Dedication of New Church

History Book
History Book
History Book

The long-awaited dedication service took place on May 27, 1984, a beautiful, warm Sunday afternoon. Flowers were blooming around the perimeter of the building, and water spraying from the brick fountain in front glistened in the sunshine. The sanctuary filled rapidly, as visitors from branch churches and foreign countries gathered with the Portland congregation for the momentous occasion. There was a sacred hush as the orchestra began to play softly, and then the choir sang, “Surely the Presence of the Lord Is in This Place.” After the welcoming announcements, the congregation sang a hymn of dedication: “Within these walls today we meet, to praise our God for blessing given, For grace that saves from sin and death. . . . Thy power alone can sanctify, enabling us to holy be; . . . Oh, grant to us our hearts’ desire, baptize with Holy Ghost and fire.” Those words summarized the determination of the assembled group to hold high the doctrinal standard of God’s Word that had been entrusted to them.

The new church building was completed and dedicated in May of 1984.

Following a choir anthem of dedication, “Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation,” greetings were read from Apostolic Faith congregations around the world. Those who participated in the building project were recognized. Elmer Luka, the construction foreman, said, “I am sure some of those here today can point to a brick or a door or a ceiling or a light that he or she worked on. But some of this work was done at the altar of prayer or in homes where people prayed. They were laborers together with us in this building where Jesus will be glorified and His name lifted up. Heaven itself is going to be the reward of those who gave diligent service.”

A veteran minister, Norman Allen, read the account of Solomon’s dedication of Israel’s Temple. In his sermon, he reminisced about the difficulties faced by those who established the Apostolic Faith work. “They stood for what the Lord had given them and kept the faith.” He challenged his listeners, “May we do the same! We appreciate our new church, and we dedicate it to the service of the Lord, but of greater importance is our individual personal dedication. What kind of house will we build? Is it a spiritual house? God can use anyone who will dedicate himself.”

A view of the platform in the new church, at the dedication service.

At the close of the sermon, another veteran minister, John Friesen, prayed the closing prayer. He asked for God’s Spirit to pervade the new building, so that all who would enter in the days to come would know that it indeed is a house of prayer, dedicated for worship and for the winning of souls.