Lisle Memorial Baptist Church, founded in 1980 in Toronto’s Jane-Finch area, is a local church that is committed to see lives changed and the community transformed. Lisle Memorial is committed to addressing broad community priorities – particularly among the youth -- both directly and in partnership with others.
The church is named in memory of George Lisle who was born in slavery about 1750 in Virginia. After obtaining his freedom he went to Jamaica as a pioneer Baptist missionary in 1783. He died in 1828 leaving the legacy of a thriving family of Baptist churches. One of his ‘sons’ was Rev. Kendrick Sharpe. He migrated from Jamaica to Canada where he got his theological training before going to Nigeria as missionary with his wife, Mervina and 3 children. He 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.”
LMBC was established with a nucleus of members from First Baptist Church led by Pastor Meade and from Ossington Avenue Baptist Church led by Rev. Arthur Hirtle. The church received strong support from Toronto Baptist Ministries and the Canadian Baptist of Ontario and Quebec.
The church presently consist primarily of people with West Indian background, with a few members from Ghana and Nigeria.
In 1987 Rev Audley Goulbourne suceeded Rev Sharpe as pastor. Presently the church worships at Yorkwoods Public School 25 Yorkwoods Gate (2 lights South of Finch off Jane).