Westney Heights Baptist Church History

 Our First Ten Years 1990 - 2000

"The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy." Psalm 126:3

Pastor James Rendle

 

The first official service of Westney Heights Baptist Church was held March 4, 1990 in the basement of the former United Church in Pickering Village. Pastor Jim Rendle and his family had moved to Ajax in November 1989 to plant a new church with the support of the area churches of our Association. Prospects looked very promising! Letters were sent out announcing an informational meeting for interested people. Fifteen came to that meeting, but it was soon evident that most were reluctant to step out and join this new endeavour. Only three of those attending were willing to commit themselves to join the Rendles. Weekly prayer meetings were begun and a nucleus of four families met for worship before the official opening.

The early months were very difficult and growth was slow, but through prayer, patience and persistence, we began to see fruit and growth. In August, we moved to the newly renovated Montessori Building on the same property. This provided better facilities for children but it soon became inadequate for our growing congregation. In May, 1991, we moved to our next location at Applecroft Public School. Significant growth took place as people learned about the new church in the area. Our summer Vacation bible School and weekly Awana club program  helped acquaint families with our church and increase our attendance.

One of the highlights in the development of our church was the way that God orchestrated the smooth transition of leadership. As Pastor Rendle neared retirement age, it was necessary to have someone else take over as Senior Pastor. The Lord wonderfully arranged to allow Pastor Jack Hannah to come as part-time assistant, then as Associate Pastor, and finally as Senior Pastor of our church. In 1998 we began the drive for "The Road to Ravenscroft", the future location of the church.  In September of 2002 we had our first service in our new building.

Through the years God has changed many lives and there has been steady growth and a wonderful spirit of love and togetherness.

January 14, 1990Old United Church Pickering Village
First service of Westney Heights Baptist church held in the basement of the old United Church in Pickering Village. Attendance: 17

 

March 4, 1990
Official opening Service held.
Attendance: 51

 

August, 1990
The church moved to the newly renovated Montessori building on the same property. - Income for 1990 - $25,000 

Applecroft Public School

May, 1991
The church moved to Applecroft P.S. because of lack of space. Significant growth took place as people learned about the new church in the area.

1992
Awana Club began on Friday nights with Sparks (K - Gr. 2)

1993
Awana Clubs added Pals and Chums (up to Gr. 4).
Offerings for the year (including Building Fund) $61,181.41Pastor Jack Hannah

1994
Pastor Jack Hannah was asked to join the team as Associate Pastor

1995
The pastors switched roles - Pastor Hannah became Senior Pastor and Pastor Rendle became Associate Pastor. - Mission ’95 Outreach Telephone blitz resulted in an attendance of 272 on "Celebration Sunday”, October 1

1996
Jesus Video telephone campaign. 160 videos distributed to the community;
follow-up calling indicated that at least 30 people had either made a commitment
to Christ, or rededicated their life to Him, as a result of viewing the videos.Bev Rendle Church Secretary

January, 1997
Pastor Rendle "retired" but continued to serve as "Minister of Pastoral Care”.
Bev Rendle joins staff as church secretary.


 
February, 1998
Received gift of 3 acres of land from John Boddy Developments.

 

Fall, 1999
Retained services of Dickinson & Hicks Architects

March, 2000
10th Anniversary Service with musical singing group, Diapason

 

THE NEXT TEN YEARS 2000-2010


February, 2001

Voted to commence with the building of the church and to bring on staff a Youth pastorDarin Martin

 

April, 2001
Darin Martin began ministry as our first Youth Pastor.

 

May 6, 2001
Ground-breaking ceremony for the building, after the morning service.

 

May 31, 2001
Road to Ravenscroft Dessert Night fundraiser for church building with Hiram Joseph
and Paul Henderson.  Income for 2001 was just under $500,000.

Westney Fire

February 2002
Building setback as a fire in our building destroyed the main roof, north wall and part of the east wall of the building.

 

September 8, 2002
First Service in the building at 1201 Ravenscroft Rd.

Westney Building

 

October 20, 2002
Official Opening of Westney Heights Baptist Church

 

Summer 2003
Youth Missions Trip to Haiti

Mrs. Carter

January 2004
Church supports Hugh Gordon on short-term missions trip to Mid-east and Pakistan
 
February 2004
Bonnie Carter added to staff as Bookkeeper & Facilities Coordinator.

