After much prayer, and months of exploring options, drawing plans, and obtaining permits, a groundbreaking ceremony on July 4, 1982, initiated the construction of a new headquarters church in southeast Portland. The site for the new building was a four-acre piece of ground that had formerly been used as a parking lot across Duke Street from the campground.
A brass ensemble stood on a temporary wooden platform in the center of the lot, and played, “How Firm a Foundation” and “Move Forward.” A male quartet sang, “Be Strong, O Men, Be Strong.” Those who had participated in the design and planning phases were recognized. Elmer Luka, a pastor with construction experience who had been asked to supervise the project, spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony. He commented, “We can put the boards together, drive the nails, mix the concrete, and lay the stones, but we are looking for something greater than that. We are looking for God to come down and put His seal of approval and blessing upon it.”
A groundbreaking ceremony on July 4, 1982, initiated the construction of a new headquarters church in southeast Portland.
Actual work began on August 1 of that year. Dust was thick as the digging began. Over one-thousand yards of concrete went into the foundation for the structure, and eight huge pillars were poured to anchor the main framework of the building. Fall came and went, and winter rains began. Then, instead of dust there was mud—and plenty of it! Day after day, the workmen slogged through it, undeterred by physical discomfort.
With the placement of the structural beams and the completion of the roof, working conditions began to improve. Gradually, the project moved through the various phases of construction, much of the labor being donated. Walls went up, wiring and plumbing were installed, sheetrock applied, and cabinets built and put in place. Workmen from the Portland congregation and many of the organization’s branch churches worked side by side, completing exterior brickwork, painting walls, crafting interior railings, laying carpet, and installing pews. By the spring of 1984, the ground that had once been a barren parking lot was the setting for a beautiful new headquarters church for the Apostolic Faith organization.