A brief history of The Planting Community Church
The Planting Community Church started in the hearts and minds of visionaries such as Victor Patten and Eustace Rawlings in 1980. Victor Patten envisioned a place where people, especially the youth could be reached for Christ. After consulting with Eustace Rawlings, who was then serving as interim Pastor for The First Church of God at 1945 Keele Street in Toronto, they contacted five other brethren, Oriel Patten, Claude Benoit, Patricia Benoit, Erme Sampson, and Naomi Rawlings. They began a series of prayer meetings in the home of the Patten’s.
Over the years some of the members have served on the Provincial Boards even to this present-day. Participation in Provincial activities such as the annual Songfest, Family Camp and General Assembly have been encouraged by the leadership. The following committees were voted on in December of 1980: Planning Committee, Christian Education, Music, Women’s Auxiliary and Evangelism. The first Committee included: Samuel Bodie, Chairperson, Hector Mayers, Secretary, Patricia Benoit – Treasurer, Naomi Bodie – Music, Victor Patten, Rosemary Appleton, Sylvia Isaac, and Erme Sampson.
The first all-day service was held at the Castle Frank High School on Bloor Street in Toronto. After a few months, the congregation relocated to Harbord Collegiate at 286 Harbord Street, Toronto. The Church later relocated to College Street United Church a relationship which lasted for 25 years. Pastor Rawlings led the congregation from September 1980 to January 1989 when he accepted the call to go to Jamestown, New York to take up the pastorate there.
Hector Mayers who became the Associate Pastor in 1985, later succeeded Pastor Rawlings and became the new Pastor on June 1, 1989. During that time, the congregation continued to thrive, and various ministries were formed and grew. Pastor Hector Mayers was a Bible Teacher and a student of the Bible who had a keen interest in Bible prophecy. He led the congregation until February 28, 2002, when he retired to focus primarily on the Shut-in Ministry with his wife, Joan Mayers. Pastor Marcelle James became the church’s first female pastor on March 1, 2002. Marcelle James, a Registered Nurse in the Province of Ontario, has felt the call of God on her life at the early age of twelve while growing up in her native Antigua.
The church was relocated to 236 Nairn Ave. on March 5th, 2005; The church was able to purchase this property due to the excellent stewardship of the early believers and low rental at the United Church for over 25 years.
One of the early objectives of the church was to create an environment of worship for members of the church family who were transitioning from “the home country to Canada and to feel a sense of belonging. As Pastor Eustace Rawlings said at the first worship service at Castle Frank High School, this will be your home away from home. People were attracted to the congregation because it provided them with an environment of worship which they had grown up with and had become accustomed. The church has also evolved as many of the early adherents have aged and the next generations of Canadians are taking up the mantle of leadership in the new Canadian multicultural dynamic. In 2017, the church decided on a name change to reflect the current vision to become a more missional congregation. The month of May 2017 the name of the church was officially changed from The Metropolitan Church of God to The Planting Community Church.
The fields are white unto harvest, pray to the Lord of the harvest that he may send out workers.