Making Disciples in Oregon by C. F. Swander

Making Disciples
in Oregon

C.F. Swander, B.A., M.A.
State Secretary Oregon Christian Missionary Convention
Online version copyright 1998 by Charles Dailey

This is chapter seven of sixteen chapters in Clarence Swander's book. This year-by-year summary is the heart of his work. We have sought to provide pure "Swander" here, but have taken some liberties, too. Where spellings varied from those in common use, we have shown the modern spelling in brackets so the researcher could locate the entry. Where we have discussed the item further in our Pioneer History of the Churches of Christ and Christian Churches, we have added a link, either to the correct chapter in the case of churches or to the name index, in case of individuals. Editorial comments are generally in red. - Charles Dailey

Main History Menu



In this chapter we shall attempt to show as completely as possible a roster of all the churches that are now, and have been, in the state. It would be too voluminous to give a detailed history of each congregation even if we had such a record, though some are richly deserving of it. We shall attempt to show as accurately as we can, from the information available, the date of organization and whether it still lives. Bold faced type indicates that the church so designated no longer lives. Occasionally a brief comment is thrown in.


"On the Yamhill," [ See Amity entry ] somewhere in the northern part of Polk county. The exact location is lost to history. Even the name by which it was known, if it had such, is lost. It lives in history only by the phrase, "On the Yamhill." It was organized by Amos Harvey. His donation land claim was in Polk county near the present village of McCoy. This was the FIRST congregation of Christians only in the state of Oregon, and was composed of 13 members. The date was the month of March. Mrs. W. G. Armsworthy, of Wasco, Oregon, is a descendant of Amos Harvey.

"School District No.1," was the first Christian Church organized in Yamhill county, according to the testimony of F. M. York, who had it from the lips of one who participated in it, G. L. Rowland. Saturday, August 1,1846, is given as the date, Vincent Snelling as the organizer, and the Ruel Olds place as the exact location. "The first man baptized by immersion was in the Yamhill river just below the Andy Hembree place, on Sunday August 2, 1846. The man baptized was Wm. Higgins, a son-in-law of V. Snelling."

"On the Clackamas" [ See Carver entry ] was a church organized by John Foster. The day and month have not been preserved, hence it is impossible to tell whether it was the second, or third, congregation organized in the state. The exact location is also lost to history, but it was doubtless not far from the present town of Gladstone. The fact of its existence is known, however, and that is the important fact for a history.


"Blackhawk Schoolhouse," six miles northwest of McMinnville, was organized by Aaron Payne. This church was the progenitor of the present McMinnville church, and Mrs. W. L. Warren, who has been a member at McMinnville for many years, is a granddaughter of Aaron Payne.

"Howells Prairie," was the name of a country congregation near Salem. Nothing more is known of it than the fact of its existence.


Damascus, in Clackamas county. This may possibly have been the church organized by John Foster "on the Clackamas" in 1846, but the name of Damascus does not appear until 1848. There is nothing to indicate an identity of the two congregations. The name Damascus appears on the roll of churches as late as 1893.

Luckimute, also in Polk county, was organized by H.M. Waller on the second Sunday in October. We are indebted for the accuracy of these two items to a little blank book once owned by H. M. Waller, in which these two items stand as the sole entry upon its pages. The book is now prized as a keepsake by Mr. and Mrs. E. R. Huston, Heppner, Oregon, to whom we are immediately indebted for the information.

Rickreal, in Polk county, was organized by Glen O. Burnett, on the first Sunday in May. James McBride and H. M. Waller assisted in setting the congregation in order.


No new names appear on the roll this year. [ Editor: This was a gold rush year and many men had left Oregon. ]


Pleasant Hill, Lane county, is the only name we have found for 1850. It was organized on August 4. Elijah Bristow was the prime mover in its organization, The church is still alive and active and bears the distinction of being the oldest Christian church in the state still existing on its original location. Until the "flu ban" in 1918 this church carried the record of never having missed a communion service since its organization. "This locality is distinguished by having given to Lane county its first dwelling house, first schoolhouse, first church, first cemetery, and the first wedding ceremony."


Bethany, in Marion county, a little way west of Silverton. Its name appears on the record for the last time in 1893. The old building is still standing in a fair state of preservation. It was erected in 1858 and is now the oldest standing Christian church house in the state. It had a long and honorable record as a church.

Roland, about three miles north of Lafayette. This was doubtless either a schoolhouse church, or a farmside congregation. Dr. James McBride was their most frequent minister. [ Editor: This was located among the Rowland families. Perhaps they had a post office at one time. The Postal Department frequently changed post office names to simpler spellings. ]


Central, in Linn county, about seven miles east of Albany. This has always been a purely rural church. The church was organized by the Powell brothers and for many years was one of the strong churches of the brotherhood. Its name was not taken off the list until 1925, but for several years previously they had ceased to report and did not hold services of any character. The name was carried on the list for some time in the fond hope that it would "come back." With the advent of the automobile, and the organization of a church at Crabtree close by, there is very little reason for the existence longer of a congregation at Central. Like other institutions, and like human beings, it served its purpose and did it splendidly, and has now passed on to live only in the memories of those who loved the cause.

Sheridan, in Yamhill county. It still lives and prospers. No record is left of its origin but it has made important history during later years. [ Editor: See link for more details. ]


Hillsboro (Hillsborough), Washington county. The author has reason to believe that the date was actually much earlier than this but this is the first reference to it in the records. The original spelling of the name is given in parenthesis.

Shaddon Schoolhouse, about a mile and a half northwest of McMinnville. This was the Blackhawk church moved to a more convenient location, and it was the immediate progenitor of the McMinnville church.


Bethel, Polk county, near the present town of McCoy. Glen O. Burnett organized the church and named it after old Bethel church in Missouri. For a number of years before its demise it was ministered to by the veteran I. N. Mulkey. Its name appeared on the record last in 1916, but for several years previously its doors had remained closed. It rendered three score years of glorious service to the cause of Christianity and its name will go down in our history as a church that "though dead, yet it speaketh."

