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Chelsea Green Community Church
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By Mike Toth



Isaiah 6:8:  Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Isaiah 61: 1,2: The Spirit of the Lord [God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
To bring good news to the [afflicted;
He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives
And freedom to prisoners;
 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,...


There is a new church plant in London at the corner of Chesterfield Avenue and Thompson Road. While Chelsea Green Community Church, a plant of Summerside Church in east London, may be new, there is quite the Godly heritage in this diverse Glen Cairn community, and pastors Peter Barnaby and Derek Enns are thankful for it. “This building started as a church in 1953,” says Barnaby. “When Victory Heights Baptist closed in the early 2000’s it left a hole in the community. Our experience here is that the Lord has tilled this soil. It feels like we’re just trying to catch up to what the Lord is already doing.”


Derek Enns and family
Barnaby and Enns met at Summerside Community church where they both were interning while pursuing degrees at Heritage College and Seminary in Cambridge.

“Peter was the first person I chatted with at Summerside,” says Enns. “We began dreaming about the ‘what ifs’ regarding ministry, and God has really kicked this into high gear.”

The two began utilizing the old church for prayer and worship last summer and the meetings quickly grew into community groups. Summerside pastor Deven MacDonald encouraged them to become a true church plant and they have a strong and Godly team supporting them in establishing the church, but they are not simply trying to replicate the success of Summerside.

Since those first prayer and worship times the pastors have been quite intentional in getting to know the people and organizations in the neighborhood. They have been partnering with the neighborhood association, the Glen Cairn Community Resource Centre, and building relationships with staff members of Youth for Christ. Among the residents in the highly diverse community are many indigenous people who are close to Barnaby’s heart as he is indigenous as well.


Peter Barnaby and Family
“My father went to a catholic boarding school, and I was not raised Christian,” says Barnaby. “Ii was involved in gangs, addiction, and crime when I was young. I got out of the gangs in my teens, but had some involvement still due to the drugs.”

He went to a Catholic school for a while, but it only reinforced his view that God was out to punish him. It wasn’t until a nephew of his, who he never met until at a family reunion, shared Christ with him that he and his wife came to the Lord. He was not immediately set free from his drug addictions, but he has been set free. He and his wife now have four beautiful children. Enns grew up in a Christian home, but after graduation moved to Asia where he rebelled for around four to five years.

“I stopped going to church and started to do whatever I wanted. I got really depressed and in a downward spiral, but wouldn’t stop because I was getting to do whatever I wanted! On a Good Friday I had a strong inclination to go to church and from there joined an English-speaking congregation in Korea. God called me back to Him.”

The reception of the church plant, soon to be a church, has been extraordinary. People in the community have volunteered when they were cleaning and landscaping the outside of the church, an Ontario Early Years run play group (neighborhood specific) was launched at the church, and the pastors were a part of the Christmas Holiday celebration at the Resource center. Things have come quickly, but the focus is on kingdom and community building rather than aiming for a mega church.

“One of the tests for a church plant becoming a church is self sufficiency, but self sufficiency may not be the goal here,” says Barnaby. “We have so many people supporting us throughout the city, and many in our community do not have a lot of extra income. We would love at some point have the problem of out growing the building, but we are here to serve the neighborhood.”

What advice does Enns have for Christians who are stirred by the story of the church plant?

“As exciting as it sounds you have the opportunity in your own neighborhood to take steps of faith. God has already been calling people to Himself in your own neighborhoods. Please pray for us, but pray for your own neighborhood as well. Ask God: ‘Help me to see where I can be in relationship, where I can be Christ to them.’”

The pastors and the launch team are looking toward a spring launch as a church. Barnaby and Enns hope to be full time in ministry at the church by this time next year (they are working full time outside of ministry currently). You can sign up for the newsletter at http://chelseagreen.church/newsletter/.