Kelowna’s First United Church and St. Paul’s have been associated since 1946. Dr. M. W. Lees, minister of First United, believed there was a need for a Sunday school in the Mission area and made a request of the Women’s Federation to determine whether there was sufficient support for such an undertaking. The support was there and in 1947, with funds provided by the Women’s Federation (WF), a lot was purchased for $200.00. The lot which measured 75’ x 148′ was located on Mission Road (now Lakeshore Road) and belonged to the widow of a former Kelowna Anglican rector. A further $2,500 was provided by the WF of First United for construction of the Sunday school building.
Reverend Daniel M. Perley, who joined the staff at First United in 1947, became the driving force behind the development of the new Sunday school. By 1954, First United began a fund-raising drive to pay for the expansion of their facilities and to build a new church on Mission Road. Construction began in 1957 and was dedicated in May 1958.
Rev. Perley became the first minister and served until Rev. Archie Birse followed in 1961, the same year that St. Paul’s became a separate charge. Rev. Frank Golightly came to the pulpit in 1963 and oversaw the building of the Christian Education Hall (now Morland Hall) which was dedicated in 1964. Rev. Golightly left St. Paul’s in 1969 and in 1970 Rev. John Davidson joined the congregation.
By 1975 the ministerial responsibilities and workload had increased to the point where Dr. John Morland was hired as an assistant minister — a position he held until 1980. Rev. Davidson was called to Victoria in 1977 and Rev. Ken Jordan replaced him. In 1978 a much needed Sunday school wing with six classrooms and meeting room (Perley Room) was added to the south side of the church. Rev. Jordan left St. Paul’s in 1979 and Ralph Milton became the new minister in the pulpit.
It was during Rev. Milton’s ministry that Dr. Morland was called upon to dedicate the Bell Tower on Lakeshore Road. Ernest Orison Wood, a member of St. Paul’s congregation and surveyor for Carruthers and Meikle Ltd., had purchased the old Vernon Post Office after it was torn down in the 1950′s. The post office had a full-sized bronze church bell originally cast in Loughborough, England in 1912.
No one wanted to see the bell thrown away so Mr. Wood took possession of it and offered it to the church when construction of St. Paul’s was completed in 1957. Mr. Wood passed away without seeing his bell mounted, but through the faith and fund of his widow, Jessie Wood, and her supporters, the sixty-eight year old bell was mounted in a modern tower on April 5, 1980.
When Ralph Milton’s interim ministry ended, he was replaced by the team of Rev. Malcolm Galbraith and Rev. Garnet Sherwood, each taking the service for two week intervals.
In June 1981, Rev. Albert Baldeo and family left Edmonton to minister to St. Paul’s flock. Albert was known far and wide for exuding joy and living life to fullest. His compassionate nature, spontaneous humour and inspiring words made him a charismatic leader to the congregation of St. Paul’s. After fourteen years of exuberant ministry, Albert retired from full-time ministry in 1995. He continued to preach at St. Paul’s on occasion and was an active member of the community. He was honoured in 2001 when St. Paul’s appointed him “Minister Emeritus”.
As the congregation grew in the eighties, the added strain on the church’s facilities required a transformation. Plans were made to renovate and enlarge the church. The sanctuary was reversed, a balcony was added and Morland Hall was enlarged. After more than eight months of services held at Raymer Elementary, the congregation moved back to the new St. Paul’s in 1983.
In 1991 a call was issued to Rev. Wayne Laurie to become the second minister. Rev. Laurie was no stranger to our church, having attended the Mission Road Sunday School in the fifties and served as the Chairman of the Official Church Board in the early 1980’s. He eagerly returned to Kelowna with his wife and two boys. He was an enthusiastic and active Youth Pastor for four years and initiated the Mission to Mexico project which sent the youth of St. Paul’s to build homes in Mexico for the poor. In 1995, the Church Board called Rev. Laurie to the pulpit. He and staff associates, Dianne Everets created one of the largest pastoral care ministries in Kelowna.
In 2005, Rev. Richard Chung was called to take spiritual leadership at St. Paul’s. Rev. Chung, his wife Sue and their two children, Yoon-Hee and Simeon, relocated from Alberta. An engaging preacher, Richard brought inspiration and humour to Sunday Services. Richard requested a change in Pastoral Relations in August 2017.
After using pulpit supply for a number of months, Rev. David Martyn was appointed as part time minister December 2017.