Joyous praise is the natural response to God’s character and provision. That was the overall tone of the day Sept. 10, 2017, when Trinity Church of Portland celebrated their seven-year anniversary and new permanent church home. Over 350 people attended the celebration, which included a worship service and BBQ lunch.
The service included testimonies of long-time members who shared how God had worked in their lives through Trinity Church. They recounted benefits of their church membership such as exposure to Christ-centered preaching, meaningful opportunities to serve, ministry training and a hard-won love for the Body of Christ.
The congregation also heard from special guests Don Morris, USMB national director, and Gary Wall, Pacific District Conference minister, who shared the history of Trinity’s beginnings and what they had witnessed throughout its years of growth.
Preaching from Nehemiah 12, Art Azurdia, senior minister of word and worship at Trinity Church, taught about the occurrence of worship prompted by all that God had provided the Israelites at that time: freedom from exile, the ability to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem and a national spiritual awakening. Azurdia described the event as “such a memorable occasion of praise that God has seen fit to include the record of it in his Word for our benefit.” He exhorted the congregation that, like the Israelites, they too had much reason to praise God with great reverence and joy.
Trinity Church was planted in September 2010 and for several years rented the chapel at Western Seminary. God blessed Trinity with fruitful opportunities to proclaim the gospel and grow the church, including a now self-sufficient church plant, Christ Church Sellwood in southeast Portland, and several men who have been sent out from the congregation to lead churches throughout the nation.
For the last few years, Trinity has prayed for a larger, more permanent location as their numbers grew to capacity. During this time, Azurdia and Lowell Hamill, pastor of Immanuel Christian Fellowship in Portland, had conversations about Trinity’s need. As Immanuel had a building capacity of well over 400, yet a much smaller congregation, they prayed about and deliberated over their potential for meeting Trinity’s need.
This summer their prayers were answered when the congregants of Immanuel Christian Fellowship voted to gift their building, a 2.5-million-dollar property in northeast Portland, to Trinity at no cost. This provided an appropriately sized and exceptionally maintained building that, as elder Greg Taylor pointed out in the service, “we had no hope to own based on the real estate market in Portland.” The congregants now worship together under the heading of Trinity Church of Portland.
Their mission statement has been: “Trinity Church exists to joyfully exalt the triune God, faithfully declare the Christ-centered Word, intentionally demonstrate Christian love and zealously evangelize our community and world.” To those ends, Trinity Church prioritizes Christ-centered preaching every week, engages a Ministry Training Program to prepare men for church leadership and church planting and provides opportunities for meaningful discipleship and fellowship.
During the anniversary celebration, the congregation hoped to collect an offering of $40,000 offering for necessary kitchen renovations to support the church’s bi-monthly shared meals. The Lord exceeded this goal for a total of $41,000.
Remembering years of God’s faithful provision and their unity under the redemptive work of Christ, Azurdia declared, “After all that God has done for us, we need to praise him in a way that will not be soon forgotten.” The worship Trinity lifted to God that day showed this is to be a shared sentiment within the congregation.
Arianne Benedetto is a writer who lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, Anthony, and their four children. She is the lead grant writer for Portland Rescue Mission and is a member of Trinity Church of Portland. She regularly contributes to The Verity Fellowship’s blog at verityfellowship.org.