History of Our Church
Our Present Pastors Joyce & Leigh Straiton
Toward the end of the 19th century, Ralph Cecil Horner, a Methodist minister, actively promoted the teaching and practice of holiness within the established Methodist church. Through his preaching ministry, several independent Holiness Associations were created. Subsequently, four uniquely Canadian organizations came into existence, one of which was the Gospel Workers Church, founded about 1902 by Frank Delaney Goff; himself, a Horner convert. Several churches and preaching points were started around the Georgian Bay region, including congregations at Bayview and Meaford. On February 26, 1947, these two congregations would merge and continue ministry at the present location on Trowbridge Street in Meaford.
On September 7, 1958, the Gospel Workers Church of Canada united with the Church of the Nazarene. This union added five churches and about 200 members (including the congregation at Meaford) to the Canada Central District of the Church of the Nazarene.
Growth Brings Challenges and Changes
In the late 1960’s and through the 70’s, under the pastoral leadership of Revs. Bob Rolston, Glenn Boyce and Don Rossiter, the Meaford church experienced significant growth, necessitating the building of a large extension onto the rear of the present building. This building program enlarged the sanctuary (turning it around 180 degrees) and added much needed classroom, fellowship hall and office space to the existing facility. Further upgrades and renovations were completed in 2003 to what is now the present facility.
Looking to the Future
We, at Meaford Bethany, believe that ministry today means Living Christ through the Church into the Community by:
1. Living Christ . . .
2. Sharing Christ . . .
3. Giving Christ . . .
We have often heard it said that “the world is our parish.” For Meaford Bethany Nazarenes, the world can be a burden too great to handle. However, the Municipality of Meaford can be, . . . and is our parish.
In order for us to begin ministry outside the walls of the church, people in our community had to know that our church exists. We have opened our doors to three different organizations who use our facility regularly. These organizations, in themselves, touch the lives of a large number of the constituency that we serve.
We are exploring creative ways of reaching into our community - working together with other agencies on such projects that will build community within the Municipality of Meaford.
“You are the light of the world . . . [therefore,] let your light shine before all people.”
Matthew 5:14a, 15b NIV