Unlike less welcome church burnings of the 1990s, this torching is celebrated and the congregation revels in the fact that the fire is spreading. The "fire" that fell January 20, 1994, upon what is now known as the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship was what adherents call "The Father’s Blessing"—an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that has sparked a renewal in pentecostalism reminiscent of the original Azusa Street outpouring in 1906.
This pentecostal revival has been felt around the world, with hot spots in Argentina, Great Britain, South Africa, and South Korea. In the United States, powerful renewals are taking place in Baltimore, Pasadena, Pittsburgh, and Pensacola, Florida.
Yet at Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (TACF) where it all began, there are signs that the renewal is waning. While Sunday morning services still draw about a thousand people, many of them look more rehearsed than revived. TACF is known for its relaxed worshiping style inherited from its roots in the Southern California-based Vineyard church—yet some may find it almost lackadaisical. From its flowing pop hymns to the tender, friendly style of pastor John Arnott, a lot of attention has been placed on softening the edges of this revival. TACF is sweet, pleasant, and comfortable. That is, until the "sounds" start.