Pastor Raymond Lee has been named the new executive director of 105 Gibson Centre, a Christian faith-based community centre in Markham.
Lee succeeds former Reverend Jonathan Chan in the role.
Lee graduated with a Computer Engineering Degree, but ultimately it is transforming people’s lives that drew him to a different path after working in the computer field for 20 years.
“I am interested and passionate about connecting with people, whether they are going through good times or facing challenges in their lives, and walking that life journey with them,” Lee said. “It creates a unique experience that makes building relationship so much more meaningful and impactful.”
Earlier this year, Lee graduated from Tyndale University and College with a Masters of Divinity in Counselling. But his journey of walking alongside others goes back for more than a decade. He had served in various roles in his home church, including being a pastoral care team member and mentoring youth and adults.
He had also worked at Youth Unlimited as Director of Light Patrol and ministered to homeless and at-risk youth in Toronto through outreach activities and one-on-one mentoring that assisted them to leave the streets.
“These experiences are precious as they prepared my heart to be tender towards people and be patient to walk with those in need,” Lee added.
Lee joined 105 Gibson Centre in 2016 as a food bank volunteer, and became the Community Services Manager in 2018, overseeing major ministries including Community Classroom, 105 Gibson Cultural Café and Community Needs, which includes the Food Bank, Thrift Store, Tax Clinic and Out of the Cold program.
In this position, he had the opportunity to meet with the vulnerable in the community. “New immigrants from Syria trying to integrate into the Canadian society, low income families, the homeless and people who are struggling to make ends meet,” Lee said. You can see someone on the street who looks happy on the outside and yet you can’t imagine the struggles they are going through.
“Very often their needs are hidden in the community and I am glad to be able to reach them in my capacity as manager and now as executive director.”
Going forward, Lee’s first task is to fill several vacant positions and strengthen his team. On a longer term, he will be working with Toronto Christian Community Church (TCCC) and different groups in completing the phase 3 development which will include a Christian counselling service.
While no date has been set for the launch, Chan had already begun discussion with service partners in his former role as general director.
“Phase 3 will take us to a conclusion of the plan set 10 years ago of providing holistic services to the community,” Chan said. “With his experience and passion, Ray will be very capable in taking the development to completion and bear much fruits in its services. We look forward to that time when all 47,000 sq. ft of the centre is used to serve our neighbours.”
105 Gibson Centre was founded by TCCC which started operations in October 2013 under the tutelage of Reverend Harding Ng. He has been succeeded by Chan as senior pastor recently after retiring, but he is staying on as the consultant pastor emeritus.
Photo: Pastor Raymond Lee has been named the new executive director of 105 Gibson Centre, a Christian faith-based community centre in Markham.