Toronto Main Street Church of the Nazarene has been located at 363 Main Street since December 12, 1937 when the first service conducted by Rev. H.M. McGuire was held in a space that was the Danforth Day Nursery. At that time the church was known as the East Toronto Evangelical Centre. On March 20, 1938, the church was organized and, at a members’ meeting of March 23rd, officially christened “The Main Street Church of the Nazarene”. From an initial membership of 16 members in May, 1938, and despite being sometimes overlooked because of its recessed location, Main Street Church membership has grown over the years.
Main Street has always taken seriously the mandate to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel”. There are believers today in all walks of life who have had their spiritual beginnings at Main Street.
“Progeny”: Church planting was Main Street’s passion for many years. In the early 1940’s, Main Street assisted in the starting of the Donlands Church of the Nazarene on Gamble Ave. Although the life of this church was fairly short, any soul who was drawn to the Lord through this work would agree that it was worth the effort. The organization of the Kennedy Road Church in October 1957 began after tent meetings were held in the Corvette and Kennedy Road area. Most of the 26 charter members came from Main Street Church. Mount Albert Church began with revival services held by the then Main Street Pastor, Rev. Bob Fowler. Finally, in 1978, after much prayer, the Church Board under the leadership of Main Street’s Pastor, Rev. William Stewart, deemed that the Agincourt area seemed a suitable place for a church plant. School facilities were rented, and services began in November, 1979. In 1983, the Rosewood Church of the Nazarene was organized. Again, many of Rosewood’s first members came from Main Street.
On March 20, 1938, when a small, dedicated group of people banded together to form the Main Street church of the Nazarene, little did they realize the long-term effect their efforts would have in spreading the Gospel not only at home but abroad. Some of the church leaders arising out of Main Street include Sunday School teachers; lay ministers; missionaries; pastors; and pastors’ wives. The past (over 80) years of ministry in East Toronto have been full of adventure and challenges, with many lives being significantly ministered to. Main Street’s history is rich because of the willingness of the people, both laity and clergy, to sacrifice their time and energy in order to see God’s kingdom expanded.
The future is before us. The strength of our past is our foundation for building a stronger future. God has been, and continues to be, faithful to us, and this stimulates us to trust him for an even better future.