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Meet the Church: First Church of the Nazarene
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As a denomination the Church of the Nazarene was started in 1908 when a group of like-minded churches organized and unified to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, advance the teachings of John Wesley, and to live out the “Holiness Movement.” From humble beginnings the Church of the Nazarene has spread to 159 countries, built well-respected liberal arts and theological universities, and spawned powerful outreach ministries such as the Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.



Through Wesley and the Holiness Movement the Nazarenes share a common spiritual heritage with several denominations, including the Christian and Missionary Alliance, the Salvation Army, the Wesleyans, and the Free Methodists.

London’s First Church of the Nazarene was established in February of 1940, and celebrated its’ 75th anniversary last year. It is an intergenerational multiethnic congregation that has members from 29 countries, and has been at its’ current location at Wellington and Grey Streets since 1960.

Pastor Junior Sorzano has been at the helm of the church for 21 years. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, where he began in ministry, he and his wife came to Canada for her to pursue her Masters of Divinity degree from Tyndale College. As she finished her studies they were prepared to move the South of Chicago where they had accepted a position as Pastor of the Wildwood Nazarene Church in Kankakee, Illinois. The Lord, however, had other plans.

“I was an associate pastor at a church in Toronto, and this woman who was a real pray warrior, a real Godly woman, came to me and said, ‘God said you’re to stay in Canada.’ She was a real mother in the faith and I didn’t want to tell her I’d already accepted a position in Chicago, so I told her God would have to show me that, too,” he says with a smile.

Immigration issues derailed the Sorzanos scheduled move to the States at the same time that he became involved with the First Church of the Nazarene in London. After several months of legal woes, and two months before the families’ visa expired, he accepted the position of pastor in London. While this was most certainly not the start of God’s orchestration of their lives some of the better miracles were soon to come.

The Sorzanos’ oldest daughter had suffered from illness since birth, and although there had a been a period of grace it was obvious she would need treatment again soon. Because of their change in status the Sorzanos’ lost their OHIP coverage and had to reapply. In November of that year, on the very day their daughter needed life-saving surgery, their new OHIP coverage began. In January, again against all odds (due to scheduling issues), she received life-altering surgery to correct her condition and allow the family to pass their physicals to become permanent residents of Canada.

Sorzano says that what keeps him young despite having been in ministry for 37 years overall is the call that God has on his life. “Even when I wanted to give up God’s call has kept me going. The first winter here we were in Pickering and it was so cold, I just wanted to go home. God said to me, ‘You didn’t choose Me, I chose you.’ It’s not about me, I am indebted to God to share the gospel,” he says. In fact, Sorzano’s eyes come alive and sparkle when talks about his God.

London First Church of the Nazarene is a community based church that embraces the community. They see God’s call to the body of Christ as a whole to share His love with all races and all classes. To that end the church goes out into the community to minister in the jail, in nursing homes, in a drug rehabilitation center, and has a bimonthly food and clothing bank. There are also Spanish and Filipino ministries as a part of the church.

“Our current sermon series is called ‘Faith in Action.’ We (Christians) are called not just to go to church, but to be the church. We are called to be the body of Christ that reaches to everyone”

A good way to get started celebrating with Christ and his followers at London First Church of the Nazarene is to show up on a Sunday and get to meet a few people. Discipleship classes are at 9:30 am, services at 11 am, and evening service is at 6:30 pm. For more information about this community you can go to www.londonnaz.ca for more information, or email them at londonnazarene@rogers.com.