Ontario Conference News







Ontario Conference News (OCN) 






Thursday, July 13, 2023 






Empowering Change: Ontario Conference Selects Dynamic Directors for Key Roles




Top Left: Allen Chichester, Raul Gonzalez
Bottom Left: James Rooney, Patricia Lopez




The Ontario Conference Board's inaugural meeting was an important gathering aimed at addressing staffing needs within the organization. With several key positions left vacant due to recent departures, positions remaining unfilled from the previous conference session, and positions that typically arise during the transition of a new administration, the agenda focused on filling these crucial roles. This outcome of the meeting helped to shape the future of the Ontario Conference to ensure its continued effectiveness in serving the province.

Pastor Allen Chichester, previously known for his role as the director of Children's Ministry, has been appointed as the Director of Family and Men's Ministry. With a Doctor of Ministry degree, his graduate studies specifically focused on ministering to the needs of families. From 1997 to 2001, he served as a lecturer at the University of the Southern Caribbean, teaching courses on family life education. Notably, Pastor Chichester has successfully organized Men's ministry programs abroad, as well as family life retreats and marriage recommitment weekends for churches within the Ontario Conference. He is certified by the North American Division Children's Ministries Department in Child Evangelism. With his extensive experience and unwavering commitment to supporting families and fostering positive relationships among men, Pastor Chichester is exceptionally well-suited to excel in this vital position.

Pastor Raul Gonzalez, pastor of Spanish Bet-el-Adventist Church and Dios Con Adventist Group, has been appointed as the Associate Ministerial Secretary. Pastor Gonzalez has extensive ministerial experience serving churches in Ontario and in Mexico. He has served as the Hispanic coordinator for the Ontario Conference and is currently the vice president of the Greater Toronto Ministerial Association. In that role he is known for his active involvement in working with pastors in Toronto and supporting their educational and professional needs. Pastor Gonzalez will work alongside the current ministerial secretary, Frankie Lazarus.

Drawing from his extensive property management skills, Pastor James Rooney, the former Director of Camp Frenda and Camp New Lowell, has been appointed as Property management assistant and has assumed the responsibility of Kingsway Pioneer Home administrator. Pastor Rooney's expertise and dedication to excellence will ensure the smooth operation and maintenance of conference facilities.

The Board has also appointed Patricia Lopez to lead Children's and Women's Ministry. Patricia brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her new role. She has successfully facilitated, directed, and overseen numerous Women's Ministry Events, making her a highly sought-after guest speaker at Women's Ministry retreats. Additionally, Patricia has developed a five-day workshop called "The Lady Lazarus" and is currently working on a book with the same title, which will add to her existing two books. Patricia is also a teacher at College Park and served as a teaching principal at the London Adventist Church, amassing a total of 23 years of experience. Her unwavering passion for children and women's ministry will undoubtedly inspire and empower others.

Pastors Chichester, Gonzalez and Ms. Lopez will officially begin their new positions on August 1, while Pastor Rooney will commence his responsibilities on September 1.

In addition to the personal appointments, the board also selected members for the Pastoral Placement Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Board of Education. These important committees and the Board will play vital roles in ensuring the smooth functioning and growth of the Ontario Conference and its educational institutions.

Jakov Bibulović, President of the Ontario Conference and Chair of the Conference Board of Directors, commended the board for giving of its valuable time to provide thoughtful discussions and contribute to an efficient decision-making process. Bibulović remarked, "The selected directors, committee members, and board members will have a great impact on the Ontario Conference. I firmly believe that their addition, along with the current Director team, strongly positions us for a bright future of spiritual growth and community engagement in Ontario as we carry out the Gospel mission of Jesus."

Pastor Shawn Ellis
Director of Communications and Media






Miracle in Nepean: Tornado Spares Seventh-Day Adventist Church




Damage shown to homes surrounding church (Courtesy Bob Windsor)




Nepean, Ontario – July 13

Earlier today, at approximately 12:45 PM, a tornado touched down just 700 meters from the Nepean Seventh-Day Adventist Church. The incident occurred as the church was in the process of releasing children from their Vacation Bible School (VBS) program. Alert to the sight of a funnel cloud beginning to touch down, church staff quickly took action to ensure the safety of the children and themselves.

