Grace Toronto Church

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Grace Toronto Church is a Presbyterian Church in America congregation in Toronto, Ontario, Canada worshipping in the historic St. Andrews Church building.

Grace Toronto Church
St Andrew's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Toronto.JPG
St Andrews Church building Toronto, Ontario owned by Grace Toronto Church
Denomination Presbyterian PCA
Website http://gracetoronto.ca/
History
Former name(s) St Andrews Presbyterian Church, St Andrews Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church
Dedication St. Andrew
Administration
Parish Ontario
Province Canada
Presbytery Presbytery of Eastern Canada

History of the Building[edit]

The church was originally built as Old St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. St. Andrew's Church, (Church of Scotland) had dated back to 1830 when Toronto was still the Town of York. This congregation had split in 1874 over whether it should move west from the corner of Adelaide and Church Streets. The majority erected a new church in 1876 at King and Simcoe that became known as "New St. Andrew's", and it remains there to this day. The church was renovated by Henry Langley (architect) in 1877-78. Those who wished to stay in the area stayed in "Old St. Andrew's". There was however, a need for a new building, and in 1878, they moved northeastward into this building at the corner of Jarvis and Carlton Streets.

The Soviet invasion of the Baltic regions had produced an influx of refugees into Toronto. At the same time, the United Church of Canada, which Old St. Andrew's had joined in 1925, was in relative decline within the downtown core of Toronto.

In 1950, Old St. Andrew's had joined with Westminster-Central to become St. Andrew's United Church near the corner of Bloor East and Yonge Streets, and by 1951, the Old St. Andrew's building was sold, and it became the main church of Toronto's Latvian and Estonian worshippers. Saint Andrew as a renowned saint of the Christian Church, was retained by the congregations.

Until September 30, 2015, the church remained home to two congregations of both the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran and Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Churches.[1]

As of October 1, 2015, St. Andrew's became the new home for Grace Toronto Church. The historic building became home of a Presbyterian church again.

History of Grace Toronto Church[edit]

Grace Toronto Church was founded in 1992 by Stephen Beck. During this time the church flourished. In 2002, Beck and his family left to become missionaries in Germany, and attendance at Grace began to dwindle. In 2004, Reverend Dan MacDonald became pastor of the church. The church was reduced to a handful of people in 2004, so Dan and Sue, under the guidance of the denomination, re-planted the church. The congregation was reduced to 10 people. In 2006 there were 25 regular attenders. Since 2006 the congregation has grown exponentially.[2]

Beliefs[edit]

  • We believe the Bible is the written word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in the original manuscripts. The Bible is the revelation of God’s truth and is infallible and authoritative in all matters of faith and practice.
  • We believe in the Holy Trinity. There is one God, who exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
  • We believe that all are sinners and totally unable to save themselves from God’s displeasure, except by his mercy.
  • We believe that salvation is by God alone as he sovereignly chooses those he will save. We believe his choice is based solely on his grace, not on any human individual merit or on his foreknowledge of our faith.
  • We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through his perfect life and sacrificial death atoned for the sins of all who will trust in him alone for salvation.
  • We believe that God is gracious and faithful to his people, not simply as individuals, but as families in successive generations, according to his covenant promises.
  • We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells God’s people and gives them the strength and wisdom to trust Christ and follow him.
  • We believe that Jesus will return, bodily and visibly, to judge all mankind and to take his people to their eternal home.
  • We believe that all aspects of our lives are to be lived to the glory of God under the lordship of Jesus Christ. - Adopted from http://gracetoronto.ca/about-us/beliefs/[3]
  • The church is a member of the Presbyterian Church in America[4]

The Building[edit]

The pipe organ inside the building

St. Andrew's Church was built by Langley & Burk in 1878 for Rev. M.G. Milligan and the congregation of the original St. Andrew's Church. The building is designed in a gothic style with a linear orientation on an East-West axis, with towers dominating the western side where the main entrances are located. The facade is a simple-yet-elegant design featuring groupings of stained-glass windows on the north, east and south sides of the building, to allow maximum light exposure during the morning hours when service would take place. The materials used in the construction are brick, wood, stone and stained-glass. The exterior shows mainly the brick and stone elements, while the interior reveals more of the warm wood texture complemented by the intimate lighting from the stained-glass windows. The approximate dimensions of the building are 36 meters by 25 meters for the body of the building, and 17 meters high to the top of the pitched roof, and 46 meters and 25 meters to the tops of the two steeples.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°39′44″N 79°22′35″W / 43.662276°N 79.376269°W / 43.662276; -79.376269