"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you."
The Friends of Jesus Christ, Canada is a non-denominational, Full Gospel community church based in Scarborough, Ontario. Our membership is composed mostly of Filipinos who migrated to Canada in the late 1980s and mid-1990s. Burning with the desire to serve the Lord in this land, Pastor Teck Uy and a few of his Christian friends started a Bible Study group that eventually became the core of the Friends of Jesus Christ, Canada.
In the fall of 1991, we held our first Sunday worship service in the basement of Pastor Teck’s residence. Over the next few months, new members were added and worship services were relocated to the more spacious auditorium of Pleasantview Public Library in North York, which became our home for three years.
It was in the summer of 1995 that the church moved to the auditorium of Timothy Eaton Technical School in Scarborough. After five years in the school, we made another move to the basement of an industrial building at 2250 Midland Avenue. Unlike the other venues we previously rented, where the lease was only for our Sunday service, this time we had full use of the facility 24/7. This served as our temporary home until the Lord blessed us with our own building. It was in December 2008 that we were able to purchase our own building. After having gone through the lengthy and tedious process of rezoning and renovation we finally moved in to our permanent home in September 2012. Our new House of the Lord is located at 181 Nugget Ave in Scarborough, Ontario. Glory to God!
To enhance our spiritual growth, Bible Study groups (called Praise Teams) meet every Saturday night in the homes of the members. Each group is headed by a Praise Team Leader, who serves not only as a Bible teacher, but also assists the Pastor in looking after the welfare of the members.
In the summertime, our spiritual family gathers in city parks for Bible Studies and, when appropriate, conducts evangelistic works, such as giving out Christian tracts and one-on-one evangelism.
During the Christmas season, Free Bible Ministry outreaches are conducted. We take the opportunity to visit friends and relatives, sing Christmas carols, share the Word of God and give out copies of the Bible for free.
Special events, such as Passover, Easter, Christmas and church anniversaries are celebrated in a special way. These are occasions when our members can offer their talents to the Lord in various creative ways. The Friends of Jesus Christ, Canada also carries out its Israel Ministry (based on Psalm 122:6) by reaching out to the Jewish community in Toronto through the annual Israel Rejoicing Celebration at Earl Bales Park.
As a spiritual family, we endeavour to maintain close relationships, even as we are encouraged to pray for one another and carry each other’s burdens. Special activities that cater to various age groups are scheduled regularly. The education system’s March Break has been reserved for Children’s Camp, Youth Camp is held during the Easter weekend and Seniors’ Camp is scheduled around Canada Day. Husbands and wives are able to fellowship with each other during Couples Nights and families gather for a special time together at our summertime Family Camp.
The Friends of Jesus Christ, Canada is honoured to be a part of a bigger family–the spiritual family of the Friends of Jesus Christ Ministries International, based in the Philippines. In 1983, the late Rev. Racqy Canlas started the Friends of Jesus Christ Ministries with the vision of reaching out to people from all walks of life through the Free Bible Ministry. While she did not live long enough to see the fulfillment of all of her visions and dreams, she definitely left a legacy of faithfulness in the propagation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. The task of fulfilling the visions of the spiritual family has been passed onto two other Senior Pastors, Pastor Lucie Peralta and Pastor Vic Tigas, and to all of the Friends of Jesus Christ scattered throughout the world. The members of the Friends of Jesus Christ eagerly look forward to the coming of the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ. He said, “Yes, I am coming soon.” In response, we say, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”
"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."
The Friends of Jesus Christ believes that it can be a part in hastening the return of our Lord Jesus Christ by spreading the gospel of the kingdom to the world. Toward this end, it embarked in the distribution of Bibles through the Free Bible Ministry. Copies of the complete Bible (Old and New Testaments) are distributed for free to members of congregations, churches or any group or individual in the Philippines who desire to have their own copy of the Bible.
In the operation of this ministry, consideration is always given to the warning of the Lord Jesus Christ "not to give dogs what is sacred, or throw your pearls to pigs; lest they trample them under their feet" (Matt. 7:6). Therefore, the giving of the Bible is accompanied by the preaching of the Word of God on salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit to ensure that copies of the Holy Bible will fall in the hands of faithful men and women.
To date, the members of the Friends of Jesus Christ Ministries have distributed to almost half a million copies of the Bible all over the Philippines and have reached out to more than one thousand pastors and their congregations. Most of these Bibles were personally carried and transported by the members by land, sea or air transportation. In areas where there are no transportation facilities, the Bibles were carried by the members - men and women - on their shoulders, and had to walk for miles along rugged terrain, crossing rivers, and climbing mountains.
Many members also actively participate in bringing Bibles to China, Burma and Japan. Here in Canada, thousands of Bibles have also been distributed to individuals during outreaches and church visitations. Whenever members in Canada visit the Philippines, they are encouraged to actively participate in Free Bible outreaches even in remote areas. All of the sacrifices entailed in the distribution of Bibles are prompted by our love for the Lord Jesus Christ and the desire to see Him come soon. Jesus said, "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done."
NOTE: Due to funding and logistical restrictions, we can only serve requests for free bibles coming from the Philippines.
"Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles."
The Friends of Jesus Christ believes that Israel is the root of the Christian Church, as the Apostle Paul emphasized in Chapter 11 of the Book of Romans. As gentiles, we, though wild olive shoots, have been grafted in and now share in the nourishing sap from the cultivated olive root (Israel) through our faith in Jesus, a Jew. This being the case, the Friends of Jesus Christ has gone the extra mile of establishing a unique ministry, the Israel Ministry. The first Sunday of every month has been designated as Israel Sunday. On these Sundays, the congregation prays for the peace of Jerusalem and takes a special time to bless Israel as a nation and the Jews as the chosen people of God by singing Hebrew songs and dancing Israeli dances.
The highlight of the Israel Ministry is the annual pilgrimage by the Friends of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem. More than twelve years ago, Rev. Racqy Canlas, received the vision of Zechariah 14:16 and started her annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem during the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles ("Sukkot" in Hebrew). Since then, hundreds of the Friends of Jesus Christ from the Philippines, Canada and abroad have gone up to Jerusalem to join thousands of Christians all over the world in the annual Christian celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles hosted by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ).
This annual pilgrimage is not only for the personal spiritual upliftment of the pilgrims as they worship the Lord in the Holy Land but to respond to God's command in Isaiah 40:1 to comfort God's chosen people. This is done as the pilgrims join the Jerusalem March where thousands of Israelites line up the major streets of Jerusalem to receive the greetings of the Christians. The pilgrims take the opportunity to hand out candies, gift items and small flags of their respective countries. In the case of the Friends of Jesus Christ, we also greet them by saying "Anaknu ohavim otchem" which means "We Love You" in Hebrew. As well, we are in contact with two Jewish families who always wait for the Friends of Jesus Christ pilgrims year after year and spend a special time of fellowship with them in a "sukkah" or tabernacle.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
The Friends of Jesus Christ believes that helping the poor and needy is one of God’s primary commands to believers. Many times in Scriptures, God revealed himself as the defender of the poor and the oppressed. There being a need to continue to feed some of the poor residents in the city, we started our Food Bank Ministry in October 2012.
The operation of the food bank is in partnership with Daily Bread Food Bank, Second Harvest Food Bank and Toronto Community Housing. Our food bank operation is done off-site at our two locations. One at Sunrise Building, 1420 Victoria Park Ave. North York, Ontario and the other site is at 4205 Lawrence Ave East. Our volunteer workers serve almost three hundred families each week. Distribution of food hampers is done from 2 pm to 5 pm every Wednesday and Thurday, respectively.