Granville McKenzie, Th.M.
I was raised by two of the godliest people I have ever known, Wesley and Margherita McKenzie. Through their influence and example and the incredible grace of our Lord Jesus, I submitted my life to Christ at 11 years of age. At 19, when I moved away for school, I made a very conscious and serious decision to give myself fully and completely to God, to worship and serve Him with all my energies for the rest of my days. I met Verona in 1980 and found that she had the same deep commitment, energy and drive to love God and serve Him wholeheartedly. We married in 1985 and she continues to be my truest and dearest friend, and my greatest prod and encourager to give my best to God. We received the dual blessings of Jonathan and Asher as our children, and our little family is strong and tight. In 2003, after a very enjoyable business career and after Dad’s death, I was elected to pastor Faith Sanctuary. Truly, shepherding the flock at Faith has been the most joyful, fulfilling, frustrating and gut-wrenching activity of my life. And I can tell you, without the slightest hesitation, that I am honoured, humbled, blessed and highly favoured of God to be living in His perfect will.
Desmond McKenzie, B.A.
I’ve been given life again by a healing and compassionate God. This life is focused on three things: Help people live. Help people experience God. Strengthen those who lead in serving others. 3 words, 4 words, and then 7. To be lived out in 24-hour gifts of days I almost did not have. So that’s what I’m here to do. It’s how I want to serve, or to use the longer word for “serve,” minister.
Biographically, I’m the second child of F.W. and Margherita McKenzie, and was privileged to participate in the amazing journey of Weston UPC and becoming Faith Sanctuary. That included everything from van driving to concrete mixing to exploring how to work with people through our Leaders Unlimited classes. Along with life at church I’ve had the opportunity to help organizations around the world with change and transformation. Or as one of my clients put it, “pastoring without a pulpit”.
Familywise, Rhonda and I have been married for almost four decades, which have flown by with great enjoyment! We don’t have kids anymore, instead three amazing adults, Ryan, Kyle and Kayla.
At Faith Sanctuary we want to share your today with you, with all its challenges and blessings. And we want to share tomorrow with you, a future full of hope in a God who never stops caring for us. Whether you’re an old friend or a new one, welcome home.
Melva Meredith-Lewis, M.Div.
Assistant Pastor and Acting Director of Life Groups
I have been attending Faith Sanctuary for over 25 years and joined the pastoral staff in 2007 as the Minister of Congregational Care. Subsequently, in April 2016, I was appointed as an assistant pastor of Faith Sanctuary. I am an ordained minister with the United Pentecostal Church International and have completed my Master of Divinity degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto.
I have a passion for Prison Evangelism and have led that ministry at Faith Sanctuary for over 10 years. In addition to Prison Evangelism, I have been involved in several areas of ministry which include Sunday school, youth ministry, homeless ministry, and outreach ministry.
I am currently employed as a Chaplain at one of Canada’s largest correctional facilities and also serve in the role of District Chaplain for the UPCI Ontario District. I am happily married to my photography mogul, Walter Lewis.
Dian Baker, B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed.(C)
Director of Children and Family Ministries
If I were to pick a tagline to describe my walk with Christ, it would be Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
As the Director of Children and Family Ministries, my primary goal is to be an instrument of God in helping children and families learn to know, love and share Jesus Christ in meaningful ways.
I began my walk with Christ in 2001, and I continue to daily draw strength from Him by learning more about His grace and unchanging nature. My introduction to ministry started over 16 years ago as I became a Sunday School teacher in our church’s Outreach Department. Along with that, I have also been an elementary public-school teacher with the Toronto District School Board since 2005. I bring these experiences and the support of my husband and two children to my present role.
Tope Famutimi, B.Sc.
My Identity: Child of the Lord Jesus Christ
My Posture: Worshiper of the Most-High God
My Mission: Be a Light!
My Family: Papi, Mom, O (aka Olu, my bro!) and my beautiful sister-in-law, Aundrea, neice, Olivia and my nephew, Julius
My Profile: Follower of Jesus Christ | Servant Leader to Youth & Young Adults | Mentor |
Likes: Sports, meat, dancing with my family, helping & encouraging others
Pet Peeve: When people spit…yuckkk
My Story: Shopping for the latest trends, hanging out and partying with friends, searching for validation through dating, seeking out success by obtaining job security didn’t make me happy, or should I say, “didn’t keep me happy”. True happiness and unspeakable joy came from the freedom of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. By believing in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection for my selfishness, pride, and sensuality I began a new start to truthful living. The love of Jesus Christ is saving me, is keeping me, and gives me purpose on this adventure called life!
John 3:16 – For God so loved….
Member Services Director
Verona came to the LORD during her early teen years and has been involved in some area of church ministry ever since. She has dedicated many years of service to Christian education, bus ministry, youth ministry, children’s ministry, married ministry, feeding the hungry, business and facilities administration and is currently, Director, Member Services. Through the years, her faith has grown through service in the local church, prayer and personal Bible study. Her passion is to see, encourage and assist believers, where possible, in becoming dedicated followers of Christ who treasure Him above all things. Her two children, Jonathan and Asher, have been her most delightful mentees.
I first came to Faith Sanctuary (then known as Weston UPC) as a toddler with my parents in the mid-70’s. I gave my life to God when I was in my late teens and shortly afterwards my family relocated to the West Coast where I lived for 21 years. After moving back to Toronto in 2012 with a family of my own, I eventually found myself back at the church where I grew up. I have been fortunate enough to serve in various capacities in the churches I have been a part of including musician, church treasurer, men’s leader and media team member just to name a few. My desire is to see others connect with God as well as connecting with each other. I am very blessed to have the opportunity to do life with my wife Nancy and together we have one teenage daughter, Ashantae.
Adult Ministries Director
Rev. Chris Simpson has been serving the Lord since 1992 and is a licensed minister with the United Pentecostal Church International. He has a passion for the ministry of the Word of God and to see people develop their full potential in Jesus, to lead thriving, impactful lives. Over the years he has served in the areas of Outreach, Drama, Youth Ministry, Sunday School and Bible study teaching. In the business world, he also possesses over 15 years of experience in client servicing and investment operations which has enabled him to enhance his leadership and relationship building skills. Chris currently serves as the Director of Adult Ministries and is privileged to share life with his amazing wife Keisha and their beautiful children Elianna and Ethan.
Burnie Spence, B.Sc., MBA
Life Groups Director
On February 28, 1988, Jesus Christ rescued me at Pentecostal Tabernacle on Wildman Street in Kingston, Jamaica. This was indeed a life-changing experience! Several years later, I migrated to Canada with my wife Janet and three amazing children: Jonathan, David and Frances. Shortly after, we began attending Faith Sanctuary in Toronto.
I have been serving as the Life Groups Director at Faith since January 2018. Here, I am privileged to work with the Senior Pastor and other ministers and Directors, along with a fantastic team of Life Group leaders. They have all helped me in my ongoing quest to know Jesus, love Jesus and share Jesus.
In addition to serving my church and community, I also work in the financial services industry. I graduated from the University of the West Indies with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management Studies and Accounting and later obtained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Banking and Finance. My hobbies include running and reading.
Feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com with any Life Group ideas or tips.