Big Muddy, "near to the dividing line between Linn and Lane counties, September, 1854, with 11 members. " This is like an epitaph upon a tombstone - just a brief word of existence.

South Fork, location undiscovered. It is mentioned as a church in reports to the Christian-Evangelist for that year. There are many "south forks," "north forks," and "middle forks," in the geography of that day. There is no ear mark by which this particular South Fork is distinguished from all the rest.

Wallace Butte, in Lane county, was organized in the month of June with 14 members. The length of its life is not known.

Aumsville, in Marion county, was organized as the Mill Creek church in 1855. It still lives in name. That veteran disciple, H. C. Porter, has valiantly maintained a Bible school through the years of its existence. The story is told elsewhere in this history of the preacher who advertised that he would preach the funeral of this church; but when he went to perform his task there were not enough present to act as pall bearers, and the burial was indefinitely postponed.

Amity, in Yamhill county. It has maintained an active existence all through the years and still flourishes.

Chehalem, in Yamhill county. A report in the Millennial Harbinger for that year is the evidence of its existence. [ Chehalem was located where Newberg stands today. Its Post Office was discontinued in 1852. ]

Clear Lake, in Lane county, in the month of June, with 14 members.

Coles Valley, in Douglas county, was a small congregation ministered to by E. G. Browning.

Lafayette, in Yamhill county, is another church reported in the Millennial Harbinger for that year.

Looking Glass Prairie, in Douglas county, was organized in June, with 7 members. Mary Preston was a charter member. A church building was erected, which burned down some years later. The congregation ceased then. During recent years a mission point has been maintained there ministered to by preachers in the county.

McMinnville, Yamhill county, comes into being this year under this name. It was the Shaddon schoolhouse congregation that was moved into town; and the Shaddon schoolhouse congregation was the Blackhawk congregation moved to the Shaddon schoolhouse. So the real birth of the church known since as the McMinnville church was back in 1847 at the Blackhawk schoolhouse. The honor of being the oldest living church in the state lies between McMinnville and Pleasant Hill. If age is to be determined by continuance in a settled location then the honors go to Pleasant Hill; but if age of organization, without regard to location, is the determining factor then McMinnville is the champion by a full three years.

Myrtle Creek, in Douglas county. Reports in the papers indicate the existence of a church there at that early date. However, it died and was later reorganized. The present church carries the date of 1888 as its birthday.

Spring Valley, was located either in Yamhill county or Washington county. [ Editor: It was located in Polk County, about three miles east of Bethel. ] A meeting was held there sometime during the year with 16 baptisms and 31 added otherwise. John Murphey [ Murphy ], Glen O. Burnett, and James McBride were the evangelistic team.


Dallas, in Polk county. Its early history is not available, but it remains one of our strong churches to this day and has had a glorious ministry.

Monmouth, in Polk county, was organized in July, 1856, by a group of men who had come to Oregon for the express purpose of organizing a Christian College. Monmouth was the location chosen. "According to the first clerk's book, which has been carefully preserved, 85 pioneer met in July, 1856, and organized a 'Christian congregation; the Bible the only infallible rule of faith and practice.' Among the charter members were Elijah Davidson, John E. Murphy, Albert Lucas, Squire S. Whitman and others. When the church was organized meetings were held in a little square schoolhouse which stood on the old public square." T. F. Campbell, for many years President of Christian College, [ see the Monmouth entry ] was its minister also for many years.

Winchester, in Douglas county, was cared for by S. D. Evans, a "lay preacher."


Abaca, location unknown. Its existence is revealed in the files of the Christian-Evangelist for that year. Another historian suggests that this is a corrupted spelling (perhaps a typist's error in composing) of the name Abbacy, which appears as a church on the list first in 1891.

Rainier, in Columbia county, was organized by a Brother Huntington. This church was evidently not long lived. Rainier is now a considerable town; it is gratifying to know that the gospel once had root there; we look upon the place with a longing that it may be so again. [ William Huntington was from Castle Rock, Washington. See that entry for more about his life. ]

Silver Creek, in Marion county, appears in a report to the Christian-Evangelist for October, 1857. Rather reliable information suggests that this was possibly only another name for the old Bethany church. [ This is one of several names used by secretaries of Bethany in the church minutes. ]


Salem First, in Marion county. The news reports mention that A. V. McCarty located with this church in that year, so its organization was doubtless earlier, though we have no means of determining just when. It still lives, is one of the influential congregations in the capital city, and one of the stronger churches among Christian Churches in the state.

South Yamhill, in Yamhill county somewhere, as shown by reports in the papers. It was doubtless somewhere on the South Yamhill river.


Scio, in Linn county. It still lives. For a brief period it tried the experiment of federation, which failed as all such efforts do. They have some souls which are loyal to the "Plea."


There is no record of churches organized in 1860.


Hebron, in Lane county. Like many other small churches Hebron has had a halting career. Purely rural in its character it has declined and died, again revived, and the process repeated. Its last reorganization was on December 24; 1922, by C. C. Morgan. It still lives and is ministered to regularly by students from Eugene Bible University.


Eugene First, in Lane county, on March 26. It is now the largest and most influential church in the state. It bears the distinction of having the only set of chimes in any church in the state, being installed in 1925 under the leadership of Elijah V. Shivers.


Antioch definitely appears on the list, but exact location is not known.

Chesterville, location unknown. Records of the state meeting at Eola that year bear the names of delegates from Chesterville.

Coast Fork, location unknown.

Eola, in Polk county. A state meeting was held there in 1863, which would make it seem certain that the church was organized at an earlier date. There is no means of identifying an exact date so we are placing it in the year when first mentioned. The old building stood until 1924 when it was torn down. A picture was taken of it before razing it and that now hangs upon the wall of the state office. The old pulpit desk was taken out and is preserved as a relic in the tabernacle at Turner.