Pastor Bob Windsor, who was present at the time, emphasized that the primary concern was the well-being of the children. They were immediately led downstairs to the church basement. Miraculously, the tornado took a direct path towards the church but passed over the building, avoiding any impact on the church itself. "As the tornado passed by it sounded like a loud freight train whistle" Pastor Windsor recalled.

In another miracle, no injuries were reported among the children or staff members who were at the church during the incident. Aside from a few shingles blown off, the church structure remained intact, with even the outdoor canvas signs were unaffected by the strong winds. Pastor Windsor praised God for His goodness and mercy.

Unfortunately, the public school located across the street was not as fortunate, sustaining significant damage along with nearby trees and signs.

Pastor Windsor also shared a remarkable account of one church member who was driving through the path of the tornado. Through divine intervention, the tornado seemingly lifted the member's car out of harm's way, protecting them from the potential danger caused by flying debris nearby. As of this writing, the church has reached out to its congregation, and there have been no reports of injuries.

The Ontario Conference, upon learning of the incident, has been in close contact with the church leadership and has pledged assistance if needed. Reflecting on the events, Pastor Jakov Bibulivić stated, " We must praise God for His miracle sparing both His people and the church”.

As the Nepean Seventh-Day Adventist Church recovers from this awe-inspiring incident, they are grateful for the safety of their congregation and continue to praise God for His protection. The church community stands as a testament to the power of divine protection and the strength that comes from unity during moments of adversity.

Pastor Shawn Ellis
Director of Communications and Media






Building Faith and Knowledge: Inside Ontario's Bible Bowl Competition




On July 8th on a warm Sabbath afternoon, something special happened in Ontario. Adults and young people from Apple Creek, Woodbridge, Central Toronto, Brampton, Scarborough, Faith Filipino, and Emanuel Adventist churches gathered together to participate in an exciting event called Bible Bowl. Similar to the famous game show Jeopardy, Bible Bowl puts participants' knowledge of different books of the Bible to the test. The competition was friendly and filled with good-natured camaraderie, bringing churches closer in fellowship.

Woodbridge church, took part in the competition for the first time. Talking to some of the participants, it was clear that they thoroughly enjoyed the experience, especially the excitement of "buzzing in" to answer the challenging questions. Elder Daily, representing Woodbridge church, expressed his joy in seeing the young people actively participating, and was pleased with their first effort. He stated that he was “confident they will be even more prepared for the next year's event.”

Preparing for Bible Bowl requires teams to invest numerous hours studying various books of the Bible. As participants grow older, the requirements increase, with 6-year-olds needing to know two books and adults being responsible for seven books. Some teams even use creative techniques to remember Bible stories and grasp the intricate details of different passages. Other churches engage their entire congregation through fun Adventist Youth (AY) activities to show support for their competing teams.

Bible Bowl has been an integral part of Ontario since the early 90s. Currently, Ontario is the only Conference in Canada actively participating in this event. Pastor John Scott, the Director of Youth and Young Adults, shared his enthusiasm, stating that Bible Bowl has been flourishing and has the potential to spread its reach and blessings to other Conferences.

Watching the teams play is awe-inspiring, witnessing their profound Biblical knowledge and attention to detail. The excitement builds as teams quickly buzz in, striving to be the first to answer, while coaches discuss strategies and tactics on the sidelines.

Donavan Gibson, a longtime coordinator of Bible Bowl, shared an incredible insight: "All the young people I have tracked over the years who have participated in Bible Bowl have excelled academically, with two even becoming pastors." Such success stories emphasize the positive impact Bible Bowl can have on participants' lives. This year, the teams from each division with the highest scores will represent Ontario and Canada at the Nationals in Orlando, Florida later this year.

If your church wants to start a Bible Bowl club, it's a simple three-step process. First, designate a coach who will guide and practice with the team. Second, obtain a list of books to be studied for the upcoming years (contact the Conference Youth Ministry department for assistance). Finally, get ready to participate! Bible Bowl can also be a powerful evangelistic tool, as each team can include non-church members who can actively engage in the competition.

The spirit of unity and knowledge shared during Bible Bowl fosters an exciting atmosphere of learning, fellowship, and friendly competition among churches in Ontario. This event not only strengthens the participants' understanding of the Bible but also cultivates academic excellence and leadership skills. So, gather your team, study the scriptures, and embark on this thrilling adventure called Bible Bowl!

