Southwest Hills Baptist Church
Southwest Hills Baptist Church in Beaverton came into
membership of the Columbia Baptist Conference at the 1977 annual meeting in
Haller Lake Baptist Church in Seattle, Washington. Southwest Hill Church
grew out of the planned extension program of the Columbia Conference and the
Lower Columbia extension committee. An excellent building site was
purchased in the heart of Beaverton's expanding residential area. Dr.
Celius and Mettie Williams from Temple Baptist Church owned a five-acre site that
they sold to the Columbia Conference for a very low price. Through a
series of trades the Conference was able to procure the most strategic site with
an extra lot for a chapel-house.
Dan and Lynnea Peterson were called right out of bethel Seminary to come to Beaverton to plant the new church. They moved into a rented apartment and began ministry July 1, 1976, with no one who was committed to be part of a new church. After one month the first home bible study in the Mike Hicklin home had three families present. Temple came on as the mother church and the first Triad met September 1. In November the Sunday program was opened in the Hiteon school, one block from the building site, with 49 in worship and 29 in Sunday school.
Southwest Hills Baptist Church was organized on November 21, 1976, just five months after Dan and Lynnea Peterson arrived in Beaverton. The charter had 18 signatures. Recognition was celebrated in a special service in the local school building on Sunday, May 1, 1977. Dan's father, Walter Peterson, brought the message, Temple's sanctuary choir sang, Beaverton's Mayor's Mr. Nichols gave a greeting and Dr. Fred Prinzing led the prayer of consecration. The examining council which met April 1, was chaired by Mr. Truet Johnson. There were 28 charter members.
The termination of the lease at the school pushed the new church into a crash building program. Work on the chapel-house began December 15, 1977, and the structure was dedicated in less than six months. City regulations made it mandatory for some one to live in the building so a bull-sized apartment was designed for the second floor. This proved to be a long-range blessing. The apartment has been used for student intern housing and for a parsonage. The chapel house could accommodate 125 for worship and for Sunday school. a portable baptistery was set up every time the ordinance was observed. the congregation grew in the chapel-house to more that 130 members. Two Sunday morning worship services tallied more that 150 per Sunday. Larry Adams came as a student intern and later served as the full-time assistant pastor.
In September of 1983, construction began on phase one of a three-phase development of the building site. The new house of worship was opened in 1984 for Palm Sunday and Easter when 268 attended. Dedication of the new building on July 24, was combined with a farewell for Dan and Lynnea and Ann Marie who had been called by the Baptist General Conference to begin a church planting ministry in Houston, Texas. Larry Adams had been called in December 1983, to be the founding pastor of a new BGC church in Antioch, California.
Stepping in to the pastor less gap in the new facility were Rick and Carolyn Elzinga who came to serve as interim pastor. Carol was terminally ill when they arrived. The church later called Rick to be senior pastor on March 1, 1985. One month later Carolyn went to be with the Lord. Her brief ten-month ministry at Southwest Hills had a profound effect upon the congregation as she patiently bore the pain of illness in the beauty of the Lord. Rick's loving devotion to her during this time taught the congregation more about the virtue of Christian marriage that any number of sermons could. In June of 1986, Rick Elzinga and Diane Penner were united in marriage. Membership at Southwest Hills Church peaked at 169 in 1985.
This account was copied from John Bergeson's book "The Fourth Quarter."