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Hamilton, Greenaway Ecclesia Centennial

Last year marked the centennial year that there has been a light stand for the gospel of Jesus Christ at the corner of Greenaway and Wilson in Hamilton, Ontario. Hundreds of brothers and sisters have been members over the years, and well over a hundred of them were baptized in this ecclesia. It is an ecclesia that has seen many transformations. 

In August 1871, according to all records, there were twenty brothers and sisters in Hamilton, Ontario. Information is somewhat lacking before that time; however, there is a reference in the Herald of the Kingdom Age to Come in the January and November 1856 issues of one brother resident in Hamilton. In 1871, R. T. S. Powell learned the faith and was baptized.

His father was described as “a gentleman and pillar in the principal Methodist congregation in the place.” Bro. Robert Roberts reported in the Christadelphian Magazine (August 1871)1 that the son, now our Bro. Powell took over his father’s business shortly after his baptism. It’s important to note the articles in the Christadelphian Magazine were very much a preaching tool at that time. Bro. Roberts wrote:


This young brother has been indefatigable in his efforts to call his neighbours attention to the truth, which his connection with the town, from youth upwards has favoured. He has canvassed his townsmen right and left, to subscribe to the Christadelphian. The result is a list of about 50 subscribers in Hamilton alone. All of these are paying subscribers but one and are said to express their appreciation of the publication.

His plan has been to tell them that he has a paper to which they must subscribe; that he will take no denial; that he will send it to them for a year, and that if they don’t like it he will pay it himself, and not trouble them another year; that if they do like it, he will ask them to pay and expect them to become regular subscribers. So far, all but one desired it at the end of the last year to be renewed.2

Like many ecclesias, Greenaway has faced its own set of trials over the years. Despite the challenges those trials posed, the light never went out. Many years ago, there was no children’s Sunday School. Then a few years later, there was a thriving Sunday School of more than sixty children crowding into a basement.

There were curtains as room dividers in an overall space that one would think was crowded if twenty people were in that basement. Nevertheless, the Sunday School thrived.

The children learned the Word of God, and most put on the saving name of Jesus Christ through the waters of baptism. As that generation grew up, most moved away due to jobs elsewhere or marriages to someone further away. Still, the light of God’s Word continued to shine on this corner in the center of Hamilton, Ontario. We are quickly becoming an aging ecclesia, having several members in their eighties and even breaking ninety. 

The ecclesia today, as some would say, has become somewhat of an ecclesia of refuge. It is an ecclesia strong in faith, grounded in truth, and rich in mercy and love. It is not perfect. I know because I am a member there, and I am far from perfect. We have officially adopted Hymn 427 (Grant, Lord, Thy Blessing on This Place) as our ecclesial hymn. I encourage you to read the words to this hymn to know what we are all about. 

So, all this brings us to a plea, a challenge. We need you! 

Maybe you have or will be planning to attend University away from home. Did you know Hamilton is the home of McMaster University, one of the leading schools in Canada? Here is an opportunity to give back to God while you learn. 

Perhaps you have been considering going off to the mission field for one or two years? There’s a wonderful place to serve right here in your own community. Not everyone is cut out for the extra burden of mission work in a foreign country. There is, however, fertile ground here in downtown Hamilton for those who would be domestic missionaries. 

If you have a family, would you consider being a catalyst to restart the children’s Sunday School and breathe new life into the Greenaway Ecclesia? Even better, maybe you could encourage two or three other families to join you.

What a fantastic opportunity to teach children the real meaning of the truth, sharing, and caring. Whether you are a brother or sister, single or married, with or without a family, you will surely be useful in the Greenaway Ecclesia. 

We will let you in on another gem. We mentioned Greenaway is an aging ecclesia, which is true. However, it is not just age in years, but age in years in the faith as well. Oh, the lessons the young could learn from these elders. And what an encouragement the children would be in warming the hearts of our elderly members to see another generation thirsting for the Word of God. 

The City of Hamilton needs you.

So why Greenaway? The City of Hamilton needs you. They may not all know it, but with your help, more will hear about it. Oh, what amazing things one brother or one family or perhaps two or three could once again do in the downtown of Hamilton, Ontario, at the corner of Greenaway and Wilson. 

It’s more than keeping alive the 100-year legacy at this location. It is being part of the oil in the lamp so that the light doesn’t go out in this small corner of the LORD’S vineyard. As new members, we are certain you will bring new ideas, ideas to spark us all to do more and do better. One more brother or sister or one more family can make a real and lasting difference. 

Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh harvest. Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. (John 4:35).

If you are willing and able to answer this call, please contact our Ecclesial Sustainability Committee through Bro. Mark Jennings, Recording Brother, markjennings224@gmail.com. 

Marilyne Creer,
Hamilton Greenaway Ecclesia, ON


  1. The Christadelphian Magazine, Issue 86, August 1871.
  2. Yes, I also needed to look up the meaning of “indefatigable. It is defined as “always determined and energetic in trying to achieve something and never willing to admit defeat.”

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