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Respected Local Minister
to Retire

On July 1, 1995, Reverend David Boyd stepped through the doors of Nelson United Church to become its first minister.


This July 31, after 29 years of service, Boyd is retiring.“It’s time for me, at my stage in life, to retire from full-time ministry,” Boyd says. “And it’s time for Nelson United to move forward with new energy toward renewal and revitalization.”


Born in Hazelton, at a United Church hospital where his father was a minister, Boyd and his family moved to Kenora, Ontario, where he spent his childhood. The family returned to Nanaimo where Boyd completed high school and then went on to UBC and the Vancouver School of Theology.


Then it was back to Ontario, to Matheson where Boyd was minister for six years. He returned to BC in 1995, settling in Nelson where Fairview United and St. Paul’s Trinity United had just amalgamated to create Nelson United.


“I was excited at the prospect of starting a new pastoral charge, creating new structures and bringing new ideas,” Boyd says. “For my wife and our four children, it was great to be closer to our families. And, of course, we love all the wonderful things Nelson offers: mountains, music, art, a lively community.”


Boyd has earned a reputation in Nelson for his work on justice issues and his commitment to nurturing a welcoming congregation. Nelson United, for example, was one of the first churches in Canada to adopt a same sex marriage policy in 2003. The congregation continues to be outward-looking, to the local and global community, working on human rights and climate action. The church is increasingly lively, providing space for choirs, community events, fundraisers and small gatherings.“


Nelson United is a strong community of faith, and I feel gratitude and affection for them,” Boyd says. “We work hard to live the values we talk about. I know the congregation will continue to be warm and welcoming as they meet future challenges with resilience and a spirit of abundance rather than scarcity.”


As for Boyd, you won’t find him behind the pulpit after August 1, but you may have the chance to talk with him about life, faith and the state of the world on a mountain trail or in a coffee shop in town.

Nelson United is currently seeking a new full-time, ordered minister. Details are available on the United Church of Canada’s ChurchHub (www. or call the office at 250-352-2822.

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