The Japanese Gospel Church of Toronto has its roots in the Japanese Canadian community that migrated from the west coast after World War II.
Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor and with rising suspicion of citizens of Japanese ancestry, the government ordered the internment of Japanese Canadians living in coastal B.C. After the government’s internment policies ended, Japanese Canadians were forced to choose between repatriating to Japan or moving east. Many chose to relocate to the province of Ontario.
The Canadian Japanese Mission (CJM) had a vision to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Japanese Canadians all over Canada. Missionaries were commissioned and came to Toronto in the mid-1950’s to begin the work of reaching out to individuals and families across the city. A Japanese family bible camp was initiated at Fair Havens near Beaverton and this gathering of children, young people and adults formed the beginnings of the Japanese Gospel Church of Toronto.
In the early 1960’s, a nucleus of believers was formed and a pastor was called to serve the newly formed Toronto Nisei Gospel Church. Through some difficult times and dwindling membership, the remaining believers spent much time in prayer. With the support of the Japanese-speaking members and CJM workers from Vancouver, they began to rebuild the English-speaking congregation and the name of the church was changed to the Toronto Japanese Gospel Church.
From the 1960’s through to 1985, the congregation met at St. John’s Presbyterian Church at Broadview Avenue and Simpson Avenue. The Young People’s group which met in the basement of St. John’s, had an active ministry which was encouraged by Urbana conferences, youth retreats and the summer Bible camp. In 1985, JGCT relocated to the First Alliance Church in Scarborough. Just before this move, the congregation also moved to support a full-time associate pastor for the Japanese-speaking ministry.
A new home for JGCT
Around 2000, preparations began in earnest for the building of a permanent home for JGCT. The current location at McNicoll Avenue and Midland Avenue was found and architectural plans began. Funds were raised from the church community and with much celebration, ground was broken June 6, 2007. Volunteers from all over Canada, as well as church members and friends donated their time to help in the construction. Many from our church community opened their homes for billeting workers and prepared meals. Our church family is truly thankful to all who gave so freely.
In 2008 the church building was completed and the official opening took place on October 25th, 2008.
We thank God for the faithful and loving ministers who have guided us, the elders, board members and other ministry workers who have served in the name of Jesus.
Above all, we give praise and thanksgiving to our Father, who has blessed and provided over the past 60 years.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.