New Life Church has a rich and interesting history. From its early beginnings to present day we continue the legacy of sharing the message of Jesus in relevant ways and passionately serving and meeting the needs of others. New Life is always moving forward. We continue to adapt to our changing culture while never compromising our core values. Below you’ll find a summary of where we came from and a picture into where we are going:

Background History

1834

• 1st Immigrants came from Ireland, the Island of Islay, Scotland and Germany.

• 1st Sunday School was in the home of Mr. Troop, conducted by Miss Marie Frame. This school was more than a Sunday School for besides religious services, the young ladies gave lessons in reading, writing and arithmetic.

1840

• 1st Congregational Minister was Mr. John Climie.

• 1st Church was a log structure, erected on a lot given for that purpose by William Leach, Esq. in Duntroon near the Batteaux Creek. The building served as both a church and schoolhouse. The church is now gone but the cemetery still remains.

• John Moir preached (in English and Gaelic). He had no church but taught in farmhouses for years. Now and then an ordained minister would come and baptize the children and marry any that were so inclined.

1848

The only regular stationed minister was Rev. Mr. Maire of Old Kirk.

1858

Preachers of “Good Will and Peace” were few and those that existed were not organized. One such was Mr. John Campbell, a Presbyterian Minister, came and stayed in Duntroon until he died in 1864.

The Tunkers Church in Nottawasaga

• The Brethren in Christ Church was among the early religious sects to locate in the Nottawasaga Township. Conrad Swalm, Sr. and wife were the first members. A Bishop from Markham district baptized them. Meetings of Worship were conducted in the homes of settlers until the little congregation was able to organize.

• Ministers came by horseback every eight weeks. Two ministers, John Baker and Samuel Doner came from Markham, operating for some years as an extension of the Markham district. John Baker was chosen as acting Bishop under the oversight of Samuel Baker, who was the Bishop of Markham. The first deacons were John Zeiggel and John Baker, the latter coming from Germany. Under Providential blessing the little church grew and more ministers were chosen from the congregation to serve the church in a self-supporting capacity. William Klippert and John Doner were the first deacons ordained from the new congregation. Charles Ditson, Alex McTaggard, Charles Baker and Isaac Baker followed later.

1896

• This district was organized within itself as an independent district.

• Charles Baker was ordained as Bishop with Jesphus Baker and Abram Doner chosen as deacons to aid a growing church.

1906

• The district weakened with approximately one third of the younger members moving to Saskatchewan to homestead. The youngest minister, Isaac Baker, headed this colony.

1912

• The Sixth Line Stayner Church held cottage prayer meetings with visiting Ministers from Barrie. Following this Ernest Ditson, John Hisey and Isaac Swalm were called to minister about 5 years apart.

1923

• Offered a Mission operated by the Mennonite Brethren in Christ, supervised by George Hunt, Rev. Ditson held Pastoral Leadership.

1924

• Elder – E.A. Ditson, Reverend – G.C. Sheffer, Reverend – L. Baker, Bishop – E.J. Swalm. Services rotated between Collingwood, Sixth Line and Second Line Churches.

1946

• The congregation relocated four times in the downtown Collingwood area before purchasing the building at 227 Sixth Street which served as a store with living accommodations in the back section until remodelled in 1975 when it became a church plant suitable for Sunday School and Worship.

1949

• Pastor: Rev. G.C. Sheffer.

1952

• Rev. Charles Baker

1953

• Rev. Isaac & Nina Schmucker.

1958

• Rev. Chris & Cora Sider, Lewis Byer – Emmanuel College Student, Bishop Swalm, Rev. Marshall Baker.

1974

• Eleven families undertook a new building program. The building they constructed was on 6th Street, beside the original church, which was then called The Sugar Shack. It was later torn down for parking. Rev. Dale Shaw – apprenticed young men in ministerial training

1979

• New Life Brethren in Christ Nursery School was formed, Sue Osburn was the 1st director.

1981

• In less than 10 years the congregation was outgrowing the facility on 6th Street. The congregation adopted a vision and a long-range plan for church growth, detailing a program designed to minister to its members and adherents and to reaching out to our community with the Gospel of Christ. The first step was to purchase a site large enough to accommodate facilities enabling the congregation to minister to the whole person. The size and location of the site should make possible the development of the long-range plan, involving periodic facility expansions to meet the future needs of our growing congregation. Property was purchased on Tracey Lane as a future building site.

