Meet the Team
The Reverend Samer Kandalaft
The Reverend Samer Kandalaft has been minister at St. Paul's since 2008. Prior to coming to Kemptville, he served the Presbyterian Church of Lebanon in Sidon for seven years.
A native of Homs, Syria, Samer received his Bachelor of Theology from The Near East School in Beirut and was admitted as a minister of the Presbyterian Church in Canada after a year of study at Montreal's Presbyterian College.
A thoughtful preacher and a much respected pastor, Samer describes his faith like this - "I believe that I am saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I have been given specific gifts to use in service to my Lord, as an offering of thanks and praise."
Samer is married to the Reverend Shahrzad Dezhbod Kandalaft whom he met at The Near East School of Theology. Born in Iran, Shahrzad served at the Episcopal Church of Tehran before moving to Beirut to study Theology and Christian Education. Once in Canada, she continued her studies at Presbyterian College in Montreal and was recently inducted to lead the Barrhaven Mission in Ottawa.
Samer sees his ministry here as an opportunity to help our congregation become a true family of God which upholds one another in living out life in Christ.
The Kandalafts have three children - Mark, Paul and Johanna.
Organist and choir director
Steve is an accomplished musician and director who has been leading the choir at St. Paul's for over twenty years. Thanks to his skill and encouragement, he has inspired our choir to tackle and master anthems that would scare off groups twice their size.
When he's not directing singers at our church, Steve can often be found in the brass section of the Salvation Army Band playing his beloved euphonium.
To give you an idea of Steve's musicianship, there have been Sundays when he's played the organ and the euphonium at the same time - while conducting the choir and singing the tenor part!
Church School superintendent
A native of Winnipeg, Corina taught church school classes at St. Paul's for several years before recently taking on the duties of Superintendent. As a mother of two, she takes a keen interest in the role that youth play in our congregation - as well as the curriculum that's used to further their spiritual education.
Corina is also the driving force behind our highly successful spring garage sale and BBQ so if there are any treasures in your basement, she would love to hear from you.
clerk of session
Heather Stewart is the Clerk of Session which is an important leadership position at St. Paul's. For Presbyterians, the session is the first court - or governing body - of the church. It is made up of elected "elders" who have pastoral responsibility for the spiritual well-being of the congregation. Their monthly meeting are moderated by the minister who is assisted by the Clerk.
Heather takes minutes for the Session and maintains all of the church's ledgers of membership, births, baptisms, and deaths. She also often represents the congregations at other church meetings.
Heather is also a member of the St. Paul's Choir and has authored a children's book called "When Animals Are Like Us: And Other Moral Tales."
The Reverend Allan Jorgensen
Chair, Board of managers
The Reverend Allan Jorgensen is Chair of St. Paul's Board of Managers - the organization in our church that looks after the finances and ensures that our building is in good working condition. A retired Baptist minister, Allan served churches in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ottawa and Oshawa. He also furthered the mission of the Canadian Bible Society in Nova Scotia and at their head office in Toronto. Allan and his wife Dianne retired to the Kemptville area to be closer to their children who live in Barrhaven and here in North Grenville.
Allan has always been a consummate tinkerer and woodworker which is good, because there are no end of odd jobs at St. Paul's. His life motto is "nothing broken beyond repair" - a reassuring message for the well-being of our church and the people inside.
In his spare time, Allan works with his daughter Karin at her "No Go Coffee" business that supplies fresh roasted coffee to local stores, offices and the North Gower Farmers' Market.
Bea is one of the unsung heros of our church. She looks after many things at St. Paul's and likely even more that she doesn't tell us about.
Bea ensures that our Sunday bulletin is in shipshape and that we have ushers and lay readers for every service.
She also oversees our collection envelopes, automatic-monthly-withdrawal program, tax receipts and our annual report.