Bickford Centre at Bloor and Christie
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.