It was often difficult for small isolated settlements to establish an organized church congregation. Travel to these settlements, such as Dore Lake, was considered time-consuming and often hazardous. There were few churchmen available to make a five day trip from Big River to Dore Lake along freight routes during the winter months or drive over a dirt bush road during the wet seasons. Furthermore, because of the limited number of residents, churchmen could not be assured of full participation on a regular basis.
The first churchman to come to Dore Lake and preach the "Good News", arrived in 1946. His name was Herbert Smith and he was a member of the Shantyman's Christian Association. During the winter months, he travelled over the frozen muskegs and lakes, pulling his toboggan loaded with supplies and a bedroll. This dedicated man visited the various logging and fishing camps throughout northern Saskatchewan, spreading the word of God. Herbert Smith made periodic visits to the residents at Dore Lake until the late 1950s. At this time he passed away.
With the development of a permanent settlement at Dore, the residents wished to form a church congregation. A Mrs Belfry, from Big River, forwarded the people's request to the Anglican Church in Big River. In 1961, Reverend Bartrum, from Big River, came to Dore Lake to conduct the first church service in the old Maiden Lake School. Reverend Bartrum provided this service to the community for one year. He was succeeded by Cannon Parker, who stayed until 1964. These two Anglican ministers travelled from Big River to Dore Lake every second Sunday, to run church services in the school.
In 1962, The Northern Canada Evangelical Mission, constructed a mission house at the South End of Dore Lake. Marshall Calverley and his wife were the first people to operate the mission. They held church services and Sunday school at the house. In 1964, Marshall Calverley, his wife and two children moved to Winnipeg to run a youth hostel.
At this time Ray Kennedy and his wife moved to Dore Lake to operate the mission service for the next two years. In 1966, Ray, his wife and one son moved to Turtleford, where Ray took over the Church there. For the next two years, Vander and Pat Newdorf operated the mission house. By 1968 the congregation had slowly petered out. It was decided that the mission service be discontinued.
Dore Lake did not have an organized church from 1968 to 1975. During this period, residents wishing to congregate in worship attended the services held at Camp Carmel during the summer months. Periodically members from the Shantyman's Christian Association would visit Dore to conduct prayer meetings and discussions.
In 1975, Lutheran Pastor Stephen Kristiansori of La Ronge, began flying into Dore Lake to hold services once a month, on alternate Sundays.
In 1976, Larry Giesbrecht, then Conservation Officer, introduced Reverend Meuthe, a Presbyterian minister, to the community. Reverend Meuthe conducted his church services in the community hall, during the winter months. Since the construction of Camp Carmel in 1962, summer services were not held.
In 1978, Dore Lake received their first church building. St. Mary's Presbyterian Church was moved from Ile-a-la-Crosse to Dore.
In 1979, Reverend Meuthe moved to Caledonia, Ontario. He was replaced by Reverend Stephensen from Buffalo Narrows. Reverend Stephensen travelled to Dore Lake the first Sunday of every month to hold services at the community church.
Reverend Stephensen was replaced by Reverend Sherman Lee in 1981.
Ray Kennedy and Family.
Sunday School Class 1964.
Left to right: Ida Mae Johnson, Darlene Viden,
Darlene Edquist, Susan Johnson, Edwin Edquist,
Richard Johnson, and Shirley Johnson.