Humberlea’s history at a glance
In 1965, God called a retired minister, Rev. Ralph Koschewitz and his wife from Michigan to come to Toronto to start a Church of God. When they arrived, they met with some members of the Elahie family from Trinidad who also wanted to see a Church of God in Toronto. The group, under the leadership of Rev. & Mrs. Koschewitz, started the mission work, meeting in a German church owned by Rev. E. Boettcher. By way of a Gospel tract, they made contact with Rev. Irvine G. Wyns who was pastoring a group of believers in the Rexdale area. This was a growing church with many children and young families. Robert and Lois McAffee, laypersons attending Brother Wyns’ church were sent to help the mission in the work of the Sunday School.
In January of 1966 the two groups united to form the first Church of God in Toronto, with Rev. Wyns as the pastor and Rev. Boettcher as co-pastor. Of the 31 Charter Members, 7 are still active in the church. They are as follows: Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Gokool, Mrs. Deborah Romagno, Mrs. Zita Hinson, Mrs. Grace Morgan, and Mr. & Mrs. Robert McAffee. A church building was purchased at 2810 Weston Road and the Humberlea Church of God was dedicated on April 24, 1966. Rev. Wyns and Rev. Boettcher moved out again into evangelistic work after 6 years. At that time, in 1972, Rev. & Mrs. John S. Bridal came to pastor the growing church, until he was asked to become the overseer of Western Canada. In October of 1976 Rev. Ralph Glagau and Mrs. Shirley Glagau moved their family from Regina, Saskatchewan to pastor Humberlea Church of God in Toronto. In 1977 a Spanish congregation under the leadership of Pablo Makita, were searching for a place to worship. The Lord led them to contact us. They joined the Church of God and continued to worship with us.
In October of 1979, Humberlea Church experienced a fire and for the following year met in a nearby school gymnasium. During that year, we were reminded that in difficult times, God is able. In 1983, we were able to purchase the house next to the church which we used as offices and classrooms. During this time the congregation was growing steadily and by the fall of 1984 we started two morning services. When it became apparent that we could no longer expand at 2810, following a series of miracles, we purchased 4.5 acres of land on Islington Ave. in 1987, which included a parsonage for our Pastor and family.
In 1990 the Lord opened the door again for us to move to larger facilities and on our 24th Anniversary weekend we had our first services in these present facilities at 6807 Steeles Ave. West in Etobicoke. The same spring, the offices were moved from 2818 Weston Road to 7386 Islington Ave. to a mobile trailer unit. In 1999 Pastor Glagau was named Moderator for the Church of God in Canada. To help him during that time, Rev. & Mrs. David Kwan served as Assistant Pastor, from 1999–2002. Buildings at 6819-21 Steeles Ave. West were leased for use as shared office space, classrooms and other ministry purposes, including the National Office, Mission Toronto, a gym, counselling services and the Mukti Mission Television program. These units were eventually let go and we leased 6809.
Plans to build a church on the Islington site were met with much difficulty and many roadblocks. It was decided to sell that property and focus on this present site on Steeles Ave. West, where we took ownership of 6807 and 6809 in February of 2005. Extensive renovations were needed for 6809, which we refer to as the “Ministry Centre". Presently, it is used for classrooms, a gym, counselling services, IMTC and various other ministry opportunities. The Glagaus faithfully led Humberlea through times of growth, development, and expansion with a strong focus on prayer, evangelism and stewardship. Mrs. Shirley Glagau, after a courageous battle with cancer, went home to be with the Lord in February of 2001. She is affectionately remembered for her personal warmth, her commitment to Christ, her family and the church, her endless creativity, efficient administrative skills, and much more.
In October of 2005 Pastor Ralph and Rita (Gazee) were married and continue to serve as Humberlea's pastor. In January of 2012, Rev. Kevin and Mrs. Cathy Glagau joined the pastoral team, together with their daughters Kaylee and Emma. Pastor Kevin is now the Lead Pastor at Humberlea. Time and space do not allow us to tell all the ways God has led his people - The people of Humberlea - from our early days to the present. Our desire is to remain faithful to His calling and continue forward for His honour and glory!