In 2004, a small group of people who attended Every Nation Churches in Manila, Philippines began to congregate in Toronto. They began meeting together at the World Vision Center in Mississauga anticipating the time when they would get a pastor to lead them and become an official Every Nation church.

In 2008, Steve Murrell, the president of Every Nation Churches and Ministries and Bert Thomson, a Canadian pastor working at Every Nation’s Nashville office, went to Toronto to commission Jay and Vivian Lee as the first pastors and pioneers of the church plant. Their charge was to take this group and form an official Every Nation Church reflecting the mission of church planting, campus ministries and world missions. To this end, Jay transitioned the church in 2009 from Mississauga to downtown and began meeting in its current location at the University of Toronto.

For the next two years, Jay and his team prayed fervently for workers to come and help with the church plant. Bert would often lend his prayers and encouragement for Jay, but in 2011, Bert and Sheila Thomson felt that they were to do something more – much more. Not only were they to help Toronto with their prayers, but after 14 years living in Nashville, were to move back to Canada to be a part of the fulfillment of the church’s prayers for more workers. When Bert approached Jay and Vivian with the idea of moving to Toronto, the response was nothing short of enthusiastic; Jay and Vivian were delighted to have Bert and Sheila join forces with them.

Because of Bert’s involvement with Every Nation Ministries since its founding in 1994 and his senior ministry roles with Every Nation, new opportunities to network leaders from around the globe with a view toward Toronto emerged. As Bert and Sheila made their transition to Toronto, others also began to follow their lead in this new venture. Pastors and leaders from the Philippines, South Africa and the United States also began moving to Toronto.


Follow the Call became a familiar phrase describing not only Bert and Sheila’s move back to Canada, but the numerous ways God was leading people to become a part of the expanding vision.These are the stories of those who are in the process of following the call to Toronto, natives of Toronto who are already involved, and others who are supporting the vision in various ways. You can see more at