St. Paul’s United Church, located at 349 Waverley Street in Thunder Bay, Ontario has a long and interesting history. Founded in 1873, it has gone through numerous name changes and locations, however it wasn’t until 1914 that the current church was built. Officially opened March 1, 1914 under the name St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, it was considered “one of the finest church buildings in Canada”.
At the time, church attendance and membership were rapidly growing. This was partly due to the charisma and dedication of the presiding Minister; Reverend Andrew D. Reid. The growing congregation included a large number of soldiers, who were prepared to enlist a few months later when the war broke out.
Under Reverend Reid’s ministry, the congregation contributed to numerous missions, giving far beyond the church itself.
“During the war years the need for over-seas relief became very great. Port Arthur was urging the citizens to contribute as much as possible to help meet the needs. St. Paul’s responded by raising sufficient funds to pay for a car-load of flour to be sent to Belgium for relief purposes”.
“From those connected with St. Paul’s, 362 volunteered for service with the armed forces. Of these, 45 made the supreme sacrifice. An Honour Roll, including the names of all who enlisted hangs at the front of the sanctuary. In 1916 Rev. Andrew Reid was appointed Chaplain of the 141st Battalion.”
Alongside the Honour Roll plaque at the front of the church is a special flag which was presented to the 52nd Battalion by King George V, and consecrated at the church in 1921.