Oldest Baptist Congregation West of Rockies Celebrates 175 Years

BaptistBaptist
Courtesy of Steve Morgan (Wikimedia CC0)

The First Baptist Church (FBC) of Oregon City is scheming to applaud a 175th anniversary in September. “When a church lasts 175 years, that is a covenant to a certain diligence and friendship of a people to a church and to a community,” announced Senior Pastor John Withum.

Although a FBC calls itself small, slow, and weird, care adheres to normal Christine doctrine. Its rural staff consists of Rev. Withum and Melissa Meilinger, a Assistant Pastor of Worship Youth. In further to Sunday worship, Bible school, and Young Church for 6th to 12th-grade students, a church houses a HOPE Food Pantry.

Pastor Withum told a Portland Tribune that a building’s story could be felt on entering a church: “There is an abiding participation of a suggestion of God” and a feeling that “prayer and strain — a use of God’s Word have happened for a prolonged time.”

As a 40th priest to lead FBC, he was welcomed by a “generous [and] amatory congregation.” Rev. Withum, a connoisseur of a Northern Seminary in Lombard, Illinois, added: “Church is all about people. Church doesn’t exist to make some-more [churches], it exists to follow Jesus.”

The Reverand remarkable a assemblage had gifted many changes given a inception. Most notably, a First Baptist Church of Oregon City “was founded [when] it was bootleg for non-whites to live in a Oregon Territory.” However, priest Withum wanted to remind everybody that “we now mount to acquire a multi-ethnic, multi-race village — all are welcome.”

First Baptist Church of Oregon City’s Origin

BaptistBaptist
Courtesy of Steve Morgan (Wikimedia CC0)

It is “the oldest continual Baptist congregation” west of a Rockie Mountains, according to a Portland Tribune. The church’s website indicates a initial plcae was downtown nearby a Willamette River. Rev. Vincent Snelling and David T Lenox founded a church on Jul 4, 1847. They led services for 7 congregants out of Deacon H. Hatch’s home, a member of a Congregational Church.

The newly-formed church achieved a initial benediction on Feb. 6, 1848  — 3 congregants announced their joining to follow Jesus Christ.

By May, a construction of a First Baptist Church of Oregon City commenced. While a accurate date that a building was finished, a church’s website reports: “The residence was finished in a fall, or early in 1849.”

As a outcome of a state’s devise to dilate a highway separating downtown Oregon City and a Willamette River (Oregon Route 99E), a First Baptist Church was forced to find another location.

The assemblage sole a downtown skill during 13th and Main and bought a stream site in 1940. They changed into a partially finished new building a following year. The building that “dominates a southwest dilemma of 9th and John Adams Streets” was finished and rigourously dedicated in 1945.

Oregon City’s Building and Planning Department designated a Gothic Revival-style church as a Historical Site. However, it is not on a inhabitant registry, though researchers submitted a examination of a site that was available in Apr 2002.

Pastors Withum and Meilinger wish that everybody joins them and a First Baptist Church of Oregon City congregants in celebrating a 175th anniversary.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

Portland Tribune: West’s oldest continual Baptist assemblage celebrates, by Ellen Spitaleri
First Baptist Church of Oregon City
Oregon City Building and Planning Department: 819 John Adams Street – First Baptist Church of Oregon City

Featured and Top Image by Steve Morgan Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License
Inset Image by Steve Morgan Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License

Oldest Baptist Congregation West of Rockies Celebrates 175 Years combined by Cathy Milne-Ware on Aug 7, 2022
View all posts by Cathy Milne-Ware →