Annual Celebration

Come to the church in the wildwood…

Sunday August 11, 2019 • 2 pm

Come to the nineteenth anniversary celebration of the restoration of the Rockingham Church. Enjoy live music and presentations, usually on historical topics. Refreshments outside and socializing follow the presentation.

Mark Woermke


This year we’re very pleased to welcome as speaker the writer, genealogist and local historian Mark Woermke. Mark is a man of many facets but he has taken a particular interest in German and Wendish settlement in Renfrew County. He will speak to us on this topic, highlighting where the immigrants originated and the pattern of chain migration, with an emphasis on German families who settled close to Rockingham.

Mark’s Madawaska Valley roots run deep: he is a fifth-generation descendent from railroaders and hotel-keepers, with Irish ancestors in Brudenell Township and German ancestors in nearby Sebastopol Township (at Woermke). He grew up in Barry’s Bay but spent his early years at Lake Traverse, in Algonquin Park, where his father worked for the CNR. The railroad has been another enduring interest: he edited his mother Gwen’s book, Lake Traverse Station: A Railroad Wife’s Algonquin Park Memoir, and in 2017 he wrote, directed and acted in the play Meet Me at the Station.

Mark teaches high school English and Philosophy in Ottawa but spends as much time as possible in Barry’s Bay. He writes the popular Porch Views column for the Madawaska Valley Current, participates in the Opeongo Readers’ Theatre, sits on the board of Stone Fence Theatre and is a recent founding member of the Station Keepers.

Pierre DesMarais


We know you’ll enjoy the resonant voice and uplifting music of Pierre DesMarais and his guitar. Friendly and engaging, Pierre draws his inspirational songs from folk, pop, country and gospel genres — songs that speak to the heart.

Pierre says his introduction to worship music in 2006 awakened something deep in him. He went on to play and lead worship through music for over five years at a Free Methodist Church in Carleton Place. Since moving to Mount St. Patrick, he has continued to play for church services of all denominations, including storefront and street churches, as well as performing at other events and venues.

In 2016, Pierre founded Feeding HOPE, for which he performs in bistros to raise funds for local food banks. Pierre has a CD, Find Me Singing, which will be available at the Celebration.


Get a preview of our annual celebrations by watching this 2010 video from the tenth anniversary celebration, featuring the chorus from the The Church in the Wildwood.

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