Teams heading to Florida

  • Pre Junior team  Brampton
  • Junior apple creek 
  • Senior youth AppleCreek 
  • Young adults division Brampton
  • Adult Brampton 

Pastor Shawn Ellis
Director of Communications and Media





Neighbourhood Centre Wins at Burman’s “Shark Tank”




Pastor Mathew Feeley of New Life Church in Oshawa recently achieved a remarkable feat at the Restored and Empowered Ministerial Summit held at Burman University in Alberta last week. Among fierce competition in a "Shark Tank" style competition, Pastor Feeley successfully presented "The Productivity HUB" and secured a winning prize of $7200 towards the project.
The Ministerial Summit brought pastors from all over Canada together, fostering collaboration and innovation. One of the highlights was the "Shark Tank" competition, where churches had the opportunity to pitch their projects in hopes of receiving funding. 
New Life Neighbourhood Centre (NLNC), an extension of New Life Seventh-day Adventist Church in Oshawa, emerged as the deserving winners of this year's award.  The win was announced at New life last Sabbath, July 8.  Treasurer Noel Thompson announced the win, receiveing  cheers and applause from the congregation. “When you need a home run, you put in your Ace player,” Noel quipped. He further praised Pastor Feeley, nicknaming him “Pastor Ace.” 

For over 25 years, NLNC has been committed to supporting marginalized individuals in Oshawa and the surrounding ares. The centre operates on dual fronts- as a food bank and a Productivity Training Hub (HUB)
The food bank plays a crucial role in meeting immediate needs, providing meal boxes, hygiene packages for the homeless, and hosting a monthly pancake breakfast, among other initiatives. Every year, NLNC distributes groceries to approximately 3,000 clients, serves 4,000 weekend meals and snacks to school children, and delivers 2,000 hygiene packages to those experiencing homelessness.
The $7200 funds from the Shark Tanks will be directed towards the development of the Productivity HUB, an impactful community outreach ministry. Where the foodbank takes care of care of basic needs, the HUB provides a 12-month program that includes self-empowerment workshops, skills training, one-on-one coaching, mentoring and coordinated support geared toward readiness for employment and other productive pursuits. After the first year since the HUB was launched 32 individuals were placed on pathways toward employment, volunteer work or further education. Without this program, these individuals may have fallen through cracks in the system.  For more information on New Life Neighbourhood Centre programs, visit
In addition to New Life,  Ontario churches received most of the funding towards community and Ministry Projects. Ontario Conference congratulates the pastors and their churches for innovation and supporting their communities. You can read more about the various projects in upcoming issues of the Ontario Highlights. 

1st place – Mathew Feeley – The Hub - $7200
2nd place – Keneth Aphia- Kubi – Toronto and Heritage Ghanaian Churches- $5200
3rd place – Marcio Sousa - Hispanic Refugee Project – Niagara Falls - $4200

Other recipients:
Anthony Reid – Mt Gilead Church - $3200
Harold Novak – Toronto Hungarian Church - $3200
Donfille Cooper -  Agape Temple Church - $3200

Pastor Shawn Ellis
Director of Communications and Media





Honoring a Faithful Soldier: Remembering Pastor Joseph A. Bulgin




On Monday, July 10th, the Global Kingdom Ministries church in Scarborough held a deeply moving celebration of the life of Pastor Joseph A. Bulgin. The large church was filled nearly to capacity with former church members, friends, pastors, and conference administrators from Ontario and other districts. They were joined by another seven hundred people watching the service online. The service commenced with praise team led by Pastor Damian Chandler. A Pathfinders honour guard accompanied the casket, followed by a solemn procession of pastors who surrounded the family as they took a final moment to bid farewell to their beloved relative - a dear uncle, brother, father, and husband.

During the service, Pastor Fitzroy Maitland offered the invocation. He stated that "soldiers die with their boots on." He was referring to the fact that that Pastor Bulgin had planned to preach a sermon just days before his passing.

Pastor Jakov Bibulović, President of The Ontario Conference, delivered the first tribute, echoing the sentiment that Pastor Bulgin had indeed died with his boots on while adding, "Heroes are remembered forever." Bibulović quoted from Philippians 2:3-4, which he said exemplified Pastor Bulgin's selflessness, generosity, and dedicated service throughout his ministry. He highlighted the remarkable impact Pastor Bulgin had on the Ajax Church, even during his illness. Pastor Bibulović shared that despite pandemic restrictions restricting the use of churches, Pastor Bulgin's pool at his home became the place where many started a new life as there were baptized there in the name of Jesus. Pastor Bibulović concluded by expressing the anticipation of a glorious reunion when Jesus returns, and he would witness Joseph Bulgin restored in the likeness of Jesus.