1984

• In January the congregation decided it was time to build. Worship services continued at the 6th Street location, but as the congregation grew, they also worshipped in 3 different schools during a 1 year period while waiting for the building program to advance. Rev. Wilson and Carol Wiley led the congregation.

• Mr. Walt and Kay Waddell hosted several Sunday dinners for workers who were pressing on with a special thrust to complete the work on the church and the building was completed. In 1985 about 30 families (with a $400,000 mortgage) moved in and celebrated, dedicating the church to “God’s Glory.” Outreach tent meetings and daily bible schools were held in the community.

1992

• Rev. Aaron and Pattie Patriquin came to serve as our Pastoral couple.

1995

• Rev. Kevin and Lisa Scott came to serve as the first Associate Pastor. More emphasis was put on developing our Sunday Morning Worship service as an outreach into the community. Easter musical and Christmas productions were developed to be more outreach oriented.

• The church was struggling financially – over $300,000 was still owed on the mortgage.

1997

• Rev. Aaron Patriquin resigned, and Rev. Kevin Scott became the Senior Pastor.

1998

• Rev. Mike and Melri Wright joined the staff at New Life.

2000

• Rev. Wright transitioned into a part-time staff role as he accepted a position with the conference. He continued to be the worship leader and plan special events.

• Pastor Shayne Brown was brought on half time to be our Youth Pastor.

• Rev. Jim and Lorraine Carne joined the staff team one day per week as Visitation Pastors.

1992

• Rev. Aaron and Pattie Patriquin came to serve as our Pastoral couple.

1995

• Rev. Kevin and Lisa Scott came to serve as the first Associate Pastor. More emphasis was put on developing our Sunday Morning Worship service as an outreach into the community. Easter musical and Christmas productions were developed to be more outreach oriented.

• The church was struggling financially – over $300,000 was still owed on the mortgage.

1997

• Rev. Aaron Patriquin resigned, and Rev. Kevin Scott became the Senior Pastor.

1998

• Rev. Mike and Melri Wright joined the staff at New Life.

2000

• Rev. Wright transitioned into a part-time staff role as he accepted a position with the conference. He continued to be the worship leader and plan special events.

• Pastor Shayne Brown was brought on half time to be our Youth Pastor.

• Rev. Jim and Lorraine Carne joined the staff team one day per week as Visitation Pastors.

Recent History

2015

#BuildingForLife theme launches

• On November 9th, Steve Hall joined the New Life leadership team as our new Director of Worship.

Steve has spent the last 8 years as one of worship leaders at New Life, before which he was the Worship Director at Stayner Brethren in Christ Church for 6 years, and worship leader at Creemore Baptist Church for 5. Steve’s musical background also includes over 20 years as a private music instructor.

2016

There is much to celebrate at New Life.

• On January 23, Rob Henderson retires from his position on staff and the church has a huge retirement celebration party.

• On January 24, Steve Hall is takes on the role of Executive Assistant, Worship Director and Ministry Coordinator at New Life.

2014

God is leading us through a time of transition and transformation as we follow His call for our church as we staff for the present and future.

• On January 5th our New Worship Director, Aaron Bell, became part of our team.

“Originally from the Niagara Region Aaron Bell is a graduate of Brock and York University where he studied Trumpet Performance and Music Education. Aaron taught music at Midland Secondary School for 12 years. He has recently accepted a new position at Collingwood Collegiate teaching instrumental and vocal music. Prior to joining New Life, Aaron was Director of Worship for eight years at Midland Alliance Church and also directed Chaverim, a 25 member travelling Christian youth choir.”

• On January 13th, Chris Rosevear was hired on as our new interim Youth Director. He served in this position from January 13, 2014 to July 13, 2014.
• In February we announced Pastor Rob Henderson as our Interim Senior Pastor.

• On August 1st, Aaron White started his position as our new part-time Director of Youth Ministry.

“Aaron moved to Collingwood 8 years ago to be the Director of Youth for Christ with his wife Danielle. Aaron has also been a part of our church family since he moved here and has been volunteering in our youth ministry ever since. Recently, Aaron has felt called by the Lord to be in a pastor position working youth within the church, but he still has a heart for youth outside the church as well. During Aaron’s Interim here he will be overseeing the youth ministry at New Life while also overseeing the ministry at Youth for Christ. When Aaron isn’t hanging out with teenagers he can been seen DJing several youth ministry conferences around Ontario. Aaron has a deep love for tacos and sports as well as seeing young people be challenged with the gospel.”

