How we began
Our Roots - 1922-1968
Ossington Pentecostal Church began in Toronto as a small assembly of Italian Christians led by Rev. Ferdinando Zaffuto and Rev. Luigi Ippolito. Known as the “Assemblea Cristiana”, the gatherings started in 1922 at 193 Montrose Avenue. In 1956, a new church building was erected at 686 Ossington Avenue, Toronto to house a group from the growing church, which became known as “Assemblea Cristiana Pentecostale Italiana (ACPI)”. Pastored by Rev. Ferdinando Zaffuto until his death in February 1968, the independent church reached out primarily to Toronto’s Italian community. Other church leaders included Luigi Guglietti, Giuseppe Grieco, Ross Ditta and John Totafurno.
Our Growth - 1968-2002
Rev. John Totafurno served as pastor from 1968 to 1984, and Rev. Gino Zucchi took over from February 1985 to February 1991. Under Rev. Zucchi’s leadership, ACPI expanded the meetings to Woodbridge, Ontario and became known first as Woodbridge Pentecostal Church and then, as Bethel Pentecostal Church. Around that time, the ACPI formalized its affiliation with the Italian Pentecostal Church of Canada, now the Canadian Assemblies of God, and became known in Toronto as Ossington Pentecostal Church. In May 1992, Rev. Giulio Gabeli was installed as pastor, followed by Rev. Ed Grasso for a one-year term ending in January 2002. As an answer to prayers, the church grew to embrace many other ethnic groups in the surrounding communities.
Our Expanding Vision - 2003 to date
Rev. David Quackenbush moved from Montreal with his wife Angela in February 2003 and has since pastored the church with a strong commitment to a cross-cultural ministry, spirit of growth, and discipling.
Our Affiliation with the
Canadian Assemblies of God
Our pioneer fathers, already acquainted with evangelical truth, experienced the Pentecostal outpouring in the City of Hamilton in 1912, and in Toronto and Montreal a few years later. They were led by the Holy Spirit to preach the full Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Italians in Canada. By the early 1920s, the Italian-speaking Pentecostal churches had been established in several cities in Ontario and Québec. God mightily accompanied the preaching of these dedicated and fearless men with such outstanding signs and wonders that many believed, even in the midst of great persecutions.
At an official gathering of these churches in 1944, a conference was held to promote cooperation in missionary endeavors, unity of doctrine and recognition of God-given ministries. The Lord enabled the Italian Pentecostal Churches of Canada (IPCC), now called the Canadian Assemblies of God (CAOG), to extend its ministry in Canada, from Montreal to Vancouver, through four generations.
While maintaining the vision to reach the new Italian Canadians with the Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ, the CAOG also ministers to English-speaking Canadians and many other ethnic groups residing in Canada. As a result, our churches are reflecting more and more the cultural diversity in which we live.