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The Kingsway Story

For more than 60 years, we have traveled together as a community of believers, joined in our desire to worship God, to witness to our relationship with Jesus Christ, and to serve others.

The history of Kingsway Baptist Church dates back to the early 1940s, when the Baptist Church Extension Board asked members of the Farmer Memorial Baptist Church in the Swansea district of West Toronto whether they would be interested in starting a new church in the rapidly growing Kingsway district.

After much debate, a decision was taken at a business meeting on May 27, 1942 that Farmer Memorial would remain in Swansea. The same evening, a group of 62 Farmer members decided to start their own church in The Kingsway.

Just two days later, Rev Frederick Burrell and ten men held the first meeting to organize a Baptist church in the Kingsway-Lambton and Islington areas. Shortly afterwards, they began negotiating to buy the property at the corner of Montgomery Road and Birchview Boulevard.

The new church was initially named Westminster Baptist, and was recognized by the Toronto Association of Baptist Churches on September 27, 1942. The same month, worship services began in the Kingsway Theatre on Bloor Street West.

The name of the church was changed to Kingsway Baptist in June 1946 to give it a closer identity with the neighbouring community.

In late 1947, a family within the fledgling church donated two properties adjoining the original site for the purpose of Christian education. However, these properties – the site of the present Brentwood public library – were sold three years later to pay off a debt.

The sod-turning service for the present church building was held in February 1948. The first service in the new sanctuary took place just 14 months later, on April 24, 1949.

From these origins has emerged a caring, searching and generous church family. Through the years, our credo has remained:
"Keep your roots deep in Christ Jesus, build your lives on Him, and become stronger in your faith, as you were taught. And be filled with thanksgiving." Colossians 2: 6-7

• For a more detailed history of Kingsway Baptist Church, see "A Congregation Remembers" by Rev. Linda Sparks, published to mark the church's 50th anniversary in 1992.