Fall, 2004
KIDDS with Purpose program introduced as our mid-week children’s program.

Spring, 2005
Discipleship program, Christianity Explored, offered.

August, 2005 Don Salmon
Don Salmon added to staff as Director of Music & Worship and Administrator of Adult Ministries.

April, 2006
Darin Martin finishes his position as Youth Pastor.

June, 2006
Chris Fortin added to staff as new Youth Pastor
 
 
.
W4
March, 2007
Pastor Jack announced the goal to distribute a Bible to every home in Ajax in "their mother tongue".  Westney Walking With the Word. 
W4 Strategy Begins.

June, 2007
Podcasting began as the new audio player was launched on westney.ca. 

September, 2007
Chris Fortin submits his resignation as Youth Pastor.Dr. Craig Carter

October, 2007 
At the October 28th business meeting, members voted to approve the W4 financial plan
and called Dr. Craig Carter as Theologian-In-Residence. 

January, 2008
W4 officially was launched with over 250 people involved in the first "D-Day".

March 2008
Over 10,000 Bibles delivered to Town of Ajax. through W4 "D Days".

February 2008
We've been through fire, we've been through rain... Church basement is majorly
flooded resulting in cancellation of KIDDS' programing for one week.

May 2008
W4 final D Day sees the completeion of the Bible delivery program.

Youth Pastor joins church

September, 2008
Jon and Summer Fitter, joined Westney with Jon taking over duties as the new Youth pastor. 

October, 2008
Celebration of Pastor Jim & Anna Rendle’s 50 years in ministry with an open house at WHBC on Saturday, and special speaker, Rev. David Haines on Sunday.  It was a wonderful time of reflection of God's goodness and grace.

November, 2009
Special Offering raised almost $70K, half of which is for a future WHBC mission trip
to work with David & Brenda Jim and Anna Rendle 50 yearsMensah in Ghana.

March, 2010
Westney celebrates 20 years on March 7th, 2010.

June, 2010
A succession committee was formed to seek out the next senior pastor for Westney.

July, 2010
Pastor Jon Fitter resigns to take a posting in Texas.

November, 2010
Special Offering raises over $51,000
Westney's new website Westney Online debuts. 



TWENTY YEARS AND BEYOND

New Pastor and wifeApril, 2011
Westney votes to call Don Symons to the pastoral staff.

May 2011
Westney together with Uxbridge Baptist Church send a team of 30 people to build a church in Ghana.  The team returns tired, but succesful.  A new house of worship in Africa!

June 2011
Pastor Jack Hannah and Pastor Don Symons begin pastoral succession
for the third time in Westney's history.  Pastor Jack Hannah becomes
community Pastor and Pastor Don Symons moves into the Senior Pastor role.

New Youth Pastor and familyAugust 2011
Westney calls Bob Donald as youth pastor. 

January 2012
Weekly Bible Memorization and Meditation is launched with printed cards available in 3 different scripture versions in the bulletin every Sunday.

July 2012
Youth Mission trip to Honduras, Central America

June 2013
Pastor Jim & Anna Rendle celebrate their 60th Wedding Anniversary
with an Open House for the congregation and other guests.

September 2013
Church begins dual services at 9am and 11:30 with Sunday School for all ages
in between the services at 10:30.

Don Symons Ordination PhotoApril 2014
Pastor Don Symons is ordained as the Rev. Don Symons.










25th Anniversary

The Three PastorsApril 12th, 2015 Westney celebrates 25 years of God's Grace and Goodness with a Special Anniversary Service.  Mayor Steve Parrish and many friends, members and adherants from past years attended. A book Finding Him Faithful was commemorated, written By Dr. Michael A.G. Haykin and Baiyu A. Song to celebrate the occasion.




June 2015

Elicia Hannah joins the staff as the new KIDS Ministry Director.



July 2015

Youth Mission Trip to Honduras.  Teaching, Construction and Care to those in need there.







Cheryl Rendle CelebrationNovember 8th, 2015

Westney celebrates the life and ministry of Cheryl Rendle for 25 years of volunteering.  Many families revisited to celebrate with Cheryl and family.







Mortgage Retirement CelebrationNovember 15th, 2015

Westney celebrates the retirement of the church mortgage, 12 years ahead of schedule, saving the congregation over $250,000.  A special service was held with many past treasurers in attendance, or honoured.