History Highlight

Celebrating 22 Years!

“By God’s grace, Philip Wood, Bob Morris, Bill Fietje and a few others were willing to be submissive in humility to undertake a task they knew was too big for them – the vision from the Lord to initiate the ministry called MissionFest Toronto”.

– Albert Wai, SEND International, Honorary Director

In 1993, this group of mission and church leaders met to discuss bringing MissionFest to the GTA. Following great precedents set by Missions Fest Vancouver and Missions Fest Alberta, the group forged ahead. This volunteer movement was church driven, but included the mission and Christian educational kingdom labourers as well.

MissionFest Toronto has evolved to embrace the fact that God has called all of us to be missionaries wherever He has placed us – in the home, workplace, streets, schools, arts, church, and in mission fields of various destinations; where the lost can be found.

We would like to acknowledge the support of the following Exhibitors who have been with MissionFest since its inauguration to date: (list in alphabetical order)

Action International Ministries I.V.C.F
African Inland Mission Janz Team Ministries
Arab World Ministries Latin America Mission
Bridges for Peace MECO
Briercrest Schools Mission Aviation Fellowship of Canada
International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem OMF International
Child Evangelism Fellowship OMS International
Chosen People Ministries Open Doors

– Celebrating God’s Work in the World– February 16-18 with keynote speakers Franklin Graham, Sue Dennison, Stephen Hawkins and Dr. Thomas Wang at the Peoples Church.Worship artists: Margaret Becker, John Schlitt and Craig Douglas Band.

MissionFest strategically began the same year Billy Graham came to Toronto for his Global Mission Ontario crusade in 1995. Inspired by this event, many of the churches who banded together to support it came into agreement to support MissionFest as well. The first MissionFest was held at the Peoples Church with a desire to see a partnership in the Christian community that would represent mission from our city streets to the furthest points of the globe. The intent is to celebrate what God has done in the world, receive renewed vision of what God is doing today, and then mobilize believers to join together for His work.

MissionFest includes prayer sessions, seminars, plenary sessions, a youth program, a children’s program and 77 exhibitors.

The 1996 Visionary Team: Gerry Anderson (IVCF), Margaret Cheung (Scott Mission), Justin Dennison (Bramalea Baptist Church), Joe Elkerton (First Nation Gospel Assembly), Bill Fietje (OMF), John Hull (Peoples Church), Douglas Lynn (Crossroads Cathedral), Bob Morris (Interserve), Arnell Motz (SIM), Minho Song (Young-Nak Korean Presbyterian), Barbara Sparks (Emmanuel Bible College), Irving Whitt (OTS), Philip Wood (WEC)

– Celebrating God’s Work in the World– February 28-March 2 with keynote speakers Don Richardson and George Verwer at the Peoples Church. Worship artists: High Power & children choirs from Willowdale Christian School, North Toronto Christian School, and Richmond Hill Chinese Community Church.

“I covered MissionFest Toronto’s first events as a reporter for The Endeavour and was inspired by Philip Wood’s vision ‘to celebrate those people and organizations that are taking Christ to the world.’ Little did I imagine that 13 years later I would be the Canadian director of one of those missions”.

– Linda Haist, Canadian Director, MECO

“North American Christians are at critical point in history where we must either effectively advance the gospel or become eternally irrelevant. It is essential that we seek out our purpose and responsibility of preaching Jesus and His kingdom to our lost world in conferences such as MissionFest”.

– Kai Mark (Programmer ’97), Pastor, Unionville Oasis

– Shake, Rattle & Go – February 27-March 1 with keynote speakers Brother Andrew and Tony Campolo at the Metro Convention Centre. Worship artists: The DustKickers, Carpenter’s Union, Upstream, Mizo Choir (India) and Deborah Klassen.

“Missions is Christians reaching out cross-culturally to neighbours, in Toronto or around the world. It involves the church stretching beyond its comfort zone to those who know nothing of the Gospel. The task can only be done as pastors, churches, parishioners, missionaries and mission leaders, talk together, pray together and work together. This is the purpose of MissionFest”.

– Dr. Irving A. Whitt, Chairman of Missions, Ontario Theological Seminary

– GO – January 15-17 with keynote speakers Greg and Sally Livingstone, David Wang, Mark Middleton and Phoebe Jean at Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

We use the word Mission. Jesus was a bit more straightforward. He said, GO! Start where you are. Cross a few cultural lines. Keep going.

“By the grace of God, this is our 4th year gathering God’s people to celebrate the Lord’s work of missions…we hope to motivate and mobilize the minds of God’s people to take stock of the state of our world. The mix of speakers and seminars will inform and enable you for the task”.

– Dr. Philip Wood, Chair, Steering Committee & Board of Director

– Hope? – March 3-5 with keynote speakers Kim Phuc, David Mainse, Luis Bush and Stephen Saint at Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Worship artists: Rebecca St. James, Echoes of Praise, Capstone, Estiban and Joan Lindsay.

