Portland Church History
(Formerly known as the Powell Valley Church) 

Written 1909, author unknown

On May the 26th 1883 a council meeting was held at the home of  Bro. Joseph Heiny, as a called Council of the members of the Salem Church living in Clackamas, and Multnomah Counties, for the purpose of considering some work of the church, that was also considered by the rest of the members at Salem, some 50 miles away.  Eld David Brower, and Elder Allen Ives, and Bro. Christian Wine a Minister in the first degree, were the officials at this meeting.

  Sept. 27th 1884 at a called council with Elder David Brower officiating what is known as the Powell Valley church was organized at the home of Bro. Joseph Heiny, 13 members being present.  Bro. J. A. Royer was chosen to the Deacons office. It was decided by the Church, that Elders David Brower, and Elder M. M Bashor were to have the oversight of the new church.  On the 26th of Sept. 1885 the Church held its first love feast. The membership at this time had increased to 22. At this meeting Bro. J. A. Royer was called to the Ministry.

  In Nov. of this year, at a council meeting Bro. David Black, and Bro. F. M. Day and Bro. J. H. Metzger were chosen to the Deacons offices.  May the 16th 1896 Bro. and Sister Bahr, established their membership in the Powel Valley Church (Bro. Bahr being a minister in the 2nd degree).  During the first part of the year Bro. Royer moved to the Mohawk Valley Church.  Bro. Bahr now being the only minister in the congregation by the help of the members and friends built a small Church at Damascus, the General Mission Board also contributing fifty dollars.

  On May the 14th 1898 Elder M. M. Bashor resigned as Elder of the Church.  The church now being without an Elder. On Feb. 18th 1899 the Church decided that Elder D. B. Eby of Sunnyside, Wash. act as their Elder.  Bro. Eby living so far away was able to meet with the Church only one time.  May 30, 1899 Bro. A. H. Partch a minister in the 2nd degree, with his family moved into the Church this year.  On Sept. 20th at the time of the District Meeting, which was held in the church 1900.  Bro. Eby resigned as housekeeper of the Church.  Bro. John Bonewitz was chosen an advisory Elder.  Bro. Geo. Partch was chosen to the Deacons office a this meeting on Sept 23, 1900.

  Some time previous to this date Bro. John Dunlap a Deacon and family moved in, which give additional help to the church.  Aug. 17th 1901 at a Council Bro. and Sister Bahr were granted Church letters, as they were moving to Mohawk Valley. Oct. 5th 1901 at a Council, the Church decided  as Bro. Bonewitz had gone to Alaska, that they would select another elder. As Bro. Bonewitz was only an advisory Elder, and the Church needed an active Elder.  Elder Geo. C. Carl of Newberg, Ore. was chosen.

  During the last month of this year Bro. and Sister J. A. Royer moved back to the Church, from Mohawk Valley Church.  On May the 14th 1904 at regular Council Meeting Bro. P. J. Quesinberry a Deacon with Sister Quesinberry, his wife a Deaconess, and their daughter a member established their membership.

  During the last of Aug. 1905 Bro. Carl under the instruction of the District Mission Board looked up a location for Mission work in Portland and on the 29th of Aug. purchased at his owned expense two vacant lots in North Albina, on Albina Ave. and the following month pitched his tent on vacant lot, until a building could be erected, as rent was very high, and houses scarce as there was very few in this part of the city.

  A place to hold services was the next problem, and a hard one as rent was very high for any kind of a building. After some search, by the assistance of Bro. E. Boggs, and old dilapidated old fire department building on Vancouver Ave. near Shaver Street was secured, and used for some time.  But as there was no chance for a Sunday School, Bro. Carl decided to look for another place. After some time a place on the west side of the River on Burnside Street, between 5th and 6th know as the Blessed Hope Mission was secured for Morning services.

