The Portland church is the headquarters of the international Apostolic Faith organization. Currently, it is located at 5601 SE Duke Street, in the Woodstock area of Portland. However, since the organization first began in Portland in 1907, the headquarters church has occupied buildings in several locations.
The renovated blacksmith shop where Florence Crawford preached her first sermon in Portland was located at Southwest Second and Main. In the fall of 1907, at the close of the first Apostolic Faith camp meeting held at Southeast Twelfth and Division, a larger hall, located at Southwest First and Madison, was rented. Accommodations in those early day mission halls were humble, but this did not hinder God’s work. Services were always conducted in a spirit of enthusiasm and confidence, and God continued to bless His people.
After the close of the Mount Tabor camp meeting in 1908, the Apostolic Faith organization obtained the large building at the corner of Southwest Front and Burnside for its headquarters. In 1917, the first electric sign bearing the message “Jesus the Light of the World” was erected on top of that building.
The congregation grew steadily and the auditorium at Front and Burnside, which originally seated only 150, had to be enlarged. One remodeling project included the removal of a wall and middle partition, giving the church the use of the full width of the building and providing a seating capacity of about 400. The children used a downstairs chapel for some of their services. The lower floor also accommodated the printing and publishing departments. Old-fashioned coal stoves furnished heat for the building.
The mission at Front and Burnside was the spiritual birthplace of many souls.
Known as “The Gospel Lighthouse by the Bridge,” the mission at Front and Burnside was the spiritual birthplace of many souls. Since it was situated at the west end of the Burnside Bridge, people walking across the span some times were attracted by the sound of singing coming from the open windows. Some came into a Gospel meeting, and more than one was saved as a result.
In a letter from the Apostolic Faith headquarters office, dated September 3, 1914, this account was given of a Thursday night service: “That night at the mission, there was a most wonderful prayer service and then the testimony meeting began. Some young converts testified, and one of them was shouting the praises of God with uplifted hands. It melted everyone and all rejoiced and praised God. Then the song was sung again and again: ‘Jesus’ love is deeper, richer, fuller, sweeter, Sweeter as the years roll by.’ The power fell on the people and for a long time no one could testify, nothing could be heard but the praises of God, and many were standing with uplifted hands. A minister arose with Bible in hand and started to read the second chapter of Acts, where it reads, ‘They were all with one accord in one place.’ And the power from Heaven so fell on the place that nothing could be heard but a call to prayer, and the altar was at once filled and also many rows of chairs, and the power continued falling. A boy who had come in just as the power began falling—a backslider—rushed to the altar and was saved; other sinners were saved. There was such a wonderful spirit of unity and Heaven that no one wanted to leave.”