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Bing Crosby once donated to church after parishoner wrote to ask for help in rebuilding after fire.

COURTESY PHOTO - The original Laurel Church building in 1897.Laurel Community Church will celebrate 125 years of service to the Laurel community this fall.

The church will hold a free community dinner on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 5 p.m., and a special worship service on Sunday, Oct. 15, at 9:30 a.m.

Former pastor Mike Moore will speak at the worship service.

In 1892, Laurel Church was organized by circuit-riding preachers from the United Evangelical denomination which traced its founding to Jacob Albright, who had served as a "drummer boy" in the Revolutionary War.

The Evangelical denomination first sent missionaries to Oregon in 1864 where their preachers established preaching points throughout the Willamette Valley.

In 1946, the Evangelicals merged with the United Brethren denomination to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church.

Milton Wright, father of the famous Wright brothers, served as an Oregon bishop for the United Brethren Church in the Silverton area in the 1850s.

The original church at Laurel was built in 1897, but burned down in 1948.

The community rallied to rebuild and a new church building was dedicated in 1950. One of the members wrote to Bing Crosby asking for a contribution. He sent a check for $100, the equivalent of $1,000 today.

In 1969, Laurel became an independent community church, adding a kindergarten in the 1970s and later a preschool.

Vacation Bible School began in the 1950s and has continued ever since.

Mark Campbell, a retired Air Force Chaplain, is the lead pastor and Chris Kingston, a former sports marketer, is the associate pastor. A board of Elders forms the governing structure of the church.

Laurel Church is located seven miles south of Hillsboro at 30640 Laurel Road. For more information, visit www.laurelchurch.com.

This article was submitted by Charles Felton, a Laurel Community Church Elder.

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