Tribute from Collegues
Following Pastor Bibulović's tribute, Pastor Harold Johnson, Pastor Vincent Lue, and Pastor Wayne Martin, all colleagues in ministry, shared their heartfelt memories. They spoke of Pastor Bulgin's role in their informal ministry group, where they would visit and minister to other pastors. Each pastor recounted personal moments of encouragement and support they received from Pastor Bulgin. Pastor Johnson lightened the mood by recounting a humorous story from their school days, causing laughter to fill the church.

Tributes from Mentees
Tributes continued with Mrs. Roberts and Ms. Francis from Philadelphia Church, one of the many churches Pastor Bulgin served. They both spoke of how he impacted their lives, not just as a preacher, but as a teacher and life coach. Mrs. Roberts credited Pastor Bulgin with changing the trajectory of her life, leading to her success today. Younger pastors, such as Pastor O'Connor from Scarborough Adventist Church, Pastor Dewaine Frazer from Allegheny East Conference, and Pastor Andrew Beresford from Serve City Church, highlighted Pastor Bulgin's mentorship. They shared his passion for youth and his constant encouragement in their own ministries. They remembered him as a minister who excelled in church growth, as every church he pastored flourished. Pastor O’Connor humorously mentioned that if God created a “dream Gospel team” It would contain Adam, Moses, David, Peter and Joseph Bulgin as the “point guard”, powerfully preaching the Gospel and imploring people to give their lives to Jesus; to which those present gave a loud Amen!

Preaching Moments
At different points in the service, short clips of Pastor Bulgin's powerful sermons played, showcasing his passion and how the Holy Spirit powerfully used him as he preached the Gospel. In one of the clips, there was a lighthearted moment where he reminisced about his childhood and how he practiced preaching. He would make an altar call with his brother as the sole member of the "congregation,". When he came forward, he would then ask, "Is there not one more who would come forward and give their hearts to Jesus?" This elicited laughter from those present.

Tributes from the Local Church 
Elders Patrick and Janice Rose from Hamilton East and Elder Wendell Boyce from Ajax Church gave additional tributes, each expressing their deep gratitude for Pastor Bulgin's impact on their lives and ministries. Elder Boyce called upon all those baptized by Pastor Bulgin to stand, revealing a significant portion of the attending rising in honor of the impact he had made in their lives.

Tributes from family
The family members also gave their touching tributes. The father of Sister Patricia, Pastor Bulgin's widow, emphasized that “It was one thing to preach a sermon another to live it. Joseph Bulgin lived what he preached.” Each child – Kimberly (pastor), Jason (pastor), and Laurie-Ann - spoke about their father's unwavering love, support, and guidance. “He loved the church,” Kimberly said, “but he loved us more.” “He was always there for us and I learned unconditional love through his example.” Laurie-Ann Shared. “I admired him so much I wanted to be with him even when he was doing vastations.” Jason said adding a personal funny anecdote about sneaking into his father car so he could follow him as he did ministry.

Finally, Jason Bulgin, delivered a stirring eulogy centered around the theme of "I made it." He preached that the statement “I made it” is the cry of a person’s humble gratitude to God for victory over life's challenges. He highlighted his father's resilience through his personal and and health struggles, thanking God for His constant presence and guidance throughout their family's journey. The congregation was reminded of Pastor Bulgin's unwavering faith, even in the face of illness, as he continued to minister to others, revealing God's grace working through him.

In his closing remarks, Jason Bulgin expressed his conviction that his father had fallen asleep in Jesus, having fought the good fight and finished the race. He ended with a powerful question. He stated “My Dad made it. How about you?"

Indeed, Pastor Joseph A. Bulgin will forever be remembered as a faithful soldier of God who touched countless lives with his ministry of love and selflessness. His legacy lives on in the hearts of those he inspired.

Pastor Shawn Ellis
Director of Communications and Media





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Ontario Conference
of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
The Mission
To Reach Ontario and the world
with the distinctive, Christ-centered,
Seventh-day Adventist message
of hope and wholeness

The Vision
Connecting like Jesus






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