Our Church History
Discussions began in 1952 concerning the possibility of establishing a Presbyterian Church in Brookings. In September of that year a group wishing to establish a Presbyterian Church met with Doctor Kirk West, of the First Presbyterian Church of Medford, and other representatives of Southwest Oregon Presbytery. Elmer Bankus offered to donate a lot at the corner of Oak and Pacific Streets for the church. After a survey of the area by the Presbytery Committee on National Missions, permission was granted to proceed with plans for the church. There were some who wanted to build a big two-story church, but it was decided that wasn’t feasible with the small congregation. The Medford church sponsored our church and contributed several hundred dollars towards its support for years.
Reverend Hugh Bronson was sent by the Synod of Oregon in March of 1953 to be our first pastor. The first service was held in the dining room of the Chetco Inn on March 8, 1953. On December 6, 1953, a service of organization was held in which Doctor Henry Green, Executive of Synod of Oregon; Reverend Lawrence Michelmore, Stated Clerk of Presbytery; Doctor Kirk West and many other ministers from the Southwest Oregon area participated. This service was held in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. There were 54 charter members.
The church building was begun in 1955. Rev. Henry Ostermeier was our pastor at that time. The main building was contracted but a great deal of finish work was done by church volunteers. The first services were held in the church in 1956. The sanctuary was not yet completed. Services were held in the back of the church which was one long open room with some moveable partitions which could be used to make it into classrooms. The sanctuary was completed and dedicated in July of 1958. Our pastor was Reverend Kenneth Killin.
The church membership grew slowly until the late 1960s when the membership increased sharply under the leadership of Reverend Hendrik Wapstra. You may have heard of him. He started the Bridge Ministries in Redmond, Washington, to which our church and Women’s Association have contributed. He was succeeded by Reverend John Lacy in 1971.
In 1978 a major addition to the church was built adding the large Fellowship Hall and partitioning off the classrooms and moving the women’s rest room across the hall. A weekday Christian Preschool was started in 1979 and continued for a number of years. In 2000 discussion began on remodeling the church to accommodate the changing times. In 2004 that remodel project was completed. The face the church change completely. The sanctuary was enlarged, new classrooms, new kitchen, new offices, and new restrooms were added.
Reverend Richard Meyer served as pastor of our church from 1981 to 1983; Reverend Robert Redman from 1984 to 1986; and Reverend Harold Staats was our pastor from 1988 to 1998. Over the years we have been blessed with the help of many interim pastors: Reverend Wayne Julier, who was retired from the Gold Beach church; Reverend Richard Cochran, who had retired after many years at the North Bend church; Reverend August Harris; Reverend Steven Klump, Reverend Gilbert Gray who was a retired Methodist minister; Reverend John Salmon; and Reverend Carol Swanson. Reverend Warren Muller became our pastor on November 21, 1999, and served until 2005. Reverend David Hunter became our pastor in 2007.