The Pentecostal message, first preached by the Apostles, came to Saint John in 1925 when the first work was established in New Brunswick’s port city. Twelve young men saved during that time eventually became Oneness Pentecostal preachers. It was one of them – Rev. Raymond Beesley – who later founded the United Pentecostal Church in the city of Saint John in October of 1960. He led the young congregation, which met at 77 Coburg Street in the former location of the Christian Church, until he was succeeded by Rev. Cecil McKillop in October of 1963.
Church attendance numbered just under 100 in August of 1968 when Rev. Euliss McKeen assumed the pastorate. He led the assembly until September of 1973, when Rev. Arden Bustard was installed as Pastor.
Early in 1974, a two acre lot was purchased on Mark Drive in east Saint John, with construction beginning on a new church sanctuary in the spring of 1975. That building, with a seating capacity of 325, was dedicated on December 31, 1975. During Rev. Bustard’s ministry, the assembly – now called First United Pentecostal Church – grew in attendance to over 200. He continued as pastor until October of 1988, when Rev. Edward Goddard moved to Saint John to assume the pastorate.
By this time, the congregation had grown to the point where further expansion was inevitable. In April of 1989, construction began on new facilities adjacent to the existing church building. The first phase of construction, encompassing the exterior shell of a new sanctuary and a connecting foyer, was completed with the unveiling of its cornerstone on October 1, 1989.
Work continued intermittently on the facilities until the early part of 1993, when the final stage of construction began. Services began in the new sanctuary in August 1993, but it was early in 1994 before the other areas of the complex were completed. These included Christian Education Facilities, a combination Youth Center and Fellowship Hall, an Office Wing, and Noah’s Ark Daycare. The new sanctuary has a seating capacity of 650, and was dedicated on April 30, 1994.
As we look to the future, with five decades of history behind us, we expect great things in the Lord with Pastor Brent Carter leading us FORWARD.