St. Paul’s was founded in 1821 when the land was purchased from William Smith of the Village of Waterloo as the site of the future church. However, the actual beginning of the parish could be dated from 1792 when the Reverend Robert Addison came on horseback from Niagara-on-the-Lake to hold worship services in the homes of settlers living at the mouth of the Niagara River.

The first Rector of the established parish, Reverend John Anderson, was also chaplain of the Garrison stationed at the Fort, and succeeding rectors have held this same office in the Fort Erie Branch of the Canadian Legion to this day.

The foundation stones for the first church, erected in 1824, were obtained from the demolished Fort at the instigation of Colonel James Kerby, and this small frame structure served the parish for more than fifty years. The first stone church, opened for services in July of 1881, was destroyed by an explosion and fire on Ash Wednesday in 1892, to be replaced by the present building of similar design, on the same site.

The large parish centre, adjoining the church building, was opened in May of 1984, the fulfillment of a dream to have all church activities under one roof.

The history of St. Paul’s is interwoven with the history of Fort Erie. Inscribed on memorial plates throughout the church, and on gravestones in the church yard, are names of many who helped write the history of both the parish and the town. Many of their descendants still worship within these walls. Thus it stands not only as a treasured memorial, but also a symbol of hope for the future.

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