On July 11, 1861 a small group of twelve Christians, under the leadership of Pastor A. E. Kitchen, started The Regular Baptist Church of Orangeville. He shepherded the church for nearly two years, and during this time, with much hard work and prayer, the little congregation grew through professions of faith from 12 members to 26. Pastor Kitchen travelled by horse or horse-and-buggy through bush trails and back roads, making in excess of 500 home visits, many of which were to people who had never before been visited by a minister.
In 1888 the church purchased its first building, which was formerly occupied by the Primitive Methodists. This building is located at the corner of Zina and First Streets in Orangeville and served the congregation for 103 years. After moving into the new building, the church’s ongoing Christ-centred ministry erupted into tremendous revival in which many church members rededicated their lives to the Lord and many others committed their lives to Jesus. Within a short time, the membership rose from about 30 to 90 believers.
During the mid-1920s the church found itself having to defend its belief in the absolute inerrancy of the Bible and its power to bring people to faith in Jesus Christ. Because of this strong conviction, many churches including Orangeville Baptist Church felt led by God to form a new association of churches, from which our present Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Churches of Canada emerged in 1953.
Ground Breaking Ceremony.
By 1975 Orangeville Baptist Church (OBC) had outgrown its building. In response to this challenging reality, the church, led by Pastor James Cunningham, voted to extend and renovate its facilities. OBC was now landlocked and had no further room for expansion. Just ten years later, the building could no longer house the congregation, and so, under the leadership of Pastor Bob Holmes, worship services moved to the cafeteria at Orangeville District Secondary School. The attendance quickly grew to over 300 people. The congregation paid off the balance of the mortgage and appointed a search committee for the purpose of finding a new location.
These new moves caused a concern among some of the members who had strong roots in the old Zina Street location. Pastor Don Fitchett, who was called to OBC in 1988, helped the congregation recognize the need for relocation. Having purchased a 14-acre parcel of land at the corner of Highway 10 and Hockley Road, the church constructed its new facilities and moved to them in 1992.
Pastor Earl Marshall came to OBC in 2001, and under his leadership the congregation has continued to grow both numerically and spiritually. To accommodate the increase in weekend attendance, a second worship service was added. The building is filled to capacity with children, students, and adults almost every night of the week in a variety of ministries. People meet in home groups to study the Scriptures, pray together, and care for one another. In addition, numerous missionaries are supported throughout the world. An expansion to our current facility was built in 2008, adding the North Venue, renovating our Sunday morning worship space, creating new space for our children’s ministries as well as new office space for our staff.
At the beginning of 2013, the church changed its name to Compass Community Church. Compass remains committed to declaring and demonstrating the love of Christ throughout our region, across our country and around the world.
The leadership of Compass had been drawn to Shelburne as a possible new location for several years prior to 2014 with the vision to multiply our church. After a few years of prayer and preparation for church multiplication, in November of 2014, Compass launched a new site in Shelburne, meeting at Centre Dufferin District High School under the leadership of Jay Wagstaff and in January of 2015 Compass welcomed its current Lead Pastor, Andrew Gordon.
Since 1861 God has richly blessed the efforts of Compass in this region and beyond. In his sovereignty, he has used many individuals down through the years to bring us to this rich point in the life of our church. We look to the future with confidence, knowing that he has always been at the helm and that he has never let us down.