By Michael Van Cooten
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, November 15, 2017 — Last Sunday afternoon, New Haven Funeral Centre Inc. was launched in grand style, with a two-day opening ceremony that saw over 300 guests fill a mammoth tent, set up for the occasion on the new business’s parking lot.
Self-described as Peel Region’s first Black-owned, Christian funeral services company, New Haven spared no expense, organising a lavish, well-staged event that included the Universal Soldiers of Faith Honour Guard, a performance by the Praise Cathedral Choir, door prizes, gift bags, refreshments, an array of entertainment and a guided tour for the guests.
The funeral home also raffled off a coveted prize — a 7-night, all-inclusive stay, for two, at the Royalton Luxury Resort in Negril, Jamaica, with Diamond Level service — that was won by Denise Edwards.
Those in attendance included Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA) President, Adaoma Patterson; Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) Vice President, Michelle Richards; Peel Region School Board Trustee, Kathy Parris; Shawn Cuffie of Art Experiential; Bishop Ransford Jones and Pastor Glentis G. Samuel.
New Haven boasts a newly-renovated, 30,000 sq. ft. contemporary, elegant, boutique-style facility that encompasses four spacious visitation suites, a beautifully-designed chapel, onsite reception facilities and ample parking.
Founders: Dr. Lennox Walker, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) — he is also a bishop and the senior pastor for the Praise Cathedral Worship Centre; industry veteran, Shelley Challenger, Vice President and Funeral Director; Chairman, Donovan McLean; and Managing Director, Shari Yearwood, comprise New Haven’s seasoned management team.
The staff also includes licensed funeral directors, with over 40 years experience, as well as on-site chaplains, who will minister beyond funeral services by offering Christian grief counseling, last rites, mediation services, prayers requests, and pastoral support.
The management team says the funeral centre plans to offer Christian faith services in an impeccable facility, where “our team will focus on caring for the deceased, while protecting the well-being and faith of those left behind”.
Unlike a typical, generic funeral home, this newly renovated facility offers beautiful, spacious and luxurious rooms, and provides all of the traditional funeral and preplanning services, along with cultural, faith-centered, and community-focused initiatives.
The uniqueness of the centre is in its ability to serve the community by offering: mediation services; grief counseling; anti-violence workshops for youth; estate planning; health and wellness seminars; onsite Chaplain for prayer requests and last rites; authentic cuisine for every community; and shipping services to the Caribbean and worldwide.
And while saying goodbye to a loved one is never easy, the company’s management promises to provide quality, respectful, customer care to clients, while catering to their specific needs.
With over 40 years of combined experience, the staff at New Haven — which is owned by the Praise Cathedral Worship Centre — will provide unparalleled service that “will really feel like home”, says Vice-president Challenger.
In a press release, the company said that now that it has opened “Families in Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario will no longer struggle to find a funeral home they can trust to give their loved ones the farewell they deserve”, adding that its “aim is to create a heartfelt and positive experience for families who turn to them in their time of need or when planning in advance”.
President and CEO Walker and Vice-president Challenger noted that they shared a vision of a full-service funeral centre that would prioritize faith-based services for families of all denominations — and now it’s a reality.
“It is our mission to bring God back to funeral services by providing a new standard of ministry for the Christian faith communities,” Challenger explained.
New Haven Funeral Centre is located at 7025 Legion Road in Mississauga; its telephone number is 1-833-363-9428; and website is: www.newhavenfuneralcentre.com.