• On November 1st, Paul Kiss joined the New Life leadership team as our new Sr. Pastor.

“Paul and Claire have been married for 20 years and have three children, Carolyn, Joanna and Daniel. They both grew up in BIC churches – Paul in Wainfleet and Claire nearby in Stayner. Paul began full time pastoral ministry in 1995 with the Westheights Congregation in Kitchener and was involved for a brief time with the BIC church in London, ON. In 2000, they moved to Penetang where Paul did Youth Ministry and then transitioned into the Sr Pastor role in 2003. In 2009, they moved to London, England, serving with BIC World Missions and BIC Canada Global working among the Muslim community in the East End. They recently moved back to the Collingwood area in June and accepted the call to pastor New Life.

Paul loves sports, music, photography and occasionally making sawdust in his garage as he works on little projects. The family are grateful to New Life for accepting us and loving us over the past few months of our transition back to life in Canada. We look forward to how we can grow with you in loving God and loving one another.”

2011

• Megan Ratnam stepped forward to become our Associate Pastor of Dominican Ministries.

• Chris Wiebe joined our staff July 1st to become the new Director of Children, Jr High, Communications, and Media.

2013

Several staffing changes have occurred in 2013.

• In July, Ina Smith became our new Office Administrator.

• In August three major changes occurred:

1) Kris Stadig became our new Director of Children’s ministries.
2) Shayne Brown took Junior High ministries under his wing.
3) Chris Wiebe took a huge move to England and transitioned away from office, children and junior high. Thanks to the Internet, Chris continued on to be our Director of Communications for graphics, web, media and IT services.

• In September, Shayne Brown answered God’s call to Kitchener, Ontario for a Lead Pastor position at Pathway Community Church with a start date of January 2014.

• In December, Mike Brown resigned from his position as Lead Pastor at New Life Church.

2004

• Rob Henderson took Pastoral leadership over connecting, congregational care and small groups.

2006

• Megan Ratnam came on board as our Jr. Youth Pastor.

2007

• Kevin Scott resigned as Senior Pastor.

2009

• Dr. Ted Proctor became Executive Pastor.

2010

• After a three year search process, Pastor Mike Brown answered God’s call and became Lead Pastor.

2002

New building campaign begins.

• In January 2002, the congregation approved going ahead with this campaign which was called “Building for Life” because that’s what New Life has always been about – helping people who are far from God become fully devoted followers. We were building for lives.

• A miracle goal of $1.5 million was established for construction. It was called a miracle goal because we never believed we could raise that much.

• Our commitment dinner was held on April 28th. On May 5th Pastor Kevin announced to the congregation that we had received commitments and cash in the amount of $1,562,074.14, plus 2 snowmobiles, a snowmobile trailer and a diamond ring. That Sunday a cash offering of $164,233 was collected. Construction started in August.

2003

• Pastor Shayne Brown began full time in the Youth Pastorate and Pastor Jeff Harden took responsibility for the Worship Ministry.

• On May 25th New Life held a grand opening of the new facilities.

2001

The mortgage is paid off. Growth continues.

• The year began with a mortgage balance of $170,000 – the congregation had worked very diligently to get it paid down, because we knew that ministry was being hindered. On February 11th, the mortgage was burned, thanks to a generous donation that paid it off in full – with money left over that was to go toward a building expansion fund.

• At that time, all our classrooms were in use, the children were meeting in the fire exits because there was no more space for them. Church attendance was running around 210, and we were running at 85% capacity. The youth program was bursting at the seams, there was not enough space for us to have a pot-luck dinner without people eating in different locations, and the foyer was beyond crowded.

• With our mortgage paid off, a survey of the church was conducted and priorities for expansion were established– sanctuary, foyer, gym and classrooms.

• Discussions with a construction company began – they presented us with a plan to fix the sanctuary and foyer problem at a cost of $600,000 – we didn’t think we could possibly do that (if it took us 17 years to pay off $300,000, how could we ever do $600,000).

• The board began to pray about it and God began to work… At a meeting with a group called Commitment Ministries, a presentation was made suggesting a stewardship campaign that would emphasize “not equal giving, but equal sacrifice” and that raising funds was not about money, but about putting God where He belongs in our lives – #1. They (Commitment Ministries) would help us run the campaign at a cost of $28,000. There was a great deal of uncertainty in paying that amount of money, until the next day when someone who knew nothing of the presentation, or the $28,000 cost, came into Pastor Kevin’s office and said they were to give us a cheque – it was for $28,000!