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.
In 2014 one newspaper described the area as the 'least liveable' in Toronto. This was based on the scoring of 140 neighbourhoods in Toronto according to 5 Domains - Economic Opportunity, Social Development, Healthy Lives, Participation in Decision Making & Physical Surroundings. The two lowerst scoring neighbouthoods were in the Jane-Finch area.
3) The Heart of God – This area has a high population of unsaved people from around the world, a significant number are in the lower socio-economic bracket and there are a teeming number of children/youth. 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?
4) Strategically Placed – For over 37 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.