In September of 1992, Nathan, Glenda, and Hannah Lewis moved to Portland to start a new mission of the Presbyterian Church in America. Their friends, Bryan, Lisa, and Sean Estelle, relocated to join the team. Phil Clark, Director of Mission to North America in the PCA recommended Beaverton as the site.
In October of 1992, we began to meet in the Lewis home on Sunday evenings. At the first meeting, eight adults with their children gathered: Steve, Michelle, Zach and Max McGuire; Terry, Penny, and Jonathan Spivey; Bryan, Lisa, and Sean Estelle; Nathan, Glenda, and Hannah Lewis. The following week, Jeff and Becky Lanser and Doug and Kathy Kobilan joined the group. Several weeks later, Jim and Jessie Hill and Donny Cameron joined the group. The group chose the name Evergreen Presbyterian Church. Evergreen is a biblical image for the vibrant and growing Church watered by God.
Spanish River PCA in Boca Raton Florida gave $65k to start the mission, and Robert and Catherine Pamplin matched the $65k. The funds were given in decreasing monthly payments over two years. At the conclusion of those two years, Evergreen was a self-supporting mission.
In March of 1993, the group meeting in the Lewis home, about 30 people, began to worship on Sunday mornings at Rock Creek Elementary School. In these formative months a surprising number of people embraced the gospel they were hearing and began to follow Jesus.
In 1995 Evergreen moved to Westgate Plaza in Beaverton, at the north end of Hall Boulevard. We leased flex space from Erik Kingstad and office space from Lindi Biggi. At this site, Evergreen began to grow slowly and steadily.
In 1997, Evergreen organized as a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America. Guy Williams and Jim Hill were installed as ruling elders. Stan Kohlmeyer was installed as a deacon and Keith Hansen was ordained and installed as a deacon. Nathan Lewis was called to be Pastor of the new congregation. Charter members professed their faith and pledged to participate in the new congregation. At the organization service, Evergreen announced the opening of Crosswinds PCA in Gresham. Jeff Doerr, our church planter, launched Evergreen’s first mission.
In 1999 Evergreen Presbyterian Church purchased the corner lot at Hall Boulevard and Hart Road. We demolished a dilapidated house used as a meth lab and began to develop a church site. The following year, Evergreen purchased the adjacent lot to the north. Apple Architects of Sherwood designed a first-phase building. The members and friends of Evergreen constructed the building (especially Ron Williams, Gene Pong, and Don and Richard Perkins).
On Resurrection Sunday of 2000, Evergreen worshiped in the first-phase building. Nathan preached about the Christian as a work in progress. The first-phase building was roofed but the studded walls had yet to be covered. During this building project, Eden Korean Presbyterian Church joined Evergreen. Pastor Ted Shin and his congregation generously helped in the building project. Evergreen staff provided youth ministry in English for the children and teens of Eden. Our mission teams included members of both congregations, and we shared many meals together. Occasionally we would worship together.
During this building phase, Stephen Lewis, Nathan’s brother, joined the Evergreen staff as a Church Planting Intern, participating in the PCA’s Timothy Internship Program. For two years Stephen, Amy, and their children lived in Beaverton, serving Evergreen and Eden. At the culmination of those two years, Stephen and Amy, chose Salem as the site for Evergreen’s next church planting mission. They moved downtown Salem and launched Evergreen PCA in Salem. In December 2005, the Presbytery of the Pacific Northwest met in Salem to organize Evergreen as a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America. Robert Seifert and Jay Yang were ordained and installed as ruling elders. Jeff Jordan was ordained and installed as a deacon. Stephen Lewis was called to be pastor of Evergreen PCA in Salem.
Also, during these years, David and Carolyn Hopkins joined Evergreen. Evergreen called David to be Associate Pastor and Carolyn to be Music Coordinator. David’s call sets him aside to work for C.H.I.E.F., a mission agency discipling Native Americans to serve the Church. Over the years, David has served Evergreen significantly in teaching, counseling, and leadership. Carolyn has significantly expanded the music ministry of Evergreen.
In 2000 Evergreen founded St. Stephen’s Academy, a Christian Classical school. The school opened with seven children and by 2006 grew to approximately 70 students. Michael Kane served as the first Headmaster and Juliet Kane has been instrumental in building the school through curriculum development and teaching. The first Principal of the school was Raelene Meeker, who served self-sacrificially for three years. In 2008 John Breckenridge was appointed Principal.
In 2004 Evergreen assumed oversight of Hoodland Chapel at Wemme on Mount Hood. In October of 2005, Evergreen became a multi-site congregation, worshiping in three locations: Beaverton, Wemme, and Newberg. Four families of Evergreen living in Newberg formed a team to establish Chehalem Valley Presbyterian Church, and in the fall of 2009, Evergreen called E.C. Bell as evangelist to organize this new congregation. On May 23, 2010 Chehalem Valley PCA was organized by the presbytery, Keith Hansen and Paul Otto installed as elders, Dan Wilson installed as Deacon, and E.C. Bell installed as pastor.
Evergreen is presently using the cluster model to start new congregations. The Beaverton site is presently home to three missions: Reconciliation on Saturdays; Ascension and Evergreen on Sundays. Eric Costa was called in 2010 to establish Ascension, with the plan of permanently locating this congregation in the Hillsboro area.