Peo­ple

Toronto Life - - Holy Hipsters -

WHERE:

Bick­ford Cen­tre at Bloor and Christie

CON­GRE­GANTS:

150

Jeff Pike looks like your av­er­age 29-year-old guy from Dun­das West: scruffy beard, pom­padour fade and wardrobe of worn check and denim but­ton-downs. He’s also a church pas­tor. Af­ter high school, Pike left his Lon­don, On­tario, home and en­rolled at Hill­song In­ter­na­tional Lead­er­ship Col­lege in Aus­tralia—an off­shoot of Justin Bieber’s favourite megachurch—where he fo­cused on pas­toral stud­ies and the­ol­ogy. There, he met his fu­ture wife, fel­low pas­tor Mika Pike, and in 2014 they moved back to Toronto, where Jeff had done vol­un­teer work as a teenager. They opened their church, orig­i­nally called Groundswell, and held their first ser­vice at the Mod Club on Col­lege Street. This year, they re­branded as a fran­chise of Chicago’s Peo­ple Church, though the two branches are fi­nan­cially in­de­pen­dent— Peo­ple re­lies on do­na­tions for fa­cil­ity rentals and events. The clien­tele? Mil­len­ni­als look­ing for a place to de­velop their re­la­tion­ship with God. Sun­day ser­vices are fronted by an eight­piece indie band, and a dozen small neigh­bour­hood Grow Groups meet weekly for Bible study and so­cial­iz­ing.

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