Recounting the history of a place is to trace the footprints that have brought us to where we are. And in figuring out the pathways of history, we learn how it is we are to tread our way into the future. Such is the instrument of recounting when the Prophet Samuel planted a stone at the beginning of his ministry as prophet and judge to the people of Israel (1 Samuel chapter 7). It is called “Ebenezer” – “hitherto has the Lord helped us”.
So we roll the proverbial stone called “Ebenezer” in place as we tell the story of God’s work at New Life Christian Church.
We are a church with deep roots and fresh leaves!
1951 to 2001
New Life Christian Church was born out of the joining of two congregations in the Scarborough area from two different denominations in 2001, namely, Bridlewood Brethren In Christ Church and New Covenant Christian Fellowship.
The Bridlewood Church had started in 1951 as Donlands Brethren in Christ Church at 150 Gamble Avenue under the charge of Myrtle and Ruth Steckley, former mission workers in Houghton. Rev. R. Lofthouse became the first pastor of this work in 1952. By 1961, under the charge of Rev. Paul Hostetler, Donlands accepted the challenge to move the church to 480 Huntingwood Drive in Scarborough, where The Bridlewood Brethren In Christ Church was eventually built in 1963.
New Covenant Christian Fellowship began as a church plant with the Ontario Mennonite Brethren under Rev. Vidya Narimalla in 1996. The group met at various locations in Scarborough before settling at the chapel in the offices of the SIM Canada at 10 Huntingdale Boulevard in Scarborough.
By 2001, the two churches began negotiations for the mutual benefit of both congregations to form a new church under two denominations. These fruitful negotiations resulted in the formation of a covenant between the two churches to form New Life Christian Church at the location of 480 Huntingwood Drive.
Thus, New Life Christian Church became the first church in the Brethren In Christ Church of Canada and the Ontario Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches to bear a dual-denominational character. Rev. Walter Kelly who was at that time the pastor at Bridlewood Brethren in Christ Church and Rev. Narimalla of New Covenant Christian Fellowship began to co-lead the church as a lighthouse for God’s work under the new banner of New Life Christian Church.
2001 to 2005
In 2002, both Rev. Kelly and Rev. Narimalla left their positions as co-pastors at New Life. The search for a new pastor began. This transition provided an opportunity for the church to create a new pathway as they settled into the Huntingwood community. The church formed a Transitional Leadership Team that helped to navigate the church through these times. Meanwhile, Rev. Grant Gordon came in 2002 to fill in the position as Interim Pastor while the search process continued.
After three years of trusting in God for His divine guidance, Rev. Wayne Wright became the Senior Pastor in 2005.
2005 to 2018
During Rev. Wright’s time at New Life, the church marked 50 years of presence in a neighbourhood that has seen numerous transitions. In 2009, as Rev. Wright concluded his ministry, Pastor Soedi Antonie joined New Life as Worship and Youth Director, and Rev. Benjamin Devadason came to lead the church in a part-time capacity. The church, like the neighbourhood, adjusted to its many transitions.
In the 2013, the decision was made to invite Rev. Devadason to become the full time Senior Pastor of New Life, a position that he held for the next 5 years. God continued to bless New Life with opportunities to minister to many as the Word was preached and our witness as His lighthouse was maintained by God’s grace.
2018 to the Present
In 2018, Rev. Devadason retired from his position, and Rev. Timothy Quek came to New Life as the new Senior Pastor in September of that year. It is a position that Rev. Quek holds to the present.
We look forward to what God is going to do at New Life Christian Church. As our name suggests, God is always doing a “new thing”, bringing forth new life and giving us new opportunities to give Him glory. We can’t wait to see what God will do next!
19 Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19)
(Written by Rev.Dr. T. Quek, 2021)