Mid to late 80’s
Mid to late 80’s
Westgate Baptist Church began meeting in a community room at the Lincoln Center in Beaverton, Oregon in September, 1982. The church was started under the visionary leadership of Pastor Ben Jaquith, whom God has used to shepherd this ministry during its entire existence. Pastor Jaquith, along with his wife, Janie, are natives of northwest Oregon. God impressed upon their hearts a desire to see a lighthouse for the Truth established in the Beaverton/Tigard area.
Within three months of its first service, WBC had grown in attendance to about 40 people. Services were moved to facilities rented from a Seventh Day Adventist church in Beaverton. On Wednesdays, WBC met in spaces rented from an area Methodist church. By 1986, the Lord had prospered Westgate’s consistent outreach ministry such that average attendance increased to nearly a hundred people. Pastor Jaquith and the deacons of the church began earnestly to seek the mind of the Lord regarding the purchase of a permanent location. A year later, in August of 1987, the joyful people of Westgate Baptist Church moved into their own building atop the present site on Scholls Ferry Road in Tigard. One year later, in the fall of 1988, Westgate Christian School was established. Over the next several years, both church and school continued to grow numerically, as God worked mightily in the lives of His people.
In 1994, God made available to WBC the two-acre parcel of adjoining land to the south. This property was purchased without debt, and it provided much-needed room for future growth. In time, the home originally situated on that parcel was expanded and converted to an office and classroom building. A portion of the original residence was maintained as a “prophet’s chamber”—a comfortable oasis for visiting missionaries and preachers. Another classroom building was later added further south on the now-four-acre church property.
Being convinced of the wisdom of of staying debt-free, WBC went for a period of years accumulating savings that would allow for the phased construction of a much-needed facility to accommodate the continued growth of the ministry. In 2002, ground was broken for a 40,000 square-foot multipurpose building that houses more than 15 classrooms, numerous offices, library facilities, a nursery suite, and a 600-seat auditorium. The auditorium is designed to be used as both the church’s sanctuary and as a gymnasium. In the fall of 2004, God’s people rejoiced as the initial phase of the new facility was placed in service. On September 9, 2007, Westgate held its 25th anniversary service in the new auditorium. While the auditorium was not completely finished, it was a very special time for our church family. Our beautiful auditorium is now completed and being wonderfully used as our church sanctuary as well as a gymnasium.
Church histories naturally focus on God’s provision of property and facilities. Beautiful and functional buildings are a testimony of God’s goodness and serve as visual reminders that God is at work in our day. As much as we are excited about the expansion of our facilities, we rejoice all the more as we consider the evidence of sustained growth and spiritual development in individual lives. The essence of Westgate’s ministry is not found in new buildings, neither in its numerical growth in attendance. Most importantly, Westgate is a place where sound Bible preaching and a genuine concern for the spiritual welfare of people have been the consistent hallmarks of the ministry.
It is our desire that God will continue to use the ministry of Westgate Baptist Church to transform lives for His honor and glory. Much has been accomplished already, but we believe the work of God in our midst is really just beginning. As we rejoice in God’s past wonders, we anticipate with excitement what He will yet do to influence the hearts and minds of people in the southwest Portland area for the cause of Jesus Christ.