Farmington, in Washington county. This was one of the strong early day churches. Its name has been off the church roll for many years, but a Sunday school has been maintained there for most of the time. From time to time it has been revived as a preaching point for students of Eugene Bible University.

Harrisburg, in Linn county, was organized on November 7, by John E. Murphy, with 31 members. The old building, erected in 1870, is still standing and giving service. "Official church records were seemingly lost, but when the old seats were torn out, on a board from the back of one of the seats was found the following inscription, written with a carpenter's heavy pencil: 'Began to build this home in June, 1869, finished on the 17th day of March, 1870, and was dedicated on the first Sunday in April, 1870. The builders were Alfred Simmons and John Martin, and others who helped were Willoughby Churchill, Thomas Roach and Mr. Humphreys.' "

Harris Bridge, location unknown. [ Could this be another reference to Farmington? (Above) Philip Harris operated the ferry there and later the bridge was named Harris Bridge in his honor. ]

Salt Creek, in Polk county. Only an obscure reference gives this church a place in the record.

Upper Muddy, probably in Lane county.


There is a long silence during these years. It could not have been a silence of activity and church organization, but a silence of records. Those pioneers were too busy making history to write it. Nowhere have we been able to locate data concerning churches during this time. Much to our regret we must pass over it. It is the belief of the author that some of the churches listed later on belong in reality to this period. But the historian cannot record events according to his beliefs. He must list them according to the best information.


Halsey, in Linn county. This church still lives and has had a part in kingdom affairs beyond the natural expectations for a small village church. Most notable of her contributions to the kingdom was the gift of Goldie Ruth Wells to mission work in Africa. She has also sent out young men into the ministry of the Lord. When the roll of churches is called up there Halsey will be among those of whom it will be said, "For from you hath sounded forth the word of the Lord."


Independence, in Polk county, was organized on April 4. This church still lives. It has passed through deep waters many times, but always there have been the faithful few who kept the light burning.


Elkton, in Douglas county, was organized in the mouth of December. For many years the banner of the church floated over this community. Then the cause weakened and died. The burning of the church building in later years was the final blow. It was finally reorganized in September, 1925, and continues to this day.


Yamhill, formerly known as North Yamhill, was organized in the month of July. The congregation still lives and has had an existence that they may well be proud of.


Drain, in Douglas county, was organized in the month of August. This small church has demonstrated that a pastor can be kept in a small village. Under the leadership of Dr. T. M. White in recent years it has had a remarkable history.


Portland First, in Multnomah county, was organized on February 9. This church was the first missionary objective the Christian Church ever had in the state. The beginning days were difficult and slow, but now they have a membership of more than 1,200 souls, with a property that is worth $150,000.


There is no record of church organization this year.


Helix, in Umatilla county, in the month of April.

Junction City, in Lane county. This congregation has been helpful to the kingdom in a material way.

Stayton, in Marion county, was organized in March. This church has made a good record.


Fairview, in Lane county.

Liberty, location unknown. The nation loves to honor the graves of its unknown dead. Christians should honor the names of these unknown churches - unknown except in name. [Editor: It has been located. See the link. ]

Springfield, in Lane county. This congregation has made steady progress during the years.

Trent, in Lane county. It died and was resurrected by T. S. Handshake on December 7, 1913.


Albany, in Linn county. This is one of the important county seat towns in the state, and the church has kept pace with the town.

Brownsville, in Linn county. It is still doing a good work.

Carlton, in Yamhill county, in the month of July. The church still lives and is active.

Corvallis, in Benton county, in the month of October. Corvallis is the seat of the Oregon Agricultural College, and is, therefore, an important locality. The church has made a consistent effort to reach the college folk with a reasonable degree of success. It would appear from historical records that the organization at this time did not maintain permanently, for the organization that flourishes today bears the birth date of February, 1890, at which time an auxiliary to the C. W. B. M. was organized in the home of W. W. Bristow. The church organization was not effective until October 15, 1891.

Clackamas, in Clackamas county.

Coquille, in Coos county. At the present time this is our leading congregation on Coos Bay.

Crawfordsville, in Linn county. This is purely a rural community. The church has been disbanded and reorganized many times. It is not now living.

Forest Grove, in Washington county, in the month of September, by Peter R. Burnett. It is strong and virile to this day.

Gaston, in Yamhill county.

Hendrix, location unknown.

Mt. Pleasant, location unknown.

Oak Creek, location unknown, probably in Linn county.

Oretown, location unknown. Its name would indicate a mining camp. If so it would probably be somewhere in the mountains. [ Editor: See the link.]

St. Helens, in Columbia county. This organization did not survive long. For many years the cause was dormant. A love for the place was cherished in the heart of Sister Perkins, of Drain, which caused her to pledge $200 for the establishment of the work there again. G. W. Hay, pastor at Astoria, accepted the challenge and laid siege to it in August and September, 1927. After six weeks' effort, in which he was assisted by J. F. Cunningham, of Beaverton, a church was organized of 85 members. It is now a promising work.


Hood River Valley, in Hood River county, in the month of September. This is purely a rural community and this was the first Christian Church organized in that Valley. It still lives and sees the work organized in two other places in the valley.

Medford, in Jackson county, November 22. It is now one of the largest churches in southern Oregon. It was the author's pleasure to deliver the memorial sermon at their 40th anniversary.


No organizations on record for this year.


Milton, in Umatilla county. This church has had a wonderful career and has become one of the strong churches in the state.


East Portland, in Multnomah county. This was the second effort to establish the work in Portland. L. F. Stephens and H. B. Morgan were prominent in the attempt. It disbanded on July 3, 1895.

Holly, [Holley] in Linn county. This was another rural church, disbanded and reorganized many times. It is not now living, but the old church building stands and there is an occasional service in it. In the shifting of communities this neighborhood is served quite well by the churches at Sweet Home, Lebanon and Brownsville.

Perrydale, in Polk county. This, too, is a rural community, but one that has demonstrated the possibility and wisdom of rural organizations. Though small they have always had a staunch clientele.

