History of WBC

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF WESTSIDE BAPTIST CHURCH

Early in 1979, Pastor Greg Kaminski and his wife, Janie, came to Eugene from Greenville, South Carolina, with a desire to start an Independent, Fundamental, Baptist church for the Lord. The first service was held on April 29, 1979, in a classroom at Willamette High School. There were 22 people present. In September of 1979, Westside Baptist Church was organized with 28 charter members.

 

During the next two years, the church continued to meet at Willamette High School on Sundays and in the garage at the Kaminski home on Wednesday evenings. In April of 1981, the Lord blessed this church by making available a piece of property at 1310 Echo Hollow Rd. On the property was an old farm house which was converted into classrooms, auditorium, and office space.

 

The church continued to grow, and a building program for a new auditorium was begun in August of 1982. The new building is located just to the south of the original building, and it was built as the funds were available. The first service in the new building was in April of 1983. The original building continues to house our nursery, kitchen, and the prophet’s chamber.

 

Over the years, God has continued to bless this church. In April of 1990, ten years ahead of schedule, the original mortgage for the property was paid off. This left the church completely debt free.

 

In 1997 with a team of men from Faith Baptist Church in Greenville S.C., we were able to build again over 4000 sq. ft. of a two-story building that would connect the old farm house to the auditorium. It has a fellowship hall on the first floor with offices and classrooms on the second floor.

 

In 2008 the church was able to purchase the house and property next to the church with the help of a generous gift from Stephen and Joyce Walkinshaw. The garage was converted into a classroom with the rest of the house being used as a parsonage. The backyard was converted into a parking lot and an easement out to Avalon Street. The house is called the Walkinshaw Building.

 

In 2012 the church purchased the former Eagle’s Club along with the nine-hole golf course at 1375 Irving Road. Through the 4-year building project, we saw God do many miracles concerning finances, city permitting/zoning, and other provisions. We moved during the week of November 14 and had our first services on November 20, 2016 at the new church location. Our Grand Opening was held on December 4, 2016 with over 250 in attendance.

 

God has also seen fit to allow this church to have a ministry to young people throughout the Northwest. Under the direction of Pastor Kaminski, August, 1979 was the first year of operation for Camp Northwest. Over the years, the camp has grown so that now several hundred young people take part in the camping program each summer through our Junior and Senior Camps. This has been a life changing experience for many young people.