St. Paul’s, Oak Point is a Chapel of Ease within the Parish of the Nerepis and St. John. The church is a very historic but it is predated by two earlier churches on the same site. The Loyalists received land grants in the area and lost no time in establishing a church. On November 10, 1788 Peter Berton gave land for a church. Berton and Simon Flaglor purchased an acre for two shillings to be used as a cemetery. The cemetery created holds many Loyalists whose names are still to be found in the area.
A log chapel named St. George’s was completed in 1790. It was the first church in the area until St. Peter’s, then at Woodman’s Point, was built in 1796. In 1801 the Rev. Robert Norris became the first rector of St. George’s. The log chapel deteriorated so badly that by 1820 it was replaced with a new church named St. John’s. The rector in 1822 was Rev. Gilbert Wiggins who had the distinction of being the first native born New Brunswicker to be ordained an Anglican clergyman.
Tradedy struck on November 21, 1838 when fire gutted St. John’s Church. At a meeting on December 27, 1838 chaired by Rev. Milner it was decided to rebuild the church. A total of ix pounds and six shillings was collected that night toward the rebuilding and by March 2, 1839 a total of thirty-two pounds fifty shillings had been collected. Rebuilding began soon afterward. On June 7, 1840 the new church was consecrated by Bishop Coster and was to be called St. Paul’s.
Throughout the year when a church building was unavailable, the congregation held services in their homes. Clergy travelled to several homes for services. Jesus’ words ‘that when two or three are gathered’ applied to these early church communities.
In 1897 Rev. Hiram Alfred Cody arrived at Oak Point from his family home in Washdemoak Lake, driving in a sleigh pulled by his horse, Tom Thumb. He had been ordained on December 20, 1896, by Bishop Kindgon and Oak Point was to be his first church.
Rev. Cody (later Archdeacon Cody) wanted to strengthen the church under his care by encouraging people to read. He organized a circulating library called ‘Ougoudi’ that was held at Charles Short’s store and post office, a central spot to get a book. Membership cost twenty-five cents.
St. Paul’s Church today embodies a strong sense of its history and the struggles the early congregants had endured to have a church. It has had an illustrious past. The pleasant site of the church building welcomes all comers. As one enters the building one feels embossed with its charm and a sense of the history it holds.