On Sunday, December 3, 2017 Greater Portland Bible Church will be celebrating our 40th anniversary. My husband Doug and I had the privilege of being a part of Greater Portland since its inception. We were part of a group of people that decided to do a “church plant.” At that time the phrase “church plant” was not a term that was used, but we wanted to start a new church here in Portland. As a group, we met several times to see if starting a new church was a possibility and to pray for God’s guidance. We called Lynn Kent to be our first pastor. Under his leadership and teaching for 26 years, the church grew in numbers and maturity in Christ. In 1977, I had only been a Christian for seven years, so you could say I grew up at Greater Portland Bible Church!
To be honest with you, when the church began I was a mom with three children, and my world was about my home, my marriage, and serving in some, but limited, capacity. Ted was 7, Keoni was 5, and Beth was 3. At the time, I was busy with my kids’ school. and one way I felt I could be part of the church was to be involved in Children’s ministry. Our family had a van that we used to haul all the cribs and other supplies for the ministry as the first location for Greater Portland was a mortuary! It was located on N.E. 181st in Portland, so we traveled 45 minutes to church every Sunday. After several months at the mortuary, Greater Portland moved to Portland Christian Grade School on S.E. 101st where we stayed for the next three years. The next stop was the Unitarian Church on 12th and Main in downtown Portland. After that, we rented from Jackson Middle School and finally, in 1991, the Lord miraculously provided our present location where we built our current building. I’m just writing about the buildings, but it was through God’s sovereignty and providence that He provided many gifted people to grow our church into maturity.
As a church, we have had many transitions, but every time, and I mean every time, the Lord has guided us and has been so faithful to provide in His time. I am looking forward to the celebration, but, personally, I believe it should be looking to the future. Please join me in continuing to pray for the strong legacy of the church in sharing the gospel to our community and helping people follow Jesus together.