Considering the last 2000 years, is there hope for the next? Looking at 2000 and beyond.

“MissionFest we need! In a postmodern age of heightened self-interest, the church needs the kind of creative drive and Spirit boldness that MissionFest provides. I praise God for their gifts of vision and leadership”.

– Brian C. Stiller

– The Persecuted Church – March 2-4 with keynote speakers Baroness Caroline Cox, Johan Companjen, Dr. Joseph D’Souza, Dr. Paul Marshall and Freddie Sun at Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Worship artists: Kelita, The Faith Chorale, Toronto Mass Choir, Mark Griffin, The Toronto Canadian Korean Children’s Choir, Ching Teh, and Londa Larmond.

“MissionFest Toronto is designed for the whole family; for adults, youth and children. Young people are the Christian leaders of tomorrow and the missionaries of tomorrow.”

– Marie-Lucie Spoke, Managing Director

“Your organization is very inspiring as you continue to keep the needs of the world before Toronto.”

– Karen Burke, Toronto Mass Choir

– What Can I Do? – March 1-3 with keynote speakers Tim LaHaye, Loren Cunningham, Rick Tobias, Tom Caldwell and Dennis Ngien at Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Worship artists: Rena Gaile, Salvation Army Band, Deborah Klassen, and Penny Merchants.

“Our desire for MissionFest Toronto 2002 is to see the Church working together, motivated, mobilized and equipped to evangelize, disciple and care for the people of this global village”

Bill Fietje, Chairman of the Board

– Let the Nations Be Glad – February 28–March 2 with keynote speakers Anne Graham Lotz, Charles Price, Joseph Stowell, Dr. Tokunboh Adeyemo and Thomas Wang at Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Worship artists: Chris Tomlin, Downhere and Kirk Bartha.

This year a roundtable discussion of Business Executives was implemented as they have taken an active role in MissionFest presenting how their faith is integrated in their workplace.

– Here…and to the ends of the earth! – March 12–14 with keynote speakers Dr. Yonggi Cho, Pat Francis, Bill Prankard, Winnie Bartel, and Myles Monroe at Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Worship artists: Dan McCabe, Anna Cho and Heather McCullough.

New for this year was the introduction of the Visual Arts Corner and the Performing Arts Corner. God speaks to people through various art forms as it is used for the purpose of glorifying Him and fulfilling His mission. Also, introduced was the Business Track called ‘Anointed for Business’ and the Refugee Highway.

– Ten Years of Celebration – April 8– 9 with keynote speakers Kathy Mainse, Ed Silvoso, Loren Cunningham, Cal Bombay and Dr. Fletcher A. Brothers at Queensway Cathedral. Worship artists: Aileen Lombardo, Freespirit, Saj Mckenley and Hemig Singers.

This year marked the 10th anniversary of MissionFest Toronto. Congratulations to the team for a decade of adventure and faith as contributors to this movement that desires to bring Christians together to celebrate the global work of God and motivate a whole new generation of “sent ones”.

“The image I have is of a rising tide that lifts all vessels and thus enables all to fulfill their individual callings. Along the edge of the ocean are many boats; from canoes, kayaks…to larger craft such as yachts and catamarans. Our vision is to stimulate mission awareness and involvement in a manner that benefits every shape of mission enterprise, small and large, simple and sophisticated, so that all will benefit!”

– Ken Little, Chair, Board of Directors, 2005

– In UNITY of PURPOSE – March 23–25 with keynote speakers Huldah Buntain, Orim Meikle, Barry Meguiar, John Maxwell, Faisal Malick and William Tsui at Toronto Congress Centre. Worship artists: Bill Drake, Ruth Ann Onley, Hiram Joseph and Teen Challenge Choir.

“Toronto Praise” kicked off this MissionFest with such a glorious presence of God! It was an incredible worship event that was free of charge to the public featuring artists Mark Masri, Kevin Pauls, Carrie Guse, Yemisi, Ginny Bridle, Toronto Mass Choir and many more.

– We Speak to Nations! – March 1–3 with keynote speakers Franklin Graham, Ravi Zacharias, Henry Blackaby, Aileen Coleman, Musyoki Muindi and Kenny Blacksmith at Toronto Congress Centre. Worship artists: Krystaal, Geoff Moore, Matt Tapley, The Watoto Children’s Choir, His Season and Worship in Motion.

Teen Missions in Canada presented a wonderful display of the Old Testament Tabernacle, the first Arts & Media seminar track was introduced and as the floodgates opened up, over 20,000 people poured into every room and session during the course of the 3 days!

“…because of someone who met me at MFT, we are now selling our home, packing the family and moving to Germany…to serve at the Black Forest Academy as dorm parents”.

– Jim Paterson, Artist

“MissionFest is a great picture of the human response to the goodness of our amazing God”.

– Sharon Geigl, Anointed Joy

 Making A Difference – March 6-8 with keynote speakers James Robison, Bill Wilson, Chris Heuertz, Faytene Kryskow and Marie Ens at Toronto Congress Centre. Worship artists: Friends of Jesus Christ, Jacob Moon, Heavenly Jewels Children’s Choir, Life Support, Dan Macaulay and Rhema Sanctuary Choir.

