It was in the summer of 1975,when four young Filipino Christians met one Friday afternoon at the foot of Roncesvalles Ave. on Lake Shore Blvd. for fellowship, Bible study and prayer. The first meeting was such an encouragement to each one that regular gathering was planned. With new friends being invited, the group grew in number.
The group’s initial and primary aim was two-fold:
- to witness to Filipino friends about salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ; and
- to encourage other Christians who have become lukewarm in their faith.
The group used to meet in apartments of members but not long afterwards, apartments could no longer accommodate them. After almost a year and a half, the group started meeting in a teacher’s lounge of a school for Bible study, prayer and fellowship.
In May 1977, with the help of High Park Baptist Church and the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches in Canada ( FEBCC ), the group called Rev. Godfrey Catanus as their Pastor. Forty-two chartered members elected the first officers of the original group that has now become the First Filipino Baptist Church Toronto. For the next two years the church held its ministry and worship services at the recreation hall of Bonar Parkdale Presbyterian Church on Dunn Ave. In 1979, the FEBCC through the help of its Board Secretary, Dr. Timothy Starr, acquired the building at 382 Lippincott St. for the church. The congregation numbering a little more than 100 moved to its new location in the latter part of 1979.
Pastor Godfrey Catanus left the ministry for the United States as a Missionary Church Planter in the early 1982. The church then called his brother and our present Pastor, Rev. Eliezer Catanus to take over as Shepherd of this local congregation.
Since then, the church has been growing steadily both spiritually and physically. The church assisted in the establishment of three (3) new congregations in Scarborough, Brampton and Mississauga; and an outreach group in the Burlington-Hamilton area and several home Bible Study groups have been established all across Metro Toronto and outlying areas. The church undertook a major building renovation program and moved to its newly renovated facility in August, 1992. By God’s grace, to date, the congregation has grown and still counting to around 500 members.
We praise and glorify God for all He has done for this church. We thank Him for giving us the privilege of serving Him in this part of the world.