Silverton, in Marion county. It is now recognized as one of the strong churches in the state. Though situated in a community that is strongly Catholic and foreign the church has entrenched itself strongly.


Grants Pass, in Josephine county, in the month of January. It is now one of our strong congregations in the state.

Prineville, in Crook county. It did not long survive this organization. The records show that Dillard Holman reorganized them in 1890 or 1891. Their building burned in 1927 which completely caused the assembling to cease. The church lives in name only.


Roseburg, in Douglas county, on May 26, in the home of C. A. Sehlbrede, with 14 charter members. For seven years the congregation did without a minister while struggling with a debt, but during that time they never failed to spread the Lord's table. The church is now reckoned in the front rank of Christian churches in the state. They erected a new building in 1928 which was dedicated on April 29.

Wasco, in Sherman county. This is another church in a small community that has not ceased to survive through all vicissitudes.


Cottage Grove, in Lane county. The writer heard it said of this church once that it was the most spiritual church in the state. Whether or not the statement be 100 per cent true it speaks well of a congregation that makes such an impression on people.

Halfway, Baker county, on December 26. This is a rural community, for many years isolated from civilization nearly 60 miles from a railroad. Now it has a road within 12 miles. There have been times when the Cause swept the entire valley. There are still many members scattered about who do not affiliate. The Christian Church has made a tremendous impress on Pine Valley, as the community is known.

La Grande, in Union county. La Grande is one of the important towns in East Oregon. The church has grown apace with the town and, at this writing, is drawing plans for a new building that will adequately house a growing work.

Thurston, in Lane county, on April 6. For most of its life it has been a student point. It may seem to some of these rural churches that they haven't amounted to much in the kingdom; but, if they would only stop to count up the number of preachers they have made, they would think otherwise. Many of these student points have really made a larger contribution to the kingdom in their preparation of preachers than have some of the larger churches.


The following names appear first on the list in 1891. Without doubt some of them were organized earlier, but there is no data by which we can exactly locate them. We give them here as the best effort to locate them:

Athena, in Umatilla county. This is a small community, but the church reached considerable proportions at one time. The removal of many of the members has left the church weak in members though it still remains faithful to the cause.

Abbacy, in Marion county. (See Abaca in 1857). The Abbacy Creek (Alberqua on the present day maps) flows a short distance from Scotts Mills. It is likely that the Abbacy Church merged into the Scotts Mills church of later date and thus lost its identity.

Blockhouse, in Morrow county.

Canyonville, in Douglas county.

Cheshire, in Lane county.

Coburg , in Lane county. It was reorganized in 1903 and is doing splendid work today.

Currinsville, in Clackamas county. This is near Estacada and probably lost its identity in that church at a later date.

Eagle Creek, in Clackamas county.

Eightmile, in Morrow county. This has been a preaching point many times since its disbandment, but the church has been gone for many years.

Fir Grove, in Lane county.

George Hall, in Union county.

Gold Hill, in Jackson county.

Hadleyville, in Lane county. This has been an occasional preaching point for students from Eugene Bible University.

Jasper, in Lane county. It was reorganized in 1905.

Leaburg, in Lane county.

Long Tom, in Lane county.

Lorane, in Lane county. This church died as an organized body, but it was restored as an active preaching point in 1926 and was fully reorganized as a church October 30, 1927.

Lost Valley, in Lane county.

Mabel, in Lane county.

Mill City, in Linn county. This church soon died, but in July, 1926, Teddy Leavitt held a meeting that resulted in the organization of a church of nearly 200 members. It is now a flourishing church.

Molalla, in Clackamas county. A small "anti" congregation exists there now.

Monroe, in Benton county.

Monitor, in Marion county.

Oakland, in Douglas county. It was reorganized in 1908. It has had many experiences as a church. They once went into a "federation" but a faithful few refused to federate. It was some years before they fully recovered from the experiment, but they are now a strong country church.

Pendleton, in Umatilla county. It was born in the month of August. It is situated in one of the fine towns of eastern Oregon and is one of our strong churches.

Point Terrace, in Lane county.

Sycamore, in Multnomah county.

South Springs, in Morrow county.

Sand Ridge, in Union county.

Union Hill, in Marion county.

Walton, in Lane county. .


Canby, in Clackamas county. It has been reorganized a number of times. In 1917 the State Secretary found its light almost gone. He held a meeting, set them in order and located a pastor. They were faithful until the "flu ban" struck a year later. They did not recover from that. In 1925 the Eugene Bible University took title to their property for the consideration of putting it in repair. It then became an active preaching point for students again.

Dufur, in Wasco county, in the month of July. This has been a strong congregation in its day. Dufur was once the center of a growing fruit section. Commercial reverses came that took out a large portion of the population and the strength of the church was cut proportionately. However, the church still burns its light brightly.

Falls City, in Polk county, in the month of March. Falls City has been a lumber town. It has always been a live village and the church has kept pace with the community. For the most part it has been ministered to by students and they have acquitted themselves well.

The Dalles, Wasco county. This church was organized by J. W. Jenkins, one of the pioneer ministers of Eastern Oregon. It has become a strong church.

Tillamook, in Tillamook county. For many years the New Testament plea has had a strong hold in Tillamook. The congregation has not been strong financially, and because of that they have struggled bravely under a huge debt. They have a good building and have made progress.


Dayton, in Yamhill county. Dayton is "over churched" so far as organizations go. Consequently all churches have had a struggle. Howbeit, the Christian Church has always kept open house, and for the most time they have had a minister. They number some staunch disciples in their midst.

Enterprise, in Wallowa county, in the month of February. This congregation tried the experiment of federation, tying up in an agreement with three other congregations for a period of five years. They righteously lived up to their contract, but when the agreement closed it was necessary to send in the state evangelist to gather up . the fragments and build them into a Church of Christ again. Every federation experiment in the state has proved a failure.

