Rev. Doug Bunnell


Doug was born in Evanston, Illinois while his father was in graduate school. Soon after though, the whole family, along with a new brother, traveled out to California where the Bunnells settled in Palo Alto. Doug grew up there enjoying sports, reading, and spending time with family and friends. It was in junior high that Doug’s family began to attend Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. That first Sunday in church Doug heard the gospel and immediately asked Jesus into his heart. Doug did his undergraduate education in his backyard at Stanford where he majored in Biology, enjoyed life, rowed crew, sang and danced in a musical spent two years as a Resident Assistant, and was active in the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church College Department.

After graduation Doug was dragged “kicking and screaming” into college ministry and it changed his life. He loved the experience, the students, and the job so much that he decided to continue for three more years. During this time he met the woman of his dreams, Laurie, and they were married two years later. They spent two years at Menlo and two wonderful summers ministering together at Ponderosa Lodge in Mount Hermon.

They then moved to Seattle so that Doug could attend Fuller Seminary Extension. While in Seattle, Doug worked at University Presbyterian Church and Laurie worked for the Regent College Extension. Soon they were blessed with a little boy named Zachary. Zachary was born with a congenital Retinoblastoma, the same type of hereditary cancer that Doug had, and went through numerous invasive treatments.

Doug received a call in 1995 as pastor to the University at First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley. This involved ministering to members of all different segments of the University of California Berkeley. While in Berkeley, Doug and Laurie were privileged to adopt Zoe Linh, a beautiful girl from Vietnam.

In 2002, Doug received a call to be the pastor here at First Presbyterian Church of Bellingham. The whole family arrived in Bellingham to begin this adventure on January 1, 2003. After six months of transition, the family was plunged into catastrophe. Zachary was diagnosed, for the second time, with cancer – osteosarcoma – in his right orbital. He courageously endured a host of surgeries and a yearlong chemotherapy program. Zachary died on December 24, 2004, celebrating Jesus’ birthday with Him in heaven. The family continues to grieve the loss of their beloved son and brother.

The Bunnells enjoy living in the PNW. Laurie is a preschool teacher for Birchwood Presbyterian Church; she loves the littles! Daughter Zoe is finishing her final year at Westmont College in Santa Barbara where she is majoring in Psychology. Doug enjoys Bellingham, reading, and pastoring a great church where there are a plethora of pubs, interesting people, sunny skies, and enough Kingdom work to keep him busy long past the end of his life.