TORONTO, Ontario – The Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) rededicated its 500-seater worship building in Scarborough, Ontario in Canada after completing renovation work amid challenges of the ongoing global pandemic.
The renovation of the place of worship at 710 Markham Road in Scarborough, Ontario included a complete remodel of the chapel facade, new steeples, new stairs which lead into the sanctuary, and the stuccoing and repainting of the entire building exterior. Work was also done to the ceiling, pews and podium, and a new Johannus organ was installed in the choir loft. Other interior upgrades included new chandeliers, audio and video system, tiling, and carpeting. An indoor baptismal pool was also constructed on the lower level.
The total cost of the renovation was CA$1,212,151.98, all coming from the voluntary contributions of church members.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) purchased the worship building at 710 Markham Road from the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada for CA$2,450,000 on January 26, 2007. The first major renovation began in 2009 and cost CA$448,078.12. The house of worship was dedicated to God in a special worship service officiated by then District Minister Brother Gregory Worthen on April 17, 2010.
After over a decade of harsh Canadian winters, repairs were needed on the worship building, especially to the chapel exterior. The renovation work began in October 2019, and was completed on September 16, 2021.
On September 25, adhering to current government restrictions, INC members gathered to rededicate to God this newly renovated worship building. The special worship service was officiated by Iglesia Ni Cristo Executive Minister Brother Eduardo V. Manalo via live streaming from Manila, Philippines.
INC District Minister of Greater Toronto Brother Glendo Baitan explained the significance of rededicating this house of worship:
“The brethren in our (ecclesiastical) district have been strengthened all the more in their faith. With the chapel newly renovated we can all the more feel that this house of worship is indeed the place where God dwells … where all the brethren long to be,” he said.
In April 2011, the INC Executive Minister visited the Scarborough house of worship to lead a special worship service and to inaugurate the District Office located at 3231 McNicoll Avenue.
“Ten years have passed since our beloved Executive Minister visited Scarborough, yet their care and love are felt by the brethren every day, all the more with this spiritual service led (via live streaming) by Brother Eduardo V. Manalo,” Brother Baitan said.
“We thank the Church Administration and will always remain active in our services to God,” he added.
The INC has been part of the Scarborough community since their first worship service over 30 years ago. Minister of the Gospel Pastor Palacios Jr. officiated the Scarborough congregation’s first worship service on December 14, 1988 at Roywood Public school.
“When we started, we moved from one school to another. We really needed a chapel. So the brethren continued to look for schools that we could rent so that we would always be able to hold worship services,” explained Brother Palacios, recalling the early days of the congregation. He now teaches at the INC’s School For Ministers, and also attended the rededication of the worship building in Scarborough.
“We feel wonderful, blessed. This is a huge blessing. It’s a sign of progress of the Church, that the Church Of Christ is true and belongs to God,” he said during the special occasion.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) was first registered in the Philippines on July 27, 1914 by its first Executive Minister, Brother Felix Y. Manalo. After 107 years, it has spread to 159 countries and territories with its members belonging to 147 nationalities and races.
About the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) or Church Of Christ
For more about the Church and its activities, please visit www.iglesianicristo.net.