A Missional Start
In 1956, founder Rev. Roy E. Upton, began meeting in a bowling alley on the property of Bethel Home for Girls at 664 Kennedy Road. Weekly drive-in Sunday services were held at a Dominion Store parking lot, where services were carried by amplifier to approximately 100 cars.
In May 1957, construction began in a wheat field at 710 Markham Road. The first phase of Scarboro Gospel Temple (SGT) was completed by October 1957, with the first offering dedicated to global missions. This beginning made the vision and mission of SGT clear. We would be a church with global missions at its heart, equipping believers to go and make disciples.
Increase in attendance and need for space led to the building of the main sanctuary in 1963. This phase of construction allowed seating of over 700 people.
The Church that Cares and Shares
Rev. James Weller became SGT’s pastor in 1967. Under his ministry, Sunday School attendance grew, and soon the church was full to overflowing. Rev. Weller held well-attended summer evangelistic tent crusades on the corner of Markham and Lawrence, and it was during his ministry that SGT became known as “The Church that cares and shares.” This vision was carried into the community when volunteers drove 11 school buses that picked up children and families for Sunday services. Each bus was branded with the slogan, and some were flagged down for pick-ups enroute.
Holy Spirit Emphasis
Rev. Hudson Hilsden pastored Scarboro Gospel Temple from 1975 to 1983. His ministry emphasis was the necessity of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.
In May 1978, SGT expanded once more. A three-acre plot of land at 6705 Sheppard Avenue East was purchased, and development for another church began. This new development, Malvern Christian Assembly, was planted with a focus and thrust in children’s ministry.
Growing Deeper in the Word
In 1983, Rev. George Atkinson’s strong teaching ministry began. The church continued to grow deeper in the Word and wider into the community.
Rev. Robert Johnston began his ministry at SGT in 1996. With charismatic preaching and gracious leadership, the church used every corner of its facility to meet the needs of the community. With only 51 parking spots, cars lined the roads on Sunday mornings, and people shuffled through a cramped foyer to find a seat on a wooden pew.
We’re Going Places – The Move to 1250 Markham Road
Once again, there was expansion in 2005, with the purchase of 11 acres of land at 1250 Markham Road. The vision was cast, “We’re going places,” and we did, when we began holding Sunday services at Centennial College after selling the 710 Markham Road property.
The facility at 1250 Markham Road was completed in 2008 and became the main operating base for mobilizing believers and propelling them into their God-given destiny. With the new building came a new name, Global Kingdom Ministries, and a fresh vision, “Life with Jesus – Every Day, Everywhere.”
Today at GKM
Today, Global Kingdom Ministries (GKM) has 15 pastors and 18 support staff, and attracts an average of 1,868 attendees for Sunday services. The live stream has reached people in 32 countries on 5 continents. An onsite gym is used every day free of charge, for programs such as children’s soccer, men’s basketball, badminton and volleyball.
Global Kingdom Ministries stays true to its original mandate, keeping missions and outreach at the forefront of everything we do. In the past five years, GKM gave over $1.2 million dollars towards outreach and missions, and currently has over 23 projects operating locally and internationally.
The legacy continues with anticipation of greater things ahead.