Senior Pastor, Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes

Canada's Equal Rights Champion


Rev. Hawkes is a native of Bath, New Brunswick and a graduate of Mount Allison University. He later received a Masters of Divinity degree from Trinity College, University of Toronto and a Doctorate of Ministry degree from Trinity College.

Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes C.M. has been the Senior Pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto for 38 years.

As the Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, Rev. Dr. Hawkes has been at the forefront of LGBT ministry in Toronto. He serves as spiritual leader to a faith community of more than 900 congregants at regular Sunday worship. As well, he has served the community at large with distinction, championing several Human Rights initiatives, especially benefiting the LGBT communities.

In 1994, Rev. Dr. 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. Rev. Dr. Hawkes has also received the Distinguished Service Award from the Metropolitan Community Churches. In 2007 Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes was appointed the Order of Canada by the Governor General of Canada for his stand on Social Justice and Human Rights within the LGBT communities, the highest award a country has bestowed on a gay activist.

In 2009 Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes was presented with an award from the American Psychological Association for exemplifying the values of freedom, fairness and equality under the law and clarity of leadership in advocacy for LGBT people and their families. The New Brunswick Human Rights commission bestowed the honour of “Pioneer of Human Rights Award” for his historic contribution to the advancement of human rights. In 2009 York University presented Rev. Hawkes with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws for his continuing work in activism and human rights in Canada for all.

In 2010 he was presented with an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Mount Allison University, and in 2011 received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Trinity College.

On August 27, 2011 Rev. Dr. Hawkes officiated over the state funeral for the Honourable Jack Layton, Leader of Canada’s Official Opposition and head of the NDP, at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. He spoke highly of Layton who had touched the lives of millions of Canadians and had been a vocal supporter of AIDS initiatives and LGBT rights.

Rev. Dr. Hawkes is in tireless service of justice for gay, lesbian and transgender people. 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 LGBTs and their families come back into spiritual relationship with God.

He has constantly challenged the church to examine important issues such as 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. Dr. Hawkes leads numerous workshops on Church Growth and Conflict Management in the church. He is also regularly called upon for comment from the media with regards to various human-rights related issues.

Rev. Dr. Hawkes lives with his husband of 31 years, John Sproule, in Toronto, Canada.

In 2015, Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes C.M. was awarded the Order of New Brunswick.

For More Information

Please contact Brent’s Executive Assistant, Annabelle Menezes.


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