Eaglesfield Road church holds last service; prepares for Hamilton Korean Presbyterian Church to move in.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON June 20, 2011 It was a somber Sunday morning service as Pastor Mike Pawelke preached the final service at the Eaglesfield Campus of Compass Point Bible Church in Burlington.

What began as the Brant Bible church is now just a faded sign hidden amongst trees that have grown around it.  The congregation of the Eaglesfield Road church will move to Kerns road and worship there.
What began as the Brant Bible church is now just a faded sign hidden amongst trees that have grown around it. The congregation of the Eaglesfield Road church will move to Kerns road and worship there.

The church, built by a group who were market gardener’s and decided they wanted to build a church which they called Brant Street Bible Church, grew to the point where they needed a bigger location and purchased a piece of property at Eaglesfield and Dundas. “There was a time when the place was packed”, said Tom Warner. “We had three services and the parking lot was always full.”

Today the Eaglesfield location is still a healthy church with an established congregation that holds a traditional service. Doug Agnew is the Pastor at what is now known as the Eaglesfield campus of Compass Point Bible Church.

Park Avenue Bible Church was another small Burlington church that grew and moved to a location on Kerns Road where a mammoth structure was built. Complications occurred with the Pastor at the time and the Park Avenue congregation entered into a strategic ministry partnership with Brant Bible Church to create Compass Point Bible Church.

A mammoth structure that dominates the skyline and has three levels of parking with a large sanctuary that includes two television cameras that broadcast the service.  Costs of repair a roof and accumulated debt plus operating expenses resulted in the consolidation of two congregations into the one building.

A mammoth structure that dominates the skyline and has three levels of parking with a large sanctuary that includes two television cameras that broadcast the service. Costs of repair a roof and accumulated debt plus operating expenses resulted in the consolidation of two congregations into the one building.

The Kerns Road structure is a very large with extensive facilities and is one of the mega churches that became popular in the United States. Pastor Pawelke has always been a proponent of the mega church which fairly describes the Kerns Road campus of Compass Point. It is a mammoth building with a very, very large sanctuary that has two television cameras set up within the sanctuary to capture and broadcast the service which is available on line.

Pawelke is a very strong pastor with a staff that gets close to 12 people and three congregations that have a combined operating budget in excess of $1 million. The third is an outreach church is a distressed part of Hamilton on Ellis Street.

Each of the churches is a separate legal entity that have banded together to offer services as the Compass Point Bible Church. The organizational structure is a little confusing to outsiders and a difficult one to finance and administer for insiders. The financial difficulties began to overwhelm and some drastic steps were necessary.

Recent costs to repair the roof and upgrade the HVAC system at the Kerns Road campus cost the church in excess if $850,000 which was a bit more than the community could handle

The Compass Point Church Board decided that some changes had to be made and they decided to sell the Eaglesfield property and have that congregation meet at Kerns Road for an 11:00 am service while the Kerns Road congregation holds their much more modern service at 9:30 am

A sum has been set aside to upgrade the parking facilities at the Kerns Road campus so that the Eaglesfield choir will have space and allow for easier access to the Kerns Road building for the older population that attended Eaglesfield.

The Hamilton Korean Presbyterian Church will move its congregation into the Eaglesfield Road church where its youth groups and high school students will have better facilities and a 6:00 am service

The Hamilton Korean Presbyterian Church will move its congregation into the Eaglesfield Road church where its youth groups and high school students will have better facilities and a 6:00 am service

Compass Point will share the Eaglesfield campus with the Koreans for a period of time and hold events on Tuesday’s and Thursday. The Pastor of the Hamilton Korean Presbyterian Church told the Eaglesfield congregation that there would be some immediate changes when the Korean congregation moved in. The name on the building would change and Korean Pastor told the congregation that there would be a 6:00 am service.

That level of congregational involvement might explain why the Koreans have grown to the point where they needed a bigger location and why Compass Point has to retrench two locations into just the one.

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