OUR HISTORY

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In the late 1920s, SDA believers met in a small hall in Fennell Bay, which for some meant crossing part of Lake Macquarie by boat.  This inconvenience led to a search for a meeting place nearer to Blackalls Park, where most of the new Adventists lived. 

 

The former bakery in Railway Parade North at Blackalls Park was available, so members cleaned it up, bought a number of second-hand pews and an organ, and began worshiping there.   

 

In October 1932, the Toronto Church was formally organised by the NNSW Conference at its camp meeting being held in Lambton Park at the time.

During the early war years, the congregation held services in the Scout Hall on the corner of Victory Parade and Cary Street Toronto, while their new church was being built at 133 The Boulevarde Toronto.  This new church building was dedicated on 9 August 1941.  The Toronto Church had no minister until 1957, when Pastor R.A.R. Thrift was appointed to care for the church.  His time was shared with Boolaroo and Swansea churches.

 

Membership continued to grow over the years and in the mid-1960s, the pastor and board members actively looked for a larger block of land on which to build.  In 1966, a suitable allotment on the corner of Galbraith and Barry Avenues Toronto was purchased.  The members toiled hard to make the new church building a reality and services commenced on 8 May 1971.  In the 1980s, extensions in the form of a hall and a carpark were completed.  During this time, the desire of parents was for their children to receive a Christian education in the local area.  Some children travelled by train and/or bus to attend the only SDA school in Newcastle, in the suburb of Hamilton, but this was very difficult, especially for the younger ones.

 

The pastor and board members searched for new land that would be suitable for a school and have potential for growth.  Pastor Leo Rose, a past president of the NNSW Conference, and much-loved member of the Toronto Church, had an instrumental role in the acquisition of a 6-acre property on Parkside Parade (off Wangi Road) Toronto.  Eventually the Toronto SDA School was established and in January 1982, classes commenced in a rear room of the church in Galbraith Avenue.  Early in 1983, the new school building was completed at the Parkside Parade site and classes commenced there in April 1983.

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During the 1990s, building costs were rising faster than the congregation could raise funds and the construction of a new church building seemed beyond its reach.  In the early hours of Sabbath morning, 14 August 1999, the church building in Galbraith Avenue burned to the ground as the result of an arson attack, leaving the congregation with nowhere to worship.

Upon hearing of the fire, many local churches generously offered their facilities.  The Uniting Church in Toronto was chosen, and the members worshiped there for two years while a new church was being built on the school grounds at Parkside Parade. 

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Architect Stephen Rose designed the new complex, which includes the well-appointed sanctuary (with seating up to 180), a library, a seminar room, four children’s rooms, as well as a large hall with a commercial kitchen.  Adrian and James Grieve were the builders, and John McNaughton donated his skills for the interior design.

The new church complex was officially opened on 27 October 2001.  It has seen much growth and change in the years since it was built.  We praise God for His leading and look forward with excitement to the continued fellowship, growth, and opportunities for service the Toronto Adventist Church brings to the community.

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Current church photography courtesy Walter Humphris

Some of the ministers who have served the church over the years include:

  • W A Turner

  • Oliver T Goldsmith

  • R A R Thrift (1957-1963)

  • J R Kent (1964-1966)

  • Ron D Craig (1967)

  • Jim Cherry (1967)

  • Ron T Laughlin (1968-1970)

  • Syd A Stocken (1971)

  • William Hawken (1972)

  • Leonard H Hay (1972-1975)

  • Jim Beyers (1976-1977)

  • Alwyn K Gersbach (1978)

  • W Sheffield (1978)

  • Leo Rose (1979-1981)

  • Rein Muhlberg (1982-1983)

  • Wayne French (1984)

  • Deane Jackson (1985-1987)

  • Graeme Scott (1988-1993)

  • Peter Saunders (1994)

  • Max J Mulligan (1995-1996)

  • Wilf H Pascoe (1997-2000)

  • Ray Baird (2001-2003)

  • Daniel Cinzio (2004)

  • Aaron Jeffries (2005-2012)

  • Michael Chapman (2013)

  • Warwick Sawyer (2014)

  • Brock Goodall (2015-2016)

    • Bible worker - Alex Green (2015)

    • Bible worker - Jack Ryder (2016)

  • Grego Pillay (2017-2020)

  • Susan Magaitis (2021-