Heppner, in Morrow county. This was the home town of J. V. Crawford, a pioneer Oregon preacher who is mentioned on previous pages. His connections were largely the secret of Heppner's present strength as a church. [ Jasper Vincent Crawford came over the Oregon Trail with his parents in 1851 when he was 12 years old. ]

Portland Third, in Multnomah county. The name was changed later to Rodney Avenue, and in 1921 it was merged with the Woodlawn congregation to form the Mallory Avenue Church of Christ and located at the corner of Mallory Avenue and Alberta Street. David Wetzel organized the old Third Church.

The following names appear for the first time on the 1893 list but it seems probable that some of them at least existed earlier than this date:

Astoria, in Clatsop county. This organization was shortlived. In 1918 the State Board sent their evangelist, R. L. Dunn, to Astoria with instructions to stay long enough to build a church or demonstrate that it couldn't be done. He organized the church. Various fortunes have come to it but through all of them there has been steady progress. The disastrous fire that burned up the business part of the town in 1921 was a severe setback to the church, but it survived it. This was the fourth effort at organizing the cause in Astoria and it was accomplished on May 1, 1918.

Camas Valley, in Douglas county..

Central Point, in Jackson county. It was reorganized March 4, 1903, and still lives.

Gales Creek, in Washington county.

Hood River, in Hood River county. It was reorganized October 3; 1905. The church has always had a struggle but it has steadily grown. Some of our best preachers have been numbered among its ministers.

Irving, in Lane county. The old church building was finally turned over to the Eugene Bible University.

Lancaster, in Lane county.

Newberg, in Yamhill county. This effort did not long continue. On April 9, 1907, it was organized anew as the result of a meeting held by Geo. C. Ritchey. That meeting was held as the outgrowth of an action by the Northwest District Convention a few weeks previously. It is now one of the strong churches in the Valley with an up-to-date building.

Oregon City, in Clackamas county. This congregation did not survive. This was one of the hard places in the state to get a foothold. Time and time again the effort was made only to be defeated. Early in 1926 the State Board arranged with Paul DeF. Mortimore, pastor at Gladstone, to hold weekly services in a hall for the faithful ones to be found there. The State Board paid the expenses incidental thereto. This led up to a meeting by Teddy Leavitt in the fall and on October 4, 1926 an organization was affected that has since maintained and grown. The State Board helped to pay for the meeting and counts it one of their best investments. The church has been meeting in a hall but they are now preparing to burst out from the shell and assume the place of power and influence in the community they deserve.

Walterville, in Lane county.

Williams, location unknown. [ Josephine County ]


There is no record of churches organized in 1894.


Pioneer, in Marion county. OrCoast.html#pioneer

Portland, Woodlawn, in Multnomah county, in October by J. F. Ghormley, then pastor of the First Church. In 1921 they merged with the Rodney Avenue Church to form the Mallory Avenue Church of Christ.

Richland, in Baker county. This church still lives.

Union, in Union county. After a series of scandalous troubles the church house burned down and the church died. There is hope that it may live again.


Elmira, in Lane county, in the month of January.

Scotts Mills, in Marion county. A reorganization on January 17, 1915, is alive at this writing.


Franklin, in Lane county, in August. This church has sometimes been known as Smithfield.


Alvadore, in Lane county. In its beginning days it was a purely crossroads church, and was known as Fern Ridge. When the railroad went through a station close by was named Alvadore and the name of the church was finally changed to that designation.

Ashland, in Jackson county, was born on April 19. It has been weak in finance but strong in faith.

Elgin, in Union county. This church has evangelized the whole country round about. At one time there were recorded more than 250 members in the Elgin church, but the working unit was much smaller. It is evidence of consecrated zeal in spreading the Word, however.

Kingston, in Linn county. Kingston is situated just across the river from Stayton. Stayton had the strong church, but Kingston had a railroad. The Kingston church was formed by a group of people who were members of the church at Stayton but who lived on the Kingston side of the river. Perhaps, too, there were optimistic visions that Kingston would outdistance Stayton in the race as a city. But the church did not long continue.


The following names appear on the list for the first time this year, yet it seems probable that some of them, at least, existed before that date:

Alicel, in Union county. Alicel is not much more than a suburb of La Grande, hence it is hardly to be expected that a church could well exist there. This organization died and was born again in October, 1910. But that did not endure.

Baker, in Baker county. We have no record how long this effort lasted. In the last part of 1909 the State Secretary received an appeal from a Ladies Aid Society to "Come over and help us." He went and held a week's meeting which resulted in the reorganization of the cause with 47 members on January 2, 1910. It has been a husky child ever since.

Echo, location unknown with certainty. It cannot be positively identified with the Echo in Umatilla county.

Glenada, location unknown. [ Lane County ]

Lebanon, in Linn county. This was an abortive effort but in January, 1908, a reorganization was effected which has survived.

Lostine, in Wallowa county. This church still lives but it has not supported regular preaching for a long time. Their permanency was assured by the gift of a building for church purposes by Sister M. E. McCubbin.

Lyonsville, location unknown.

Mosier, in Wasco county. This church has existed, and saved souls, for many years without any other ministry than that of the eldership or an occasional meeting. They have had a virile eldership.

Newbridge, in Baker county. -

Noble, located on the Crooked Finger Ferry in Marion county.

Parkersville, in Lane county.

Pilot Rock, in Umatilla county.

Yoncalla, in Douglas county. it was later reorganized but did not survive that. Again in June of 1928 Garland Hay held a seven weeks , meeting that resulted in a church of 74 members.


The following names appear for the first time on the 1900 list. For the most part they are of unknown location and many of them existed only for a short time, and some of them perhaps in name only. But the appearance of their names on the list is an evidence of the preaching of the gospel and saving of souls:

Alpha, location unknown. [ Lane County ]

Condon, in Gilliam county. It is quite certain that the congregation reported here was more or less identical with an "anti" church that is known to have existed there since.

Cove, in Union county.

