A BRIEF LOOK AT OUR HISTORY
The New Anointing Christian Fellowship, formerly Berean Church of God was established in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1974 at Hespeler Avenue. The founder and Senior Pastor at that time was the late Bishop Mervin Ashburn Farquharson who was called home to be with the Lord in March, 2010. The congregation moved to its new location on Manitoba Avenue in 1990.
The current Senior Pastor is Pastor Joseph Thompson who is assisted by Pastor Veleta Farquharson (Assistant Pastor and wife of the late Bishop Mervin Farquharson) and Pastor Vivion Mason (Visitation Pastor), along with an eight member Church Board including his lovely wife Sister Donna Thompson, and an able core of Elders, Evangelists, Deacons, Deaconess, and Exhorters. The congregation is rapidly growing with the Lord’s blessings with the regular addition of young growing families. The future of NACF looks very bright as we strive to be obedient to HIS divine will and trust HIM to lead us in the paths of righteousness.
With such a work as NACF, it is near impossible to separate the servant, in this case servants, from the service. Therefore this short history of NACF will liberally incorporate portions of the lives of the late Bishop Mervin Ashburn Farquharson and his wife Pastor Veleta Farquharson, for in many ways the two sets of histories are intertwined and inseparable.
Mervin Farquharson immigrated to Great Britain from Jamaica in 1962 to explore opportunities. In those days, this was not the easy journey it is today; this journey was completed by ship and took several weeks. In later years Bishop Farquharson would recall the special satisfaction he received in witnessing to other passengers and leading souls to Christ during the journey. In Great Britain he worked as a machinist and always had an entrepreneurial spirit. There he met his sweetheart and soon to be wife, Veleta who was at that time completing her nursing studies.
Answering the call for skilled workers, Pastor Mervin Farquharson and wife, Sister Veleta Farquharson immigrated to Winnipeg in 1968. Sister Farquharson began her nursing career at the Health Sciences Centers (formerly Winnipeg General Hospital). Pastor Farquharson pursued his career at Joy Manufacturing, and having an entrepreneurial spirit, he started a few small businesses. He also followed the calling of the Lord on his life to minister to, and help others. He first attended and was one of the Pastors of a small Pentecostal Church on Alverstone Street in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He then moved from the church on Alverstone Street to the Aboriginal Mission on Alexander Avenue.
Still searching for the unique West Indian style fellowship, he rented a hall on Arlington Street with estimated capacity to seat about 50 people. Early members recall that the services were “very good... with good old fashion, home style praise and worship and lots of good ole West Indian style cooking and socializing outside of church”. Seeing there were relatively few people of Caribbean descent at that time, it was a good opportunity to get together. The core membership consisted of about seven to nine members. Many of the original members and regular visitors to the fellowship are now established Pastors of their own churches here in Winnipeg.
The church quickly out grew the rented hall and when a church building became available in 1974 on Hespeler Avenue, Pastor Farquharson jumped at the opportunity to secure the building. The Berean Church of God at Hespeler was the first Caribbean style Pentecostal church in Winnipeg. Reverend Farquharson was the Overseer for The Berean Churches in Canada and was instrumental in the expansion of the organization.
In the early 1990s, the building at 1425 Manitoba Avenue, where NACF is now located, became available, and again it was a perfect opportunity for the still-expanding congregation to move into a larger place of worship. In 1998 the building on Manitoba Avenue underwent significant renovations and expansion with the addition of even more members. It remains one of the largest Caribbean-inspired Pentecostal churches in Winnipeg.
At the church’s annual convention which was held July, 2005, the new name, the New Anointing Christian Fellowship Incorporated, was officially dedicated and blessed with Rev. Dr. Carmen Lewis (Lighthouse Fellowship in Toronto) officiating. At that same convention, Pastor Farquharson was ordained as Bishop and then Minister Joseph Thompson was ordained as Pastor, with Rev. Dr. Dennis Brown, President of Vision International School of Ministry, Springfield, Massachusetts, officiating.
Bishop Mervin Farquharson is remembered as a great ‘people person’ who smiled easily, had a good sense of humour, and enjoyed a good joke with a hearty contagious laugh. He was truly a visionary, a very kind and loving man who went the extra mile to lend a helping hand to others. He adopted a unique manner of evangelism, believing that if he could convince the children that church was a good place to be, then eventually the parents would follow. It was not unusual for Bishop Farquharson to drive his car around the City on Sunday mornings picking up many children, from many homes. He also gained great satisfaction and respect from mentoring others, giving them responsibilities, and watching them flourish.
The New Anointing Christian Fellowship, over the years, has established an unbreakable bond with sister churches such as: The Light House Fellowship Assembly, Toronto (Rev. Dr. Carmen Lewis), Rays of Light Ministries & Worship Centre, Windsor (Pastor Brenda Bowers), First Sanctuary of Praise, Calgary (Pastor Caletha Odetunde), Princess Field Berean Church of God, St. Catherine, Jamaica (Pastor Lorine McDermott), Gospel Outreach Ministries, Grand Forks, ND. (Bishop Michael Cole), Full Gospel Open Door Assembly, Detroit, MI. (Rev. Dr. Vincent Howell), and Four Paths Berean Church of God, Clarendon, Jamaica (Pastor Eric Roberts). We also collaborate and closely fellowship with many of the local churches and local church leaders here in Winnipeg.
We at NACF will continue to press forward, building on the multiplied blessings of our past and will always seek to heed the word of Apostle Paul who encourages us in Philippians 3: 12-14