Rev. Doug Bunnell


Doug was born in Evanston, Illinois while his father was in graduate school. He grew up in Palo Alto, CA enjoying sports, reading, and spending time with family and friends. In junior high 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 April of 1990. 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 moved on January 1, 2003 to begin this joyful adventure. After six months here Zach was diagnosed with a secondary cancer – osteosarcoma – in his right orbital. He courageously endured a host of surgeries and a yearlong chemotherapy program. Zach died on December 24, 2004, celebrating Jesus’ birthday with Him in heaven. The whole family still misses our beloved son and brother.

The Bunnells enjoy the PNW. Laurie directs Kid’s Central Preschool at Central Lutheran Church; she loves the littles! Zoe lives in Seattle and works hard at a TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) Clinic. Doug still loves Bellingham, reading, pastoring, breweries, good food, sunny skies, watching football, kayaking, giving platelets, Laurie, biking, nap time, and enough Kingdom work to keep him busy long past the end of his life.