Spotlight On: The Meeting House
February 13, 2007

The Meeting House, part of the Brethren in Christ, is a multi-campus church currently meeting in the Famous Players Silver City Theatres in the metropolitan Toronto area.

Toronto, the fifth largest city in North America, is the cultural and business hub of Eastern Canada and home to over 7 million people. The Meeting House, located about 60 miles from downtown Toronto, was established to reach not only the suburbs of Toronto, but Toronto itself.
Portable since their origins in 1986, The Meeting House has seen many evolutions, including two name changes, two pastors, and more than five venues. In 1998, under the leadership of Bruxy Cavey, their attendance skyrocketed to over 1000 members.

“Our growth is an anomaly according to Canadian standards. It’s unheard of,” says Site Development Pastor Rich Birch. “The average church in Canada is 70 people and rapidly dropping,” he said.

The church growth was so rapid, in fact, that a video overflow room was created. “We got to the point where our video overflow room was actually holding more people than our main meeting area” laughs Birch.

In 2002, two groups of visitors changed the geographic scope of The Meeting House. A group from Hamilton, ONT and denominational leaders visited the growing church and respectively ended up in the maxed-out video overflow room. Each group found themselves discussing the possibilities of video overflow. The group from Hamilton considered the possibilities of tapping into The Meeting House teachings from their own home-town and the denominational leaders began wondering about the possibilities of using video to expand The Meeting House’s congregational network.

On Easter of 2002, The Meeting House launched their first regional site in Hamilton. “At first, I’m not sure we had an incredible amount of vision” said Birch, “but the seekers started coming and Hamilton’s growth started taking off. We moved out of the high schools and into our current venue (Famous Player’s Silver City Theatres).”

Today, there are five video campuses meeting in local Silver City Theatres all over Metropolitan Toronto. There is live local programming for worship, music and announcements; the teaching is broadcast on the venue’s large video screens. For now, The Meeting House regional locations remain on a teaching week-delay but have recently put a bit more focus into going live. Cavey conducts an open forum Q & A session at the end of each service and wants to be able to take questions from each regional site “live”.

The Meeting House has six locations in Ontario – Oakville, Brampton, Hamilton, Uptown Toronto and Tri Cities Area. You can visit their website for more information.

The Meeting House whose motto is “A Church For People Who Aren’t Into Church” is constantly pushing the bounds in creativity and technology. Below is just such an example from their current video series entitled “What the Worst That Could Happen?”.