The History of Jaffray Church
In 1987, Canada saw a wave of immigration from Hong Kong. In order to meet the needs of an increasing number of Chinese immigrants, the Central and Eastern District Office of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA), together with the Canadian Chinese Alliance Churches Association (CCACA) and Scarborough Chinese Alliance Church (SCAC), committed to planting 10 Chinese churches within a decade. Toronto Jaffray Chinese Alliance Church was the first church to be birth out of SCAC’s church planting vision.
When SCAC announced its vision to plant a church, close to 20 brothers and sisters responded to the call. In the spring of 1988, a core group was formed. They started a Wednesday night prayer meeting which soon grew to over 30 people. In September 1988, TJCAC was officially formed, led by Rev. Gabriel Tsang from Calgary, Alberta.
TJCAC held its first Sunday worship on September 11, 1988. Many came from SCAC to celebrate with the core group of 30. A total of more than 100 people attended on that first Sunday. At the time, the church did not have its own building. They met at Scarborough Seventh Day Adventist Church located at 235 Poplar Road, near the intersection of Kingston Road and Lawrence Avenue East. The church continued to meet at the Poplar location until 1995 when they moved into the present building at the northeast corner of Meadowvale Road and Sheppard Avenue East.
The Beginnings of Congregations
The Cantonese congregation is the founding congregation of Jaffray, beginning at the first worship service on September 11, 1988. The English Ministry (EM) Department was established in 1992 to minister the children of the Cantonese congregation who are either born or being raised in Canada. With the help from other departments, the initial ministries included English-speaking Sunday Schools, Junior Church, small groups, and children fellowship (Christians in Action) – all led by few adults from the Cantonese congregation. After the new building was completed, the English congregation was officially established, with its first worship service held on April 23, 1995. The first English pastor, Rev. Benjamin Li, was hired to lead the English congregation in 1998. In 2004, Rev. Arthur Wong became Jaffray’s English pastor.
As far back as 1996, Mandarin-speaking people from China and Taiwan began attending Jaffray church. In 2004, small groups were formed to minister to those who speak Mandarin. With the immigrant wave from China, Jaffray established a Mandarin-speaking congregation on February 26, 2012, under the leadership of Rev. Paul Ting and Rev. Jimmy Zhen.
To provide a better ministry structure, Jaffray reorganized its children and youth ministry in August 2014. Children (age 12 and under) and youth (age 12-18) from all three language congregations were placed under one congregation, called Young Life Ministry, under the leadership of Pastor Ivy Milanowski. At the end of 2016, Pastor Ivy and her husband, Glen, became C&MA International Workers to Norway. Pastors Arthur Wong and Gabriel Ng took up the leadership of Young Life Ministry in 2017.
The Community Outreach Ministry launched in 2015 under the leadership of Pastor Gabriel Ng. This ministry has the mandate of demonstrating the love of Jesus in a holistic way by caring for the physical needs of community members and impoverished individuals in the city.
All four congregations of Jaffray are led by individual ministry committee, under the oversight of the Elder Board, working interdependently to build up Christ’s church. Through the years, God has used Jaffray church to be a blessing to many: building up the faith of individuals and families, baptizing people in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, educating God’s truth, supporting evangelism and mission works at home and abroad, and sending out part-time and full-time ministry workers. All these fruits are the result of God’s powerful work through His people. To God be the glory!
- Rev. Gabriel Tsang (1988-1995)
- Rev. Daniel Lau, Volunteer Consultant (1996-1997)
- Rev. William Yung (1997-2007)
- Rev. Paul Ting (2009-2013)
- Rev. Brian Wong (2013-2020)
- Rev. Lawrence Leung (1999-2004)
- Pastor Billy Pang (2005-2010)
- Rev. Samuel Or (2019-Present)
Rev. Jimmy Zhen (2011-2018)
Pastor James Wong (2019-Present)
- Rev. Benjamin Li (1998-2003)
- Rev. Arthur Wong (2004-2018)
- Pastor Kenneth Kim (2019-Present)
Pastor Gabriel Ng (2015-2018)
- Pastor Matthew Gunn (2008-2010)
- Pastor Ivy Milanowski (2013-2016)
- Pastor Gabriel Ng (2017-Present)
- Rev. Arthur Wong (2017-2018)