Meeting & Event Ideas

Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, C.M.

The Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, C.M. has been the Senior Pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto for 30 years.

Rev. Hawkes is a native of Bath, New Brunswick and a graduate of Mount Allison University (B.Sc & B. Ed). He received a Masters of Divinity degree with honours from Trinity College, University of Toronto. In May 2001, Rev. Hawkes received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Trinity College. As the Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, Rev. Hawkes has been at the forefront of ministry to the Gay & Lesbian Community in Toronto. He serves as spiritual leader to a faith community of some 575 congregants at regular Sunday worship. As well, he has served the community at large with distinction, championing several Human Rights initiatives, especially benefiting the Gay & Lesbian Community. In 2007, Rev. Hawkes was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada. The Order of Canada is Canada's highest civilian honour. It was created by Queen Elizabeth II, who is Sovereign of the Order, in 1967 to celebrate Canada's centenary. It is awarded to Canadians who have contributed greatly to Canadian society locally, provincially, and nationally. Rev. Hawkes is the first GLBT activist to be received into the order. In 1994, Rev. Hawkes received the City of Toronto Award of Merit, the highest civilian award given by the City of Toronto. In 1995, he received a Global Citizen Award from the United Nations Toronto Association, for his work in advancing human rights in Canada. In June 2000, Rev. Hawkes was honoured as a patron of the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives Gala where his portrait was unveiled as a "Builder of Tolerance". At the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches World Jubilee and General Conference held in Toronto in July 2001, Rev. Hawkes was honoured with the UFMCC Human Rights Award. In 2002, he received the Golden Jubilee Medal in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the accession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada. In December 2003, he was awarded a City of Toronto's Access, Equity and Human Rights Award, the Pride Award. In 2005, he received the Spirituality Award from Pride Toronto. These are only a few of several distinctions Rev. Hawkes has received. Rev. Hawkes has tirelessly serviced the cause of justice for gays and lesbians. He has done this through helping society to better understand and increase awareness and acceptance of the issues affecting this community. He has helped thousands of gays and lesbians and their families come back into spiritual relationship with God. This is demonstrated through the popularity of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto Christmas Eve Service held at Roy Thompson Hall, Toronto's premier cultural venue. It is one of the largest Christmas Eve service in Canada with an average 2500 people in attendance. He has constantly challenged the church to examine important issues, prejudice against gays and lesbians, inclusive language as well as ordination of women. He has played a significant role in promoting the inclusion of sexual orientation in the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act. He was a past co-chair for the Campaign for Equal Families. Rev. Hawkes has continually championed for equal rights for gays and lesbians and women and has continually challenged the status quo with regards to racism, poverty and housing. In 2006, Rev. Hawkes was appointed to the Ontario Citizens Panel for Increasing Organ Donation.