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History

Reflecting on years of God’s Faithfulness

God has, in his faithfulness, raised up a volunteer and donor network of hundreds of people and dozens of churches. The backbone of any charitable organization is its volunteers who have given generously of their time and financial resources to keep the doors of the PCC open.  Looking back, the Board has marvelled at the many times when resources were thin, yet they would come in…they always did…in time…just in time…to the glory of God.

1981: Toronto chapter of the CAC Formed

In 1981, Howard and Betty McPhee attended a conference where Dr. Everett Koop, the next US Surgeon-General, was speaking. There, they found information on the Christian Action Council (CAC) in the US. Howard was pastor of the Grace & Peace PCA church, and with his and Betty’s encouragement, others in their congregation became concerned for affirming the value of human life in Toronto. Nora Henry, Barbara Challies, and Flora Compton, all from the Grace & Peace church, attended the first “Sanctity of Human Life Conference” in Atlanta, Georgia, in June 1981. On their return, they formed the Toronto chapter of the CAC. In this group were Barbara and John Challies, Bill and Renee Salomons, Wilma Klein, Flora and David Compton (pastor of Evangelical Presbyterian Church), Rod Finlayson, Catherine and Malcolm MacInnes (pastor of the Associate Presbyterian Church), Howard and Betty McPhee, Ven Evans, Jack Douglas, Nora Henry, and many others. They hosted a Toronto conference with Curtis Young, then Director of the CAC in the US. People soon took on distinct responsibilities. Rod Finlayson served as Treasurer. Betty McPhee became the Educational Facilitator, and began speaking to churches and schools.

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1984: Crisis Pregnancy Centre Opened

1984: Crisis Pregnancy Centre Opened

As she built support, Betty felt that the missing element was direct contact with the women they wanted to help. They decided to open a Crisis Pregnancy Centre to reach women with the good news that Jesus loves them and their babies, and they do not need to abort. In October 1984, Malcolm MacInnes found a small office at 5584 Yonge Street (Suite 16), the North York Crisis Pregnancy Centre opened its doors. A CPC help line was started and Catherine, his wife, took on the task of answering the phone and counselling the first woman who made an appointment. She remembers being more nervous than the client. All this was very timely – it was the same year that Toronto’s first free standing abortion clinic also opened. Malcolm MacInnes became the first Chairman of the Board. The acting Centre directors were Flora Compton, Catherine MacInnes, and Betty McPhee, while Barbara Dowds ran the first training seminar for counsellors at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC). In those early days, a number of doctors from the Missionary Health Institute and the North York General Hospital supported the CPC at personal financial sacrifice, and directed clients to the centre.

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The Early 90’s: Full-time Director Hired

The Early 90’s: Full-time Director Hired

Ebeline Zee-Hawtin was hired as the first full-time Director of the CPC. Barbara Dowds succeeded her as director for two years, then Margo Ball for one year, after which Mary Turner served for four years. During Mary’s tenure as director, the CPC moved from the tiny office on Yonge St., first to a wonderful, spacious house on Leona Drive (near Sheppard and Yonge), and then in 1994 to an office building at Sheppard and Willowdale.

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1994 – 2001

1994 – 2001

Shortly after settling in to the Sheppard Avenue premises, Mary retired as Director and joined the Board. Jessie Beck, who had been the Assistant Director, became the Director. After four and a half years, Jessie was followed by Nancy Varga (who later joined the Board), Heidi Quayle, Cathy Dienesch and Aimee Chada, who served as director of the Scarborough office (opened in 2001, at the Morning Star Christian Fellowship at Sheppard and Morningside) for a number of years.

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2007 – 2008 : New Director Hired, Office Moves

2007 – 2008 : New Director Hired, Office Moves

In 2007, Sarah Martin served as interim director, until Linda Baartse, the current director of the PCC, was hired as Executive Director. During Cathy Dienesch’s tenure the PCC moved its North York office to the NW corner of Sheppard and Bayview. In 2008 the North York office was moved to Sheppard and Bathurst.

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2008 – Present: Continued Expansion

The PCC has continued to expand services since 2008 through the First Response Network. New offices have been opened in Downtown Toronto (Grace Toronto), in High Park (Westminster Chapel), Jane and Steeles (Christian Centre Church). In 2014, a new office was opened to provide services to the Hispanic community. The PCC today is served by 7 full-time and part-time staff and about 250 active volunteers. May we remain faithful to this ministry, on which God has so obviously bestowed his blessing.

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