  Aug. 4th 1906 a Love Feast was held at Damascus, Bro. John Miller was chosen to the Ministry, and Bro. Harry Partch to the Deacons office.  A little Sunday school was started, and meetings were held at this place for a time, completing the first year.  There being no money with which to build a Church, and rent so high, it was decided to hold preaching services at the homes of the few members living in Portland.  There was only three members in Portland in a working condition.  In 1905 when Bro. Carl moved to Portland, now at the close of 1906 there was five homes in which services among members could be held.  So a little Sunday School with preaching services was held each Sunday in the different homes.  The little Sunday School soon averaged enough in collections each Lords day to purchase a barrel of cement for a Church foundation.    

  During the last of this year Bro. Carl found a chance to get a good corner lot on the corner of Borthwick, and Killingsworth ave and borrowed three hundred and fifty dollars from Bro. Quesinberry and purchased the lots for that amount.  The lot was covered with fir trees, and by Christmas Bro. Carl had them grubbed out and a plan of a Church house suitable for city work ready and submitted to the Mission Board.  The plan was approved.  Lumber bill was made out.  Bro. Carl and Bro. E. Boggs for a helper.  The basement was constructed during the first part of 1907, by the 10th of July most of the outside work on the building was completed.  A few hundred dollars was raised by donations, and some volunteer work was given.  The District Board had expected help from the General Board, but was disappointed in getting the money.  But Bro. Carl had faith in the whole matter working out all right in the end.  So he borrowed money on his own responsibility and carried on the work until the house was enclosed.  The Mission Board was not yet successful.  So Bro. Carl borrowed more money.  Bro. Boogs give some more work.  Nov. 30th 1907 at a Council Meeting, Bro. Walter G. Carl was called to the Deacons office and installed in the office.  Latter Bro. S. T. Caslow moved to Portland about this time and also assisted Bro. Carl with some hired help.

  The house was ready for dedication and the Mission Board having received help relieved Bro.Carl from most all the burden Bro.Carl had been carrying.  On the Eight of March 1908, the church was dedicated; Elder D. B. Eby chairman of the Mission Board preached the Dedicatory sermon.  The following Sunday, the Sunday School work was reorganized by the members selecting Bro.Carl as supertendant, and Bro. S. T. Caslow assistant.  During the month of July the District Meeting was held in the Portland church.  And the District Meeting decided that the Powel Valley Church should hereafter be known as the Portland Church.

   It was also decided at this meeting that a District Bible School should be organized, with Portland as the location of the School.  On the last day of Aug. Sister Dora Mitchel of Ind. arrived at Portland to assist Bro. and Sister Carl in the work.  By this time the Sunday School had grown form 24 to 65 in attendance.  On Thanksgiving evening service was held, and dear soul was buried in baptism to arise in Christ, as the first one to be baptize in the baptistery in the new church.  Bro. Carl did the baptizing, and the one baptized was Sister Maud Huffman.  On the 30th day of Nov. the Bible School opened with a good attendance.  Bro. Geo. M. Lauver of the Bethany Bible School of Chicago in charge.  The school continued with excellent interest, closing Dec. 23. On Christmas Eve.  the  first one for the new church and Sunday School it was decided to hold services for the children.  Which proved a most interesting service, and well attended.   

  At the beginning of the new year 1909, Bro. Carl was again selected by the Church to Supertendant the Sunday School, with Bro. Long as, assistant.  Sunday School, and preaching services each growing in attendance.  Also a Christian Workers Meeting was organized with Sister Mitchel as President.  Also the Church organized a Prayer Meeting to be held on Thursday evening, which is also well attended.  The church decided that Bro. Carl should conduct a 4 week meeting, at the close the meetings 5 were add by baptism.

  During the month of Feb. Brother and Sister J. A. Royer moved from Damascus into Portland. On March the 7th at our first Council Meeting for the year, a husband and wife were baptized,  Bro. and Sister Sliger.  Not long after this baptism, Gracie Moore was baptized.  Later July 3 was the set for a Love Feast the Church has been strengthen by a number being received by letter, among them being Bro. J. W. Miller a Minister, and Bro. David Bueghly a Deacon.                            

Writer not known

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