Our Commitment to the Jane-Finch Area

We have strong commitment to remain in the Jane-Finch area in order to live out our motto, ‘a community church with a passion for God and compassion for people’ and because of the following four reasons.

1) The church was purposefully established to serve in this area

Rev. Kendrick Sharpe, the founding pastor of Lisle wrote;

“While we were serving as missionaries in Nigeria, a lady from Malton, Ontario sent us a Christmas card with the picture of a drummer boy, playing a drum.  Inside the card she wrote; “There are so many people in Toronto, from all over the world and there is no one to help them, and to share the gospel with them, especially West Indians.  I wonder if you would consider coming to the Toronto to minister to them.”

This card really spoke to us, and we became burdened for our own people.  We began to pray and during our home on furlough, the Rev. Eustace Meade asked if I would be willing to help get a work started for the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec.  We told him we would pray about it.  The Lord spoke to us and we agreed to go to Jane and Finch as a family to start the new work from scratch.”

2) We have a calling as advocates and positive influencers –Over the years the area has carried a negative image, fuelled by the media. One such example is an article in the Globe and Mail (1995), “Like every big city, Toronto has a district that is particularly synonymous with Hell.  Here it is called the Jane-Finch corridor”.  The Chinese proverb says, “Don’t curse the darkness, light a candle”.  LMBC is here to be one of the candles that will have a positive impact and make a tangible difference.

Jane-Finch has been identified as one of the most at-risk neighbourhoods in one of the Thirteen high priority areas in Toronto (along with Jamestown and Malvern).

In a community where families have limited or fixed income, the children are at greater risk of suffering from poor nutrition, have more health problems, doing poorly academically and socially and in conflict with the law. LMBC is here to address some of these issues/ needs while meeting the spiritual needs.

3) The Heart of God – God has a special place in His heart for the “lost, the least and the little”.  This area has a higher proportion of these people than most other areas in the city.  Like God said to Jonah about Nineveh, ‘should I not be concerned about that great city” How could we not share God’s concern for the Jane-Finch area?

 

  • The population is over 60 thousand
  • The immigrant population 12% higher than in the city as a whole
  • Just under 1 of every 4 residents is under 15 years of age in 2001 –5% higher than the city               
  • 30% of families headed by lone-parents-10% higher than the City
  • Average and median household incomes are lower than those for the City by about $8,300
  • Higher proportion of adults work in manufacturing, trades, retail and transportation

4) Strategically Placed – For over 30 years, God has allowed the church to have ministry in the Jane-Finch area. LMBC is well positioned to be engaged in serving in the area to see lives changed and the community transformed.