“Envision yourself entering a whole new world that you didn’t know existed, where people of diverse colours, cultures and characters welcome you with warm smiles and wonderful stories, that are unified in one message, the Great Commission. Well, this place does exist. It’s called MissionFest Toronto, an exciting world of extraordinary characters, sights and sounds”.

– John Verdone, Chair, Board of Directors

– for His name’s sake – April 16-18 with keynote speakers Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne, Chris Marantika, Benji Devadason and Charla Pereau at the International Centre. Worship artists: Brian Doerksen, Jubilance Singers & Orchestra, New Revolution Choir, Allen Froese, Diane Lee-Clemons and Aaron Boghossian.

“It is a startling fact that nearly 97% of Evangelicals in North America do not share their faith in Christ. Most don’t even mention it. We need to repent and get back to a lifestyle of sharing, of being a credible witness for Christ and of understanding the times and seasons we are living in. We need to know what to do and how to do it. This is where MissionFest can be of great service to you”.

– Jude Hodgson, Executive Director

“I want to thank you for a wonderful MissionFest in Toronto. It was very spiritual for me and my friends. The exhibitors and seminars were excellent”.

– Montrice Martin

“MissionFest 2009 was an awesome and dynamic experience! I had heard so much about the event in previous years but I never had an opportunity to attend. The most compelling and eventful part of the event for me had to be the personal interactions, dialogues and prayers of a couple of the exhibitors. I felt on many levels this was a God orchestrated set up to release me into missions. There was much thought provoking conversations about how I could get involved as an individual for local and international initiatives to get involved in Jesus’ great commission to make disciples of the nations!”

– Gabrielle Smith

– Called According to His Purpose – April 16 – 18 with keynote speakers Afshin Javid, Dr. Jean Chamberlain, Tony Fernandez, John Hull, George Verwer, Nathanael Gerber, Ron Boyd-MacMillan at Global Kingdom Ministries.  Worship artists: Ryan Resmer, Marlene O’Neill, Robert Chambers, Lorna & Colette, Relevant Worship, United Through Worship, Paulis Sanchez, and Nuevo Elementos.

At ‘Church Without Limits’ we are firm believers that the Lord “delights in the prosperity of His servant” (Ps.35:27).  We believe that you are good ground and we trust that this seed will be a blessing to you and your ministry. We are honoured to continue to work alongside you to see God’s will established in the Greater Toronto Area and to the ends of the earth.

– Pastor Brendan & Sharon Witton

After a couple days of reflection, I have been very encouraged by the sense of peace I’ve had about the experience. A number of young people have written to me to respond and share their experience and how God challenged them through the weekend – so I know that God truly was planting something on Saturday evening.

– Nathanael Gerber

– We’re All In This Together – April 1-2 with keynote speakers Luis Palau, Patrick Fung, Ron Cline, Brett Ullman, Nizar Shaheen, Melinda Estabrooks, Marva Tyndale at Global Kingdom Ministries.  Worship artists: ROLIM Praise, Aaron Boghossian, Jody Cross and Rosewood Drama Team.

“I had a nine year old girl come up to me at another event a week later to say she was part of the MissionFest kids program and was inspired to do some fundraising to help children in the developing world. That little girl is having a Kingdom impact thanks to MissionFest!”

– Brad Saunders, World Vision

“…There are so many aspects that were powerful that it is hard to articulate them all. From the wonderful celebration of the Friends of the Fest on Thursday, to the Pastors’ Brunch…, to the Men on a Mission with Kirk and Luis, to the Women’s event, and on it goes….”

– Brian Dawkins, The Peoples Church

Moving Beyond Barriers-Together. Are You Ready?  –  April 12-14 with keynote speakers Majed El Shafie, Bettina Vasquez, Dave Toycen, Nigel Paul, Susan Finlay at Global Kingdom Ministries. Worship artists: Life-Spring Worship and ROLIM Praise.

Dave Toycen’s messages really touched my heart. He is a true living legacy who reflects an amazing example to the broken hearted and Gods’ people. I love how he challenged Gods’ people with the statement “why we do what we do? He said we are change agents for God and that God loves us so much that he wants to enhance his reputation through us. He said, may the why of God’s call break your hearts. It is such a blessing to see this man of valor influence so many. May we all have a heart of compassion that Dave Toycen reflects to the world.
-Rev. Treneta Bowden, Faith Arise Ministries

Africa Inland Mission Canada has participated in MissionFest Toronto since its beginning. We are committed to MissionFest Toronto because it is essential to show Canadians that all of us as mission organizations are working together to build the Kingdom—here in Canada and around the world. But we also participate because MissionFest is so beneficial to us. Many folks whose first encounter with AIM was at our conference centre booth have gone out to impact lives all over Africa. Thanks MFT!
– John P. Brown | Canadian Director

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