Our History

Founded in 1887, the first Church building in St Paul’s history was constructed in 1894 on North Church Street in Visalia, and was organized as a separate mission in 1895.  In 1921, the Rt. Rev. Louis Sanford, first bishop of the Missionary District of San Joaquin, declared the mission to be a parish.

Steadily growing for the next two decades, the Rev. Victor Rivera assumed the rectorship in April of 1945.  The church moved forward with the purchase of two lots near Main Street.  In 1948 work began on the present church building.

On September 11, 1949 the Rt. Rev. Sumner Walters, first bishop of the Dioceses of San Joaquin, dedicate the new structure, the red brick church on Center and Hall Streets.  The architecture followed the general pattern common to many village churches in England.  A new administrative wing and patio was completed in 1953.

Father Rivera was elected Bishop of San Joaquin in 1968.  The Rev. Stanley Sinclair became rector from 1968 to 1972.  The Rev. Donald Cole became the new rector of the parish in 1973 and served in that capacity until 1989, when he was called to serve as the Dean of St. Michael’s Cathedral in Boise, Idaho. During his tenure the parish purchased additional lots and built an education wing and a parish hall. Refurbishing of the facilities and grounds, and expansion of the parish’s parking lots were undertaken under the leadership of the Rev. Richard James, who has served as rector since 1990.