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One Roof: The Meeting House Turns 25

Over the weekend, The Meeting House — the Brethren in Christ “megachurch” headquartered in Toronto — celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary with a massive gathering called One Roof.

According to One Roof’s website, the gathering was a time for “celebrating the amazing things God has done and is doing in our community over the last 25 years! We can’t think of a better way than to come together as the whole family and have some fun!”

The Meeting House began in 1985 in Oakville, a town in the Greater Toronto Area, through the church-planting efforts of Craig and Laura Sider. Back then, the congregation was known as Upper Oaks Community Church. According to The Meeting House’s site, the church launched on Easter Sunday 1986 and “began building a community of people radically committed to living and sharing the message of Jesus.”

In 1996, Craig and Laura left to pursue a call to church leadership in Pennsylvania. Shortly thereafter, Bruxy Cavey joined the pastoral staff. The congregation’s website describes the subsequent years thusly:

In the following years, the church grew by over 35% annually, as many in the community were attracted by hearing the message of Jesus and a fresh way of doing church. During that time, the church found new clarity in its vision, expanding its Home Church network, re-engineering its Sunday morning programming, and changing its name to “The Meeting House.”

In 2002, The Meeting House launched our first regional site in Hamilton.  Meeting initially in a high school, members of the Hamilton community gathered every week to watch Meeting House teaching on DVD.  As we caught a vision for what God could do through a multi-site church, we set to work on three major goals that helped us focus on what God was calling us to do.  We called this “Mission 1,” and wanted to launch new sites, open new Home Churches and establish our central production site.

Since 2007, we have been working towards our next set of goals–what we call “Mission 2” (clever, eh?).  We believe these goals represent what God is calling us to do together right now.  We want to engage our community to be fully engaged in our mission, double our capacity to make space for spiritual seekers and invest compassionately both locally and globally, particularly by partnering with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) and their development work in southern Africa.

Today, in 2010, we are located in ten locations across southern Ontario, and are excited about how God is growing and leading us to live simply, give generously, and love freely.

To learn more about the One Roof celebration, check out the video below and/or these photos from The Meeting House’s Facebook fan page.

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