Who We Are

Springwater Church History

While selling real estate to earn his living, Pastor B.F. Wininger started the Gresham Nazarene Church by finding a vacant church for sale at Eighth and Mignonette Street in Gresham. The purchase was made and Dr. Leland Hess, superintendent of the Oregon-Pacific District appointed Pastor Wininger as pastor of the first Nazarene Church in Gresham. The church at this time consisted of the pastor, his family, and an empty, vacant building.

Gresham Church of the Nazarene was organized December 9, 1951, one month after acquiring the building and property. Dr. W.D. McGraw, newly appointed district superintendent, organized the church with fifteen charter members. By 1953, Gresham Church of the Nazarene had thirty-three members, and the Winingers left to plant a church in California.

In the early 1960's, the original church property was sold. A house and one acre at 21512 Stark Street was purchased and the home was used as a chapel. The main service took place in the living room with the piano in the kitchen. In 1963, the house was moved to the back of the lot at Stark Street, on a new basement.

The new basement was used for worship until the new church building was completed on this property in 1968. The house on Stark Street, originally used as a chapel, was remodeled and used as a parsonage for the pastor and family. The basement was used for church fellowship activities.

In 1975, the sixty foot strip of land east of the church grounds was purchased for extra parking and possible expansion. A day care, preschool, and kindergarten were started and the commercial building on the corner of 217th and Stark Street was purchased in 1977 to house the East Stark Community Child Center. In 1985 the commercial building was sold to Pioneer Northwest, a chainsaw distributor.

In 1997, Gresham Church of the Nazarene sold it's Stark Street property and purchased it's current property (formerly Parks Elementary) at 3445 SE Hillyard Street and changed it's name to Springwater Church of the Nazarene.

The Church of the Nazarene is the largest denomination in the classical Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. The Church of the Nazarene traces its anniversary date to 1908. Its organization was a marriage that, like every marriage, linked existing families and created a new one. As an expression of the holiness movement and its emphasis on the sanctified life, our founders came together to form one people. Utilizing evangelism, compassionate ministries, and education, their church went forth to become a people of many cultures and tongues. The doctrine that distinguishes the Church of the Nazarene and other Wesleyan denominations from most other Christian denominations is that of entire sanctification. Nazarenes believe that God calls Christians to a life of holy living that is marked by an act of God, cleansing the heart from original sin and filling the individual with love for God and humankind.

This experience is marked by entire consecration of the believer to do God's will and is followed by a life of seeking to serve God through service to others. Like salvation, entire sanctification is an act of God's grace, not of works. Our pursuant service to God is an act of love whereby we show our appreciation for the grace that has been extended to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For more information visit https://www.nazarene.org/