welcome to st. james united church

st. james family

serving since 1953 to the present

history of st. james

St. James United Church started in the boom years following the end of World War II. The Toronto Home Missions Council hired Rev. Dr. Meyers and Mrs. Mercer to visit people in the area. Soon a group of young families were gathering at Wedgewood Drive Public School in 1951, using the auditorium and a portion of the hallway for worship and Sunday School. On May 1, 1952 St. James Islington United Church was born with 218 members on the Charter roll. In later years “Islington” was dropped from the church name. 

At the time of purchase, our present church site was 2.6 acres of market garden complete with a frame house and various out buildings. Construction began on the first phase of the building on April 1, 1954 and continued on and off until the final dedication service on November 30, 1969. By 1963, there were 900 children in Sunday School, along with women’s groups, a men’s club, couples’ club and study groups.  

serving the community

Over the years St. James United Church has made significant contributions to the wider community. Some of the highlights include a pre-school daycare program in the 1960’s for children and special needs. The massive volunteer effort was the foreunner to the development of Seneca School located at 580 Rathburn road. 

Since the inception, we have sponsored Scouting to
provide children with leadership training, social skills, camping experiences, opportunities to serve and role models.

Meals on Wheels was another program supported by St. James for over 20 years until the Red Cross took over the project in 1994.

At present, we serve our community by providing food and essential toiletries through our Food Basket program on Wednesday afternoons. We continue to house the Scouts, as well as a Russian language Saturday school. 

Mission and service

The Mission & Service Fund is where all members and friends of the United Church of Canada pool their givings to live out God’s call to discipleship within Canada and around the World. 

St. James’ members and adherents are also encouraged to support organizations outside of the United Church and contribute to a discretionary fund through special Outreach Offerings. We are always looking for additional committee members with new ideas to select recipients and to keep our congregation informed.

we are the people of St. James!

meet the team

Won Huang
Supply Minister

My name is Won Hwang. My wife is Hannah. My three sons are Jeong (grade 12), Luke (grade 9), and Jiwoo (grade 6).

Since I believe that the life of a good minister begins with studying the Word of God and practicing it in one’s life before ministering to other people, I have

been trained in biblical studies through Master of Divinity, Master of Theology in biblical studies, and the Doctor of Theology program in biblical studies. I

have a passion for sharing what I learn with children, youth groups, and adults through sermons, teachings, and creative, biblical, and fun programs. I am

very keen to understand the situations of children, youth, adults, their families, and their needs, to provide them with prayerful pastoral care.


Through academic and pastoral experiences, I learned an important thing. The important lesson is that God cares for us, our families, and our situations. In response, God wants us to care for our neighbours near and far and all of God’s creatures. I would like to share this important lesson with St. James families through worship, pastoral care, and other activities. It is my prayer that each family experiences God’s care for themselves and their families, works, and concerns and can share their experiences with their neighbours and all of God’s creatures. Through this, St. James United Church becomes both a place of experiencing God’s care and a means of sharing it with neighbours and all of God’s creatures.

May the Lord bless you and take good care of you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord look on you with favour and give you peace. Amen

j.-c. coolen
music minister

A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, J.-C. grew up surrounded by the music of the Church. Music in worship has always had a special meaning for him, and childhood piano lessons quickly provided him with skills to take a leadership role in worship music. He studied music (piano) at the university level in Massachusetts, and has taken further studies in organ, voice, choral conducting, handbells, percussion and music in worship, all of which inform his music ministry.

J.-C. is a free-lance church musician, conductor and accompanist active in the eastern Greater Toronto Area. In addition to his role as Music Minister at St. James United Church, he also serves as organist and occasional cantor for the Sunday 5 p.m. mass at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Pickering. He directs the Durham Community Choir and Espressivo Singers in Oshawa. He is also extensively involved in English handbell ringing in Ontario. He conducts Bells of Bowmanville at the Bowmanville Seventh-day Adventist Church; The Bronze Foundation, Toronto’s auditioned community handbell ensemble, and Bronze Foundation Academy, a new intermediate-level community handbell choir. Naturally inquisitive, in his free time J.-C. likes to travel, read, think, and satisfy his curiosity.

Matty DeCarolis

Office Administrator

Matty is probably the voice you will hear when you phone our office. She will also be the first person you see. She is always smiling and delighted to help with any inquiries you may have!

Worku Gebrekidan


Worku assists in keeping our facility safe and clean. He has been with us for over 5 years. He is happy to meet any visitors to the building. Please be sure to say, “Hello!”

st. james united

Our vision at St. James United Church is to be a Spirit-filled, connected, transformational church that challenges the status quo and provokes interaction on our journey of faith. 


400 Burnhamthorpe Road, Etobicoke, ON  M9B 2A8
(two blocks east of Hwy 427)

Telephone 416-622-4113

Email: stjames_uc@rogers.com

Copyright © 2021, St. James United Church

Website designed by Mohak Kapoor