Deer Creek , location unknown, perhaps in Douglas county. [ Roseburg was Deer Creek until about 1854 ]

Dilley, in Washington county.

Dusty, location unknown.

Hay Creek, location unknown. [ There was a post office by this name in Jefferson County until 1920. ]

Haystack, in Crook county.

Herman, location unknown.

Lakeview, in Lake county.

New Pine Creek, Lake county. This church existed until late in this decade.

Oak Hill, location unknown.

Pleasant Valley, location unknown. [ There was a Pleasant Valley post office in Baker County in that year. ]

Shoestring Valley, location unknown. [ In Douglas County. Sometimes identifed as Elkhead. ]

Star, location unknown. [ In Lane County, near Dorena. ]

Turner, in Marion county. The building was burned and the congregation disbanded. In 1919 a meeting was held by Ralph Putnam in the Presbyterian church which resulted in a splendid organization. In 1925 Mrs. Cornelia A. Davis built a memorial church house for the congregation which cost upwards of $40,000.


Ivison, location unknown. [ Lane County, west of Eugene on Wild Cat Creek. ]

Nashville, in Lincoln county, in August, by J. B. Lister.

Riverton, in Coos county.

Rock Point in Marion county.

Woodburn, in Marion county. This may be the remains of the old Monitor congregation. It still lives.


Myrtle Point, in Coos county, on November 24.

Riddle, in Douglas county. It died and was organized again in July, 1927, by Wm. R. Baird and Walter Stram.


North Santiam, in Marion county. A forlorn church house is all that indicates the presence of a church there in former years.

Portland Central, in Multnomah county, November 23, by J. F. Ghormley. This was the second attempt to organize the cause on the East Side. A monumental stone building was erected at the corner of East 20th and Salmon Streets. Financial difficulties discouraged the leaders and they disbanded in 1915. The new East Side church was born out of its residue. The stone building was finally bought up by the Baptists.


There is no record of organization in 1904, but it is quite certain that some of the churches located elsewhere on the calendar belong to this date.


Marshfield, in Coos county.

Portland Sellwood, in Multnomah county. This little church has had a colorful history. Much of its life it has spent in halls and storerooms. In 1912, with the aid of the City Mission Board, they erected a little home on East 17th and Nehalem Streets. Difficulties arose which caused the congregation to abandon the church house to the bats and they began to keep house again in a rented hall. About 1920 they purchased an abandoned church property at East 8th Street and Spokane Avenue. They improved the property and changed the corporate name of the church to Spokane Avenue Church of Christ, which name it holds to this day.

Santa Clara, in Lane county. This is perhaps the most successful rural church in the state. Its prosperity is due largely to the fact that its close proximity to Eugene, and the prosperity of its membership, gave it the privilege of drawing upon Eugene Bible University for its very best preaching talent among students and faculty.


Berlin, in Linn county.

Grass Valley, in Sherman county.

Ione, in Morrow county. This work was disbanded and reorganized in 1911. It is a flourishing congregation today.

Irrigon, in Morrow county. This has been reorganized several times but without success. A church building stands there as a relic of the Christian Church. The Presbyterians have used it so long that they actually thought they owned it. They would not be convinced even with court records. In later years a considerable controversy arose over it, but nothing was to be gained by contending for the property.

Madras, in Jefferson county.

Odell, in Hood River county. This was disbanded but was reorganized in 1924. It is now a flourishing church.

Phoenix, in Jackson county. The church has disbanded but a meetinghouse is kept open a part of the time.

Portland St. Johns, Multnomah county, on October 28. This has grown to be a strong congregation.


Marcola, in Lane county. N. R. Workman, a resident of the community, has kept the cause alive here.

Portland Kern Park, in Multnomah county, by J. F. Ghormley and E. S. Muckley. This has grown to be one of Portland's influential churches.

Wallowa, in Wallowa county, July 31. .


The following churches appear for the first time on the church roll. There are some evidences that they may have existed earlier:

Gooseberry, in Morrow county. J. W. White, a pioneer minister of sainted memory, did much preaching through Morrow county in schoolhouse points. While his work does not live with congregations as memorials, there are hearts in which its influence will never die.

Grizzly, in Crook county.

McKay, in Crook county.

Promise, in Wallowa county. This was afterwards reorganized in 1916, on September 30.

Strawberry, in Morrow county.

Vale, in Malheur county, in April. This has been our lone church in Malheur county for many years.

Wamic, in Wasco county.


Bandon, in Coos county. Reorganized in 1912, but that did not continue.

Bridge, in Coos county. An effort is still being made to carry on a Bible school

Crabtree, in Linn county, in September.

East Eugene, in Lane county, in May by J. M. Morris. This church is often designated as Fairmount church. It is the second church in Eugene.

Flora, in Wallowa county. It has been reorganized a number of times but it has never succeeded.

Klamath Falls, in Klamath county. A group of people met with the State Secretary in June of that year. They were permanently organized by J. B. Holmes in October. They have grown and now have one of the handsomest buildings in the state.

Laidlaw, in Des Chutes [ Deschutes ] county, in July, by Samuel Gregg.

La Monta, in Crook county.

Silverton Hills, in Marion county, on July 3.


Beaverton, in Washington county, on January 20. This church was disbanded and reorganized by Teddy Leavitt in 1925. It is now one of the strong churches of the community.

Dexter, in Lane county, on January 2. This congregation finally merged with the Trent church and lives now under that name.

Willamina, in Yamhill county on September 11. This church was not long lived but while it did live it gave to the brotherhood one of its strongest preachers, Guy L. Drill.


Culver, in Jefferson county, April 16.

Estacada, in Clackamas county, in September. This was formerly an "anti" congregation. A meeting held by the "progressives" resulted in the conversion of the church as an organization. A few of the "anti" brethren refused, and to this day refuse, to affiliate.

Fossil, in Wheeler county, in November, by G. E. Williams.

Jefferson, in Marion county, in August.

