Quest began as a response. As the awareness of the post-modern shift in broader culture and its implications for the church were being felt, several question began to take shape through conversations, synchronicity and studies. What does it mean to follow the way of Jesus in changing times? What about here in Niagara? How might the community that professes the way of Jesus (ie. the church) have to adapt? These are the kinds of questions that brought together Troy and Tammy Watson and Chris and Laura Mullet Koop. Quest Christian Community became the response in 2007. This church plant experiment was supported by local Niagara Mennonite Churches and Mennonite Church Eastern Canada with Troy Watson assuming the role of lead church planter and Spiritual Director surrounded by a team of volunteers.
First meeting as a small group in homes and eventually on Sunday evenings in Grace Mennonite Church, Quest began to take shape. Many hours of community, questions and contemplation shaped our direction and led us to focus on the downtown core of St. Catharines as Quest’s home base. The Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre became Quest’s meeting place until a vision developed for offering a place where arts and spirituality could meet, leading the group to lease 145 King Street, also in downtown St. Catharines in 2009. Gallery 145 came into being through the work of all who formed the faith community at that time. Offering a space for concerts, movies, art shows and discussion groups focused on bringing together spirituality and the arts, together with continuing to form the faith community of Quest became the focus. Despite the interest in such a unique space downtown, lack of funding made it impossible to continue the gallery. The decision was made to close the gallery in 2012 and focus energies on the growing faith community.
After a time of discernment in 2013, Troy and Tammy Watson made the decision to relocate to Stratford, Ontario where Troy accepted a role as pastor of Avon Mennonite Church. Troy had brought the community from a dream to a functional, regular, committed gathering of people. Through his teaching and emphasis on ongoing spiritual growth, exploring faith in the post-modern shift and re-discovering the way of Jesus, a foundation was set in place for the community that is today.
2014-2015 saw significant transition for Quest as Troy was released to his new role in Stratford. The community invited Laura Mullet Koop to assume the role of Spiritual Director during this transition time. A variety of reasons led Quest to find a new gathering home at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church on Ontario Street, still in downtown St. Catharines. At this time, another Quest participant, Paul Schmidt, was welcomed into leadership as Community Coordinator to work alongside Laura as Spiritual Director. Together they work to empower the community which continues to share leadership roles and explore ways to embody the way of Jesus in the heart of St. Catharines through community and spiritual practice.