Portland Community Church prepares to trade rented space for expanded, refurbished building

by: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Portland Community Church Lead Pastor Ron Kincaid, left, helps Dennis Woodruff move a large cross into the church sanctuary in its new building at 7100 S.W. Scholls Ferry Road.If it’s pomp and circumstance you seek from a local house of worship, you may want to skip Portland Community Church.

“People come to services in jeans,” says Carol Metzger Wilkerson, the church’s communications coordinator. “It’s real informal.”

With helping the less fortunate and victims of circumstance its driving mission, the church, since its formation in September 2011, hasn’t even had a regular home. Sunday services, bible study classes and youth group events are held in rented space, mainly the cafeteria and classrooms at Whitford Middle School.

Starting this weekend, that’s all about to change. by: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - From left, Beth Werner, Tom Houser, John Werner, and Paul Allen Riggs discuss logisitics of setting up Portland Community Church's new building at 7100 S.W. Scholls Ferry Road.

When church founder and Pastor Ron Kincaid leads the two regular services this Sunday, it will be from the pulpit of a building the church calls its own. Through the courtesy of a member who quietly donated the former Signature Hospice Care building at 7100 S.W. Scholls Ferry Road, the non-denominational church will have plenty of space to further its mission and accommodate its growing congregation of 450 members.

Work to renovate and expand the former assisted-care facility that started about a year ago is in the final stages. The project doubles the size of the naturally lighted, cathedral-ceilinged sanctuary and multi-purpose space, converts clinical facilities to a children’s nursery and meeting spaces, nearly triples the parking lot’s capacity and converts an adjacent two-story house into “The Box,” a headquarters for the church’s youth program, complete with a game room.

A grand opening service and celebration for the new Portland Community Church will take place on Sunday, June 15.

Kincaid, who served for 29 years as pastor of Sunset Presbyterian Church on Cornell Road, looks forward to a new era of the church he started.

“We think this is a beautiful little spot,” he says, as crews toil to finish up the parking lot and attend to interior details. “We’re real happy with it. At Whitford, we were really limited in what we could do. It was just rented space.”

To bring the extensive project to fruition, various church members chipped in their talents, including lead contractor Bob Jensen, architect Chuck Hayward and artist Christine Raisch, whose whimsical drawings of clouds, angels and trees — complete with three-dimensional birds’ nests — grace several of the freshly repainted blue TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - One of the new children rooms at Portland Community Church's new building in Beaverton features colorful art.

As well as a sense of identity and permanent home, the refurbished, formerly vacant building provides an attractive, spacious location for weddings, funerals and events, as well as room for church members and leaders to provide services and coordinate programs.

“We’re trying to really serve the community,” Kincaid says. “It’s not just about us.”

Among residents from throughout the Portland metro area the church caters to are retirees in senior care centers, children attending Title 1 schools with a high population of lower-income students, and people lacking permanent homes — including parents of infants and small children — and trying to survive on the street.

In addition to the services held at Whitford, Kincaid, 62, established a Sunday morning worship service at Edgewood Point Assisted Living facility and leads Refuge, a Tuesday evening addiction recovery ministry of Portland Community Church.

“We’re a church that cares about the people who get left behind,” says Kincaid, a father of nine children who made a point of starting a non-denominational church. “Not that many people go to church in Portland, or do they across the country, but they care about our poor people and the elderly. If we can start caring about the people who are in need of help, they might sit up and take notice.”

Beth Werner, who leads the children’s ministry at the church, says the new building will only strengthen its growing reputation as a caring sanctuary for those in need of nurture.

“We look forward to having a home place where children can feel welcomed and loved,” she says. “We want this to feel like a second home to them — a place where they can call home.”

For church information, visit TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Lead pastor Ron Kincaid of Portland Community Church looks around the still-under-construction sanctuary.

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