Lower Cove, in Union county, May 1, by Samuel Gregg.

Ontario, in Malheur county, March 26, by G. E. Williams.

Pocahontas, in Baker county, March 5, by Samuel Gregg.

Portland Montavilla, in Multnomah county, January 25, by the First Church through G. K. Berry.

Post, in Crook county, in September, by Samuel Gregg.

Riverview, in Lane county, on June 15. This church was formed by a group of people in the Junction City church who organized in their own community purely for community betterment. They secured a half acre of ground with the intent of building on it, and deeded it to the State Board. Circumstances decreed against their plans and the house was not built. The members were absorbed back into the mother church. In 1927 the State Board sold the property for $75 and put the money into the Permanent Fund.

Spray, in Wheeler county, in October, by G. E. Williams.

Talent, in Jackson county, by W. T. Matlock. For several years this congregation flourished, then many removals caused them to close their house completely.


Bellfountain, in Benton county, January l.

Creswell, in Lane county, in March.

Evans, in Wallowa county, June 30, by Claude Wingo. A church house was erected and deeded to the State Board. It is not now used.

Wilbur, in Douglas county, September 29, by W. T. Adams.


Corbett, in Multnomah county, September 14, by W. T. Adams. A few years later a "community church " man came into the community and persuaded them to cancel their affiliation with the Christian Church. Accordingly they sent a respectful letter to the State Secretary requesting that their name be taken off the list of churches, which was done. The community idea prevailed for a number of years, but they finally grew away from that idea. When it became apparent that they were again standing for a "Christian only" doctrine the name was restored to the roll. It is a little church "by the side of the road, Where the stream of men goes by."

Holdman, in Umatilla county, May 25, by A. M. Meldrum.

Kent, in Sherman county, November 16, by A. M. Meldrum. Here is another demonstration of the fact that a church can live and grow if it has a virile internal leadership, notwithstanding the lack of a preacher. For a little more than a year only in its life has this church had a regular preacher. They observe the Lord's Supper every Lord's Day and conduct a Bible School. Occasionally they have a gospel meeting. Yet they have confessions of faith in Jesus. The State Secretary has been called upon to baptize their converts. In 1927 they purchased the Presbyterian meeting house in which they had worshipped since their organization. They plan to erect a comfortable church home some time in the near future.

Liberty Schoolhouse, Morrow county, February 16, by H. A. Van Winkle.

Portland Vernon, Multnomah county, May 8, by J. F. Ghormley. A tabernacle was erected in a good location. After Brother Ghormley finished his work with them J. A. Melton, a layman preacher, carried on the work for a time. It did not succeed and it was dropped. In 1918 R. Tibbs Maxey made an effort to resuscitate the work. The location was soon changed to a hall on Alberta Street. W. E. Lewis, another business man preacher, succeeded Brother Maxey in leadership of the congregation. After consultation with other brethren in the city the little group moved to Englewood district and was organized anew as the Englewood church in 1922.

Rufus, in Sherman county, April 16, by W. F. McCormick.

Rychman, in Lane county, January 19, by E. C. Wigmore.

Trent, in Lane county, December 7, by T. S. Handshake. This organization was stabilized somewhat by merging with the Dexter congregation.


Fort Rock, in Lake county, May 10, by C. F. Swander and W. T. Matlock. This congregation lived only a short time. But it "found" a most capable and consecrated disciple in the person of George Hockman who lived in s near-by community. After the work at Fort Rock ceased to function he gathered together the people in his own community, Wastina, and conducted a Sunday School and "taught them the way of the Lord more perfectly." He preaches, teaches, and baptizes, thus fulfilling the Great Commission to the letter.

Kellogg, in Douglas county, October 25. This effort finally died, but a reorganization was effected in 1925 which endures to the present day.

Latham, in Lane county.

North Bend, in Coos county, April 12, by Samuel Gregg, State Evangelist. For a dozen years this little congregation held up the banner under most discouraging circumstances. Then the tide turned and they came into their own. In 1927, under the leadership of C. L. Fesler, they completely remodeled their house and thus secured one of the best places of worship in the community.

Salem Court Street, in Marion county, August 30. This congregation was formed by a group of people from the First church who believed that Salem was large enough for two churches. Without the leadership of a pastor they purchased a lot on the corner of 17th and Court streets and erected a bungalow, whence it was familiarly known as the "Bungalow Church. " In 1922 they built the foundation for a real temple, but financial troubles came and they were never able to complete but one unit. R. L. Putnam served as pastor for about nine years and did a remarkable work.


Donna, in Lane county. This has never been much more than a preaching point for students from Eugene Bible University, but it served well in that respect.

Lexington, in Morrow county, January 10. This is another weak and struggling church that sometimes thinks it is hardly worth while to continue the struggle. Yet this congregation has given to the brotherhood one of its great men, James A. Pointer.

Portland East Side, in Multnomah county, in November, by A. L. Crim. This congregation was the result of, and continuance of, the old Central Church which disbanded on account of financial difficulties. It has occupied the most strategic district in all the city of Portland. Literally hundreds of disciples have passed through its membership. Unfortunately internal disturbances have shaken it at different times and took out from it scores of good workers. Yet it has always recuperated from these ailments and built up again in a creditable manner. Its location from its birth until the spring of 1928 was on East 12th and Taylor streets, when they sold that property and purchased a lot in Laurelhurst. The church will hereafter be known as Laurelhurst Christian Church. [ Now called Central Christian. ]

Redmond, in Des Chutes [ Dechutes } county, May 4, by George Ramsey.


Maupin, in Wasco county.

Sweet Home, in Linn county. This is a little mountain community. They have fought a good fight and are winning it.


