Chris & Val Powell
Covenant Baptist Church was founded in 1974 by Christopher Powell’s father, Leigh Powell, a recently arrived English immigrant who was saved under the ministry of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in London, England. It was the first Reformed Baptist Church in Toronto in the modern era.
Chris was saved and baptized at the age of seven years old and he grew up in the church he now pastors. He met his beloved wife, Valerie, at the University of Toronto where he was active in the local InterVarsity Christian fellowship. After graduating from university, he spent several years in the business world in project management, teaching and information technology. But, ever since he was a boy sitting in the church and attending his father’s systematic theology classes at a local seminary, he had a hunger to preach the Gospel. As an adult he was appointed a deacon in the church and in 2004 he was commissioned by the church to go to seminary to train as a pastor and elder. Chris obtained his M.Div. at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in South Carolina.
While at seminary, Chris came in contact with ARBCA as he and his wife were an associate members at Grace Baptist Church in Taylors, SC where he served two summer internships. In one of those summer internships under the oversight of the elders, he and his friend and fellow seminarian John Miller had the privilege of helping to begin a church plant in the Asheville, NC area which is now constituted as Crosspoint Church, an ARBCA member church.
At seminary, Chris and Val were blessed with the arrival of two children, Hannah and Noah, and, on their return to Canada, God gave them their third, Abigail. During his years at seminary, Chris’ father had a serious bout with cancer. The church at home struggled for several years and by the time Chris graduated there were some financial challenges to his return. In God's grace, in 2008, Grace Baptist Church of Taylors presented Chris at the 11th ARBCA General Assembly as a candidate for temporary support under the RBMS National Pastor program. The idea was to provide assistance over a 5 year period to help re-establish the work in Toronto as financially independent. That goal was achieved by the grace of God a year and a half early in December 2011. Chris continues a close association with ARBCA and now that his stint as a National Pastor is complete, Covenant Baptist church will be applying for full membership as an ARBCA church in Canada in the near future.
Toronto is a diverse city. It is the fourth largest populated city in North America after Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles and it has been often identified as one of the most diverse cities in the world. Within a short driving distance of the city is almost a third of the population of Canada, a country that is under populated in churches, especially Reformed ones. Please pray for more churches to be planted in the city and country by God’s grace that Canada may become a greater light for the Gospel both at home and abroad to the ends of the earth.
Covenant Baptist Churchâ€¨1 Briarcreek Roadâ€¨Toronto, ON M1B 2N7â€¨Canadaâ€¨ â€¨ â€¨