Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Psalm 127:1 Therefore it won’t be wrong to say that the United Apostolic Church (UAC) of Canada was started with the help and guidance of our Heavenly Father. God put this idea in the heart of Revd. Edwin Riaz, a Pakistani Canadian who came to Canada, in the year 2000 with the vision and mission to serve the Lord.
Revd. Riaz wanted to establish a denominational church that could fulfill the spiritual needs of people. Deriving his faith from the Holy Bible, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest” (Matt. 9:38), Revd. Riaz continued praying to the Lord to send faithful servants in order to help and guide him in his mission.
The Lord, discerning the burden in Rev. Edwin’s heart, prepared Apostle Clifford Flor from Australia, who came to know of the Pastor’s presence in Canada. Apostle Flor felt that God is opening a space for Apostolic Church in Canada to provide spiritual guidance using Rev. Edwin Riaz as His messenger for North American hemisphere.
The UAC started its initial services with 15 congregation members in Brampton, Ontario in January 2010. The members were mainly from Urdu speaking community of Canada, who felt Lord’s presence through Holy Spirit in weekly worship services. The Lord blessed the congregation and there were many who were anointed by the Holy Spirit.
On January 01, 2012, weekly Sunday worship service was moved to the present day location at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, 723 Balmoral Drive, Brampton. This new location also proved to be the new era in the life of the Church. The people witnessed the Lord moving among them with full strength. The showers of Holy Spirit enabled the congregation to move towards more programs, and to display their talents through various services.
In this second era of blessedness, the Church was able to begin monthly sessions of Bible study; this program was mainly designed to provide basic understanding of the Bible. This program is a regular feature of the Church ministry. Mr. Haroon Nasir, who holds master’s degree in Theology, leads the Bible studies. He has a fairly rich background of teaching Theology at seminaries and university levels.
Prayer therapy and counseling is another very useful and much needed project started by the Church. The Church provides free of cost service to anyone who knocks at the door of the Church for help in resolving spiritual problems. UAC is the first Urdu-speaking church to initiate Prayer Therapy services in Canada.
Every Church has its future either through Sunday school or youth services. The Church started Sunday school services for the children till age of 12. Mrs. Aruna Shah leads the Sunday School service. Mrs. Shah, who is a very experienced and qualified teacher, has been teaching Sunday school children for the past 20 Years.
With the help of youth coordinator, Mr. Asher Khokhar, the Church has come up with a couple of plans to engage youngsters in the Church. Youth coordinator also runs different programs and competitions at different occasions throughout the year.
The backbone of church worship service is its choir. Other than Spirit led messages, Spirit filled singing is an integral part of all worship services. The Church is fortunate that it’s Choir Director, Raja Lesilie Harrison is a very talented and well known Gospel Singer who carries a long-time commitment with God. He has sung many beautiful hymns and has also composed beautiful tunes of hymns. The Choir director also organizes singing programs and concerts especially for Lent, Advent and Thanksgiving Day.
Mr. Albert Kenneth Mall is the main motivator behind all activities of the Church’s Parish Council. His passion and energy, is basic fuel supplier for majority of the programs run under various projects. Mr. Mall coordinates programs and ensures their quality and the desired results.
Mr. Sherjeel Riaz, is the treasurer. Though his services contain less explanation, however, without his services, the continuity of the Church’s ongoing projects will be extremely difficult. The Christian faith says that money is not everything; nevertheless, nothing comes without money. Therefore, along with Mr. Mall, Mr. Sherjeel Riaz is also an essential part of every program, under various projects.
It is impossible to complete explaining ABOUT US without mentioning the Church volunteers who help in various capacities. Though all Church projects are run by volunteers, we have those volunteers who don’t have any particular title. These general service volunteers provide their services in varieties of areas such as managing the kitchen, preparing and operating power point, providing pick & drop to various church members, etc. The Church highly appreciates the role of the general volunteers in providing all required facilities with a willing and joyful heart.