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Inspiring to tell people the good news of Jesus Christ since 1882, Threshold Ministries is an organization that has evolved over time to form what it is today. Working to connect, inspire, and support people in life and in their walk with Jesus, Threshold strives to achieve an understanding of the spirit by which the Church Army was formed.
The founder of Church Army was Wilson Carlile, who was a curate and evangelist at St. Mary’s Kensington. In 1873, a great depression began in England and continued with few breaks until 1896. It brought poverty and distress to working people but also had immediate and disastrous effects upon the business community. Carlile was among those severely affected by the depression and through adversity he turned to God. His passion was for those in need which marked his ministry. Church Army began to grow in England and then started to spread out in the commonwealth. In 1925, the Church Army had 650 evangelists, which made it the largest home missions group in England at that time. Although there have been Church Army evangelists working in Canada since 1886, there was not a stable presence in our country. It was the large number of members in England and the passion of Church Army evangelists that made the organization look for ways to spread overseas permanently. Arthur Casey visited the Diocese of Fredericton and his evangelistic gatherings were so successful that other bishops started to request his visit, leading to a complete tour of Canada in 1926. The response led to a series of conferences, which were followed by the first recognition of the Church Army in Canada in 1928. Just a year later, in 1929 the official launch of Church Army and the training college were established in Toronto. Casey became the first director overseeing the college and the Church Army in Canada.
The name “Church Army” was always a challenge — many either loved it, struggled with it, or were indifferent. In 2009, after much prayer, discernment and deliberations, the Church Army in Canada was renamed Threshold Ministries. The new name seemed appropriate as Threshold Ministries seeks to create open thresholds between the love and support of the church and the needs and brokenness of people in need of a connection with God’s love. The name embodies the graced history of the organization and the shared vision for the future.
Threshold Ministries continues to live-out and fulfill the original mandate that Carlile expressed: caring for those in need, proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ, and equipping men and women to share their faith. Through partnerships with congregations and individuals across the country, evangelists continue to be equipped for ministry and street-level outreaches have been launched.
In 2016, Threshold School of Ministry was launched as a new model of training people for ministry in today’s culture
2018 — Jonathan Clarke is appointed as national director.
2016 — Launch of Threshold School of Ministry.
2012 — Shawn C. Branch is appointed as national director.
2009 — On March 1, Church Army in Canada is renamed “Threshold Ministries.”
2004 — Church Army commissions first non-Anglican evangelist.
2004 — National office relocates to Saint John, NB.
1998 — Training college is relocated to Saint John, NB and named “Taylor College.”
1996 — Bruce Smith is appointed as national director.
1989 — Walter Marshall is appointed as national director.
1967 — First female evangelist is commissioned in Canada.
1952 — Ray Taylor is appointed as National Director.
1930 — First commissioning of evangelists, at the Church of the Redeemer in Toronto, ON.
1929 — Founding of Church Army in Canada at 143 Howland Avenue, Toronto, ON.
1883 — Training of evangelists begins at Oxford, UK.
1882 — Founding of Church Army.
Statement of Faith
We believe in the mystery of the Holy Trinity, namely, that the one God exists eternally in the three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and has so revealed himself to us in the Gospel.
We believe in the good news of the Kingdom of God. The Creator God is at work in the world, loving his fallen creation and restoring it to wholeness through Christ. We believe that human beings are created in God’s image and can experience life in all its fulness through faith in Jesus Christ.
We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both fully human and fully divine. In his life and teaching he is the ultimate revelation of God and God’s will for us. In Christ’s sacrificial death God has revealed the full extent of his love for all people and is reconciling the world to himself. Through his death and resurrection Christ has won the ultimate victory over evil, sin, and death. We proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord over all; in him all creation is longing for its fulfilment and wholeness.
We believe in the good news that God is transforming lives through the gift of the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit is at work in the world bringing God’s new creation into being as people are led to the obedience of faith in Christ.
We believe that the office of Evangelist is ordained by God. We believe Evangelists are called to exercise the unique role, empowered by the Holy Spirit, of calling people to faith and discipleship. Evangelists work together with other ministers to equip Christian disciples to exercise their ministries for the building up of God’s kingdom. (Ephesians 4: 11-16).
We believe that the heart of the Christian life is found in Christ’s call to love God with all our heart and love our neighbour as we love ourselves. We are committed to building and nurturing these relationships of love, in the Christian community and in the world at large.
We believe that the Holy Scriptures are able to instruct people for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. These 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are inspired by God and are useful for showing us truth, for exposing our rebellion, for correcting our mistakes, and for training us to live in God’s way, so that everyone who belongs to God may be competently and skillfully equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3.16-17).