that Ross started publishing several local histories and booklets, and eventually under the name of Cumming Publishers, he started reprinting a number of the old county atlases. Ross started these publications to use as a Christmas present for members of the congregation.


Ross ministered to the Port Elgin United charge from 1967 – 1975, then to Centennial United Church in Stratford till 1983; when he decided to switch to part-time, he was assistant minister at Mitchell United Church and continued with conducting worship services at Stratford nursing homes.


Both Alice and Ross were diagnosed in 1984 with cancer-related illnesses: Alice died in 1984 just three months after her diagnosis, and Ross died in 1987 three years after his diagnosis. They are buried in the Avondale Cemetery in Stratford.


Submitted By

Millie Cumming (Daughter)


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