Bend, in Des Chutes county, May 3, by C. F. Swander, State Secretary. A call came to the state office from H. I. McKim, a laundry driver, who was the son of a preacher, to come over and visit the place. The news of this invitation "leaked out" in Bend, and before the Secretary could respond he had a letter from the Ministerial Association informing him that the community was already over churched and that his visit was not necessary. He went anyway and, according to the statement of the secretary of the Ministerial body, he found a town of 5,000 population with three English Protestant Churches having a combined membership of about 400 souls. He also found fifty or more "Christians only," 28 of whom he organized into a Church of Christ. A lot was purchased and a little bungalow erected upon it. The work has prospered and demonstrates that the New Testament church will grow in any soil.


Dorena, in Lane county, January 6.

1919, 1920 .

Three congregations belong to this date, but they are found listed previously because they were reorganizations of previous efforts.


Grande Ronde, in Polk county.


Barlow, in Clackamas county, December 31, by Prof. W.R. Baird. That was a Christmas meeting that resulted in this little church.

Portland Englewood, in Multnomah county, February 22, by W. E. Lewis. This church is the legitimate offspring of the Tabernacle Church in Vernon district in previous years, yet it is not the same organization. It was a work of faith, and it is faith that justifies. This little congregation, without any money, bought a lot and ordered lumber for a modest little house. Other brethren in the city helped them to build a church in a day. The church has prospered and it is now engaging in building plans that will equip it splendidly for serving the community.


Fernvale, in Douglas county, June 27, by Francis M. Arant. This was only a logging camp, and when a church was started in Glendale the next year Fernvale graciously ceded all her rights to organization and gave up the ghost. But the effort served its purpose well.

Garibaldi, in Tillamook county, February 23, by George N. Harness. For a number of years Garibaldi had been a mission point from Tillamook.

North Plains, in Washington county, on November 13, by Gottlieb Schmid and C. F. Swander. The real history of this work goes back beyond that. Seven years before O.P. Burns, while pastor of the Forest Grove church, had made this a preaching station but had not deemed it ready for organization.

Orleans, in Linn county. This congregation was formed by a few brethren from the Corvallis church who lived on the opposite side of the river from the mother congregation. It has maintained its name as a church through the communion service and a Bible School.

Vernonia, in Columbia county, December 23, by Gottlieb Schmid and C. F. Swander. This church owes its existence to a consecrated woman more than to anything else. Mrs. Ethel Ray was a school teacher in Vernonia who had been reared in the New Testament faith and she could not get away from it, though she let her light shine constantly through another religious body as a channel of service. She persistently kept track of disciples as they came into the community. A group of them asked the State Secretary to help them. He sent Gottlieb Schmid to hold a meeting for them. The work has grown amazingly and is destined to become one of the brightest lights in Columbia county.


Glendale, in Douglas county, January 13, by Francis Arant. This church is really the continuance of the Fernvale church previously noted. It has not prospered greatly. In the beginning persecution was bitter and some of the best workers moved away. But a small group keeps open house and there are hopes for a brighter future.

Joseph, in Wallowa county, by M. L. Petelle and Gareld L. Matlock.

Newport, in Lincoln county, December 10, by J. B. Hoag. Brother Hoag was an aged minister from Ohio who had come to Newport in behalf of his wife's health. He remained the pastor of the church until his death. From the beginning the congregation occupied the Baptist church house. The Baptists had permanently given up the field. The desire of the Baptists to sell the property, and the seeming inability of the Church of Christ to purchase it, caused a lack of confidence as to the permanency of the new congregation. The State Secretary visited them and persuaded them that they could buy it and assisted them in securing title to the property. Immediately the body commenced to grow.


Alpine, in Morrow county, December 18, by Wallace E. Jones.

Mehama, in Marion county, June 28, by Merle Applegate and G. W. Hay.

Portland Rosepark, in Multnomah county, in July, by F. A. Ware. This work had its inception in an effort of R. Tibbs Maxey some months before to establish the cause in Rose City Park. Finding insuperable difficulties to that project he moved out to an abandoned building at the end of Sandy Boulevard and for some weeks preached regularly. In July of 1925 F. A. Ware held a meeting for this unorganized congregation and gave them existence as a church. They disbanded in 1927.

Seaside, in Clatsop county, October 18, by F. A. Ware.


Curtin, in Douglas county, February 7, by T. M. White.

Powers, in Coos county, in June, by Teddy Leavitt. The struggle for existence for this little congregation in a lumbering town was hard. In the early part of 1928 they made a union with other religious forces in the community.


Glide, in Douglas county, in January, by Henry Toogood.

Pine City, in Morrow county, February 2, by Eldon L. Wood.

Portland, Ruby Park, in Multnomah county, February 27, by D. P. Harriman. This congregation was formed by a group of people from the Montavilla church who went out as a result of internal disturbance. They maintained public worship for some time before they resorted to a separate organization. They continued in the capacity of a church until February 2, 1928, when they merged with the East Side church and became an integral part of that congregation.

Svenson, in Clatsop county, June 6, by G. W. Hay.

Warrenton, in Clatsop county, March 7, by G. W. Hay.


McGlynn, in Lane county, on March 11, by Earl C. Chandler.

From a careful perusal of this list (which must be incomplete) it is seen that the cause has been organized in more than 300 communities in the last fourscore years. Nearly 200 of them have given up the ghost. Some of them were reborn; some of them have passed out of memory except for the name in some obscure report; and some of them lived and prospered from the time of their birth. These church deaths do not mean a decay of the cause. Many of them did their work for their day and their demise is no more to be mourned than the going on of a good man who has lived well his allotted time in this world. In a few cases the loss may well be mourned.

In using this chapter as a reference the reader must not be confused when he does not find a certain church listed in the year in which he knows it was organized. The facts are that the year he has in mind was a second, perhaps a third, organization in that community. The rule followed in this chapter is to list the church in the year when it was first organized, and make mention there of its final organization. This policy may seemingly depreciate the evangelistic work of certain years in recent times - years that were exceedingly active in organization work, yet the record here apparently does not indicate it for the reason stated above. In order that the reader may the more readily locate a church in this chapter we are here giving a complete alphabetical list of churches with reference to the year in which it will be found in the chapter.

Main History Menu