In November 2015 we celebrated our 60 wonderful years as a church family in Markham. Our first Pastor Don James was our guest speaker. He and his wife cut our anniversary cake.
Our 60th anniversary celebration was a smashing success, with gala dinner on the Friday, and cake and fellowship after the Sunday worship service.
Below is a brief history of our church in honour of our 60th anniversary.
A History of Markham Baptist Church
Markham Baptist Church started in the early 1950s as an outreach to the village of Markham, which was beginning its transformation from an agriculture community to a commuter destination.
In 1953 a young woman, Miss Pauline Vincent, came to Markham to start a Baptist work. She arranged to stay at a local hotel. But in the early hours of the morning she was awakened by rowdy celebrations. Fearing for her safety, she knocked on the door of a nearby home. The owner, an Anglican, referred her to a lawyer colleague who was also a Baptist; he and his wife took her in.
Shortly after that, Baptist services were started in the old Orange Hall at the end of Church street. (It was already called Church street then, we can’t lay claim to that!) Don James, a student pastor at McMaster University, came each week and stayed with families to lead services starting in October. Miss Elvira Pepper (later Mrs. Binks) was a driving force behind new work.
The congregation was formally organized as a church on Nov 13, 1955 with 16 or 17 members and one year later gained official recognition by the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec. They began planning to build a church on the present site which was bought by the Baptist Convention.
In 1957, Paul Burns, another McMaster University student pastor took over leadership of the church, and two years later, the sod was turned in April by Mr. Walter Percy and the cornerstone was laid in November by Mr. Gordon Ratcliff.
The congregation grew steadily, and in 1988 the membership voted unanimously to expand church to meet increasing demands.
In June 1990 the sod was turned by Mr. Dean Percy and excavation was started in August. Village Baptist Church joined our church family.
The new addition was opened in February and dedicated in April, 1991. The cornerstone is laid in April by Mr. George Long. Rev. Dr. Bill Norman was called as pastor and served in that position until 2000 when Rev. Dr. Tom Cullen replaced him.
In recent years, the church has evolved to embrace its culturally diverse community and has developed a strategy focused on addressing the Christian message to the youth of Markham.
Tom Cullen served at Markham Baptist until 2009, when Rev. Murray Stovell stepped in as interim senior pastor while the church searched prayerfully for a new leader. In April 2011, Rev. Craig Rumble accepted our call and moved his family from Sarnia, ON to become our current senior pastor.
Our Charter Members
Hilda and Bill Webb, Alvira Pepper, Otha & Don Sim, Joyce & George Long, Wilf Bundy, Hattie Percy, Miss E. Percy, Arlene Rowarth, Sadie & Gordon Ratcliffe & Diane, Mrs. Matthews, Don & Elsie James.
|Lead Pastors||Youth Pastors|
|Don James (student)||Ron Hurlburt (1994 – 2004)|
|Paul Burns (student)||Jamie Eitel (2005 – 2007)|
|Alf Milligan (first full-time pastor)||Dexter Hinkson (2008 – 2009)|
|Bill Norman (1991 – 2000)|
|Tom Cullen (2000 – 2009)|
|Murray Stovell (2009 – 2011)|
|Craig Rumble (2011 – present)|