This dropdown menu has information on how our church has developed and progressed into the wonderful community it is today.

+ Our Church's Beginnings 1960-1981 Pastors: Albert Myers, James Dauphinee

During early 1960, a survey of Richmond Hill determined that many newly emigrated Europeans were interested in having a Lutheran church established in Richmond Hill. So, the idea of our church was made.

In April 1960,our first service was held in Walter Scott School and led by the Bishop of the Eastern Synod of the Lutheran Church in America.

Pastor Albert Myers from Wyoming joined us as our first pastor in fall 1960, along with his wife and children, moving to Richmond Hill for his new job. He served St. Pauls for five years, leaving with his wife and kids.

But before his departing, January 21, 1962 presented the official beginning of the church (a signing of a Charter), and on November 1964, 2 1/2 square acres had been bought for St. Paul's, and two more large services were held inside the new church before Pastor Myers' leaving.

Responding to our call as our second pastor two years later, 1966 welcomed Pastor James Dauphinee into 15 years of ministry at St. Paul's. He faithfully visited his parishioners as well as regularly making rounds in the hospital. He could also be seen shoveling the sidewalks at the church on snowy days. Pastor Dauphinee even surprised the congregation by refusing a raise one year! He and his wife Floris retired to Lunenburg in 1981.

But of course, like Pastor Myers before him, Paster Dauphinee saw change in St. Paul's. Within the first 20 years, membership increased, especially in youth - Sunday School classes were large, and an active youth group formed a youth orchestra and lead Easter Sunrise services for several years. A Beaver Colony, Cub and Scout Troops were also started and Girl Guides used St. Paul's facilities.

But, of course, not only youth made change - church members also took part in community programs such as Meals on Wheels, CHATS and hosting funeral receptions. The Church Council also helped St. Paul's, raising funds to purchase a small pipe organ, and to pay off the mortgage. Special events were pot luck meals, and St. Paul's reputation grew from it's great food.

+ St. Paul's Continued Growth 1981-1995 Pastors: Bob Shantz, Alan Cook, Tom Doherty

Pastor Bob Shantz was then our third pastor for 4 years - from 1981 to 1985. Under Bob's ministry, the Altar was moved away from the wall. Pastor Shantz left to become the Lutheran Chaplain at the University of Toronto.

Following Pastor Shantz, Pastor Alan Cook served St. Paul's as our fourth pastor for two years but had to resign due to a lengthy illness. St. Paul's was without a Pastor for many months.

In 1987, St. Paul's celebrated its 25th anniversary. This was a joyous 3 day weekend event and brought new energy to the congregation.

Pastor Tom Doherty - our fifth pastor - worked with us at St. Paul's from 1987 until 1995, at which time he left to pursue a career in music. During his stay, weekly communion was initiated, along with further changes in worship practices and Sunday School re-scheduling. Pastor Tom, along with the church secretary, took part in the planning stages of Volunteers in Mission, a program at the National level, attending many meetings.

+ St. Paul's First Female Pastor 1995-2004 Pastor Patricia Gianella

Pastor Patricia Giannelia, the sixth pastor at St. Pauls, accepted a call in 1995 and stayed until 2004. She was St. Paul's first female pastor. She had many new ideas; during her leadership, annual healing services were scheduled, services in the summer were regularly held outside, Vacation Bible School took place in partnerhip with neighborhood churches, and involvement with the Out of the Cold program was initiated. Pastor Patricia brought in many new members. She enjoyed ministering to children's groups. An after school kids club was very popular for a period of time. One important improvement to the church building, during her time at St. Paul's, was the new kitchen which was initiated by the ELW group. Much of the work was done by members and items to stock the cupboards were donated. Another memorable event during this time was the generous bequest left to St. Paul's by Mrs. Erika Gilbert. Midway through Pastor Patricia's ministry her first husband, John, passed away. For the next several months, our roles were reversed as we ministered to her. She was granted Compassionate Leave for a period of time. A couple of years later she married Walter Baker, another soul mate for her and a great addition to the congregation.

 

{Our 40th anniversary in 2002, during Pastor Patricia Giannelia's 9 year ministry, was another highlight. During the fall of 2010, we began more than a year of special events building up to the final Gala weekend, an inspiring Worship Service and banquet, on April 22, 2012 as St. Paul's turned 50. Many friends from the community took part in these events.}

{The singing greatly improved when Pastor Tom arrived. He returned to St. Paul's as Interim Pastor from June of 2010 until December of 2011}

 

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Claudine Carlson became our next Pastor in 2004 and served until the spring of 2010. Planning meaningful worship services and working with bereaved members were a couple of her strong traits. She strongly supported a proposed building program to enlarge St. Paul's so that we would have space to expand our community outreach programs. The Kids Cooking Club was very popular at this time. Three serious surgeries interrupted her ministry and prevented her from fully entering into outreach programs. St. Paul's had one member ordained while Pastor Claudine was at St. Paul's, Mike Lees. A couple of members of the ELW group were proud to sew his ordination robes. Pastor Claudine left when she and the church council decided St. Paul's should go to part-time ministry.

Changing Pastors so frequently took its toll and the membership has declined somewhat. Other factors have contributed to the decline in membership as well, such as couples having fewer children, Sunday sports taking families away from Sunday worship, and couples buying homes farther north where houses are more affordable.

In November of 2011 the congregation voted to discontinue plans to enlarge the church. A second vote to return to full time ministry was defeated. The Interim Pastor left and some Council members resigned. Vacant Council positions were filled early in January, 2012. Some members left, while others returned.

Good communication between the Church Council and members of the congregation has become very important at St. Paul's, and a spirit of goodwill has returned. New energy is flowing freely through the congregation. With prayer and God's guidance, we look forward to restoring a growing and vibrant congregation.

Pastor Ernie Skujins kindly agreed to become our Interim Pastor for a six month term beginning in February of 2012. Pastor Ernie was unable to stay beyond the six months due to other commitments, so we welcomed Pastor Peter Mikelic as our Interim Pastor in September of 2012. Pastor Peter remained until November of 2014. In January of 2015 we were happy to welcome Pastor Kevin Baglole as our new Interim Pastor.

At a congregational meeting in November of 2014, St. Paul's made the decision to return to full time ministry. As a result, we called a new full time Pastor, Rev. Mark Kalvaitis, in July of 2015. We had a special service in September of 2015 to thank Pastor Kevin for kindly serving as our Interim Pastor during this time of transition, and to welcome Pastor Mark to St. Paul's.