During the spring 1957 area meeting of the Conservative Baptists it was decided to sponsor the formation of a new church. A survey was conducted by twenty students from what is now Western Seminary, and led by the Pastors Dale Jacobsen and Carl Ludeman: The consensus was to locate in Tigard. Pastor John Wachsmith was authorized to develop plans for its formation. The first service was held on Sept. 24, 1957 at the Metzger Recreational Club House with Wachsmith later called as pastor. Nineteen people were in attendance.
Don Boldt, a Western Seminary senior, started preaching here in early 1958 and upon graduation became the next pastor. In September of that year we moved to the Tigard Grange on Pacific Highway. Purchasing the current Gaarde Street site was the next step and we immediately remodeled an existing farmhouse to accommodate a parsonage and meeting place. 1959 brought formal affiliation with the Conservative Baptist Association of America and we began drawing plans for a sanctuary that was finally constructed at the back of the property in 1962. Known for decades as Boldt Hall, that original sanctuary now serves as our Youth Center.
Around 1963 we purchased adjoining property along S.W. 110th Street. On its space was a small house that we used variously as a parsonage, a rental home, for Sunday School classrooms and Awana. Pastor Howard Roth (’61 - ’66) was our pastor then, followed by the Pastors Stan Shaw (’66 - ’67), and Al Barber (’68 - 73). In April 1969, ground was broken for a new sanctuary that was built in six months with the help of Craftsmen for Christ. The old farmhouse was eagerly torn down. Pastor Don Reid (’73 - ’81) came as our next pastor and the work was shared with our first associate pastor, Dale James.
Church attendance had grown under the leadership of Pastor Mike Jaskilka (’82 - ’92) and even with two Sunday services we were bursting at the seams. Craftsmen for Christ joined us again in 1987 as we literally tore off the front (Gaarde Street end) of the church and extended 28 feet to house offices and increase seating capacity. Pastor Steve McCracken (’93 to present) brought along an associate pastor, Mike Balsbaugh, to help with this growing church and by the late ‘90’s we had a paid staff of six to handle the flurry of ministry details.
In 1995 the 110th Street house was razed to make way for a new “Ministry Center,” and in February ‘96 a single-level doctors’ office was moved from Tualatin and placed on an excavated site that has now become a multi-purpose “Greatroom” and state-of-the-art kitchen. The former doctors’ office now houses classrooms and a media center. In February 1998 we dedicated our new building and at the same time we belatedly celebrated our fortieth anniversary. Just this past year we remodeled nursery facilities and updated the Youth Center. As we face our 45th year we are once again seeking God’s wisdom and provision to meet ever-growing ministry opportunities in the southwest region.
Written and updated March ‘02
by Jan & Dan Geist