Parkwood Gardens began in 1976 as a two-pronged vision of Gladys McCartney and Pastor Ray Zimmerman. Gladys had a vision to see a church planted in this newly developing neighbourhood and Pastor Zimmerman had a passion to plant a church. Bible studies started and soon a core group began to meet as a church. They first met in a drive-shed next to three acres of land generously given to the United Brethren denomination by the McCartney family. The shed housed the sanctuary and a kitchen, and a trailer in the back was used for Sunday school and the nursery.
From this humble start the church grew. Wisely, when the McCartney’s donated their land, it was stipulated that a building was to have been erected within a ten-year period or the land would be returned to the family. As this deadline approached, the congregation, now with an average attendance of forty-one, developed a plan to build.
With a leap of faith, the groundbreaking was held in May, 1984 and a facility was built at a cost of $225,000. Many members (and even a few non-church neighbours!) contributed not only their financial support, but also helped install wiring and insulation, paint walls and nail on shingles. On Christmas Day in 1984, the first full service was held in the new Parkwood Gardens Community Church.
In 1985 Pastor Wayne Goldsmith arrived. Under his leadership God continued to strengthen and grow His ministry. God’s blessing was evident when in 1987, after the generous donation of $60,000 from the Merillat Foundation, the mortgage for our building was retired.
In 1988 God brought our current pastor, Brian Magnus, into our fold. In the years since, we have seen the continued growth of existing ministries and the initiation of many others. In these years, attendance continued to increase to the point where in 1996 a second worship service was added on Sunday mornings. It wasn’t long before attendance peaked and in 2000 a long-range planning committee, after a thorough assessment of the church needs, presented its recommendation to expand. The five-year vision included expanding the church building and planting a new church in a nearby town.
In October of 2001, as we celebrated our twenty-fifth anniversary, we launched our $750,000 Building to Impact People for Christ Capital Campaign. Our much-needed expansion would see our space double including 100 extra seats in the sanctuary, a new nursery, foyer, additional classroom space, offices, youth rooms, library, boardroom, resource room, expanded Fellowship Hall, storage and additional washroom facilities.
Gladys McCartney broke ground for this project on May 5, 2002 and God was faithful to the vision. A dedication celebration took place on December 8, 2002; and on February 1, 2009 a mortgage burning celebration was held.
Neil and Liz Cudney joined the PGC staff on May 1, 2005 in order to plant a new church. As a result, our daughter church, Mill Crossing, began holding services in Cambridge in September of that year. God is blessing Mill Crossing with much growth as members faithfully continue to serve Him there. They now worship at 54 Guelph Avenue in Hespeler, ON.
Another five-year vision, “Unleashing the Church” was adopted in 2013, which included more church planting and another expansion of the building. The Guelph Vietnamese Community Church was started in 2014 as a partnership with the Christian & Missionary Alliance denomination. Pastor My (Tim) Nguyen was hired and they have grown from a core group of 20 to almost 50. Today Pastors Nguyen and Hong Tran lead our Vietnamese Church.
Jim & Pastor Bonnie Tice developed a core group of PGC members and planted the “Diaspora” church in 2015, which meets in homes and emphasizes organic evangelism.
In 2016 Mike Mackneer was hired as our Discipleship Pastor and Cheyenne Geense was hired as our Youth Pastor. Catherine Masi was hired as our Children’s Ministry Pastor in July 2018. They joined Senior Pastor Brian Magnus, Spiritual Care Pastor Mike Dell and Worship & Music Pastor Lynette Magnus on our staff. Elizabeth Kraemer and Ricki Bristow share the work of administration at the church.
On June 11, 2018 we had the ribbon-cutting and dedication of our new, $2.3 million “Family Life Centre”. It currently houses a large gymnasium, board room and offices. Future phases will see it used as an auditorium/gymnasium and commercial kitchen, within which we hope to minister to our community and “Impact People for Christ“!
In February 2018 we launched our current five-year vision; “Outreach, Inreach, Upreach“. Our vision is to see “Every Member an Ambassador, Every Member a Minister, and Every Member a Worshiper!” You can watch it’s presentation here and download the Vision document here.