The Estonian Evengelical Lutheran Church

Kuno Pajula


Archbishop Kuno Pajula

Kuno Pajula was born on March 11th, 1924 in eastern Estonia in a peasant family. He graduated from gymnasium in 1942. In 1944 he was mobilized into the German army, from 1944 to 1947 he was in a Soviet prisoncamp.

He began his service in the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1949 as a preacher. He studied at the Institute of Theology of the EELC from 1949 to 1959 and in the two following years at the University of Göttingen in Germany. In 1950, he was ordained as curate by Archbishop Jaan Kiivit senior, nine years later he was granted the rights of a pastor. Kuno Pajula served the congregations in Illuka, Iisaku, Kursi and Narva, and from 1957 to 1987 St. John’s congregation in Tallinn.

Besides his work as pastor, he also served as vice-dean and then as dean of the Deanery of Tallinn and as a member of the Consistory. On June 11th, 1987, Kuno Pajula was elected Archbishop of the EELC. He retired in 1994.

Kuno Pajula was one of the founders of the Estonian Council of Churches and its president from 1989 to 1993. He was member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches from 1983 to 1992.

After his retirement, Kuno Pajula continued to serve congregations – especially the congregation of the Cathedral of Tallinn – and to fulfil faithfully the tasks he had been entrusted with.

Kuno Pajula was married for 55 years to Helgi Mägi (1927-2009). They had two daughters.

Archbishop-emeritus Kuno Pajula died on November 26th, 2012.

We thank God for Kuno Pajula, whose long life is like a summary of a very complex and difficult period in the history of Estonia and a testimony to the survival of what is truly valuable.