Our Church founder, John Simpson settled in 1936 in this area, then known as the North End Garden Tracts. This unimproved real estate venture was drawing many families and the Simpson's realized the opportunity and need for gospel outreach. They joined together in prayer with several other Christian families in the neighborhood. After three months, they purchased a building site on the corner of NE 185th and 2nd Ave NE for a total of $200! The original structure was built by John E. Johnson from Fremont Tabernacle along with the physical and financial assistance of friends from that church.
Easter Sunday, March 14, 1940, marked the opening and dedication of Richmont Chapel. Fremont Tabernacle continued to play an important role in establishing the work at Richmont. The church began primarily as a branch Sunday School, with a Sunday morning service and a mid-week prayer service. The name Richmont resulted by combining the "Rich" in Richmond Highlands, with the "mont" in Fremont.
In the beginning John Simpson and Reverend D. McMasters, a retired Spirit-filled Baptist minister, conducted services for about one year. These pioneering saints have passed on to the greater reward that awaits all of God's faithful. From 1941 to 1943, Mrs. Ethel Tangye served as Richmont's Sunday School missionary with assistance from Miss Eloise Johnson.
In September of 1943, Norman and Eleanor Gardner accepted the call to pastor Richmont Chapel. This was a new beginning for both Pastor Gardner and the church, as he served as the first pastor to be called by Richmont Chapel. The post was the first of his ministerial career. The Gardners resigned in the summer of 1945.
At that time a young student from Northwest Bible Institute by the name of B.P. Birkeland, was active in Sunday School and youth work at Richmont, was elected to become pastor. During this first term of Pastor Birkeland's ministry, Richmont Chapel was officially organized, affiliated with the Assemblies of God, and incorporated under Washington State law as Richmont Assembly of God. Pastor Birkeland resigned to pursue the call of a traveling evangelist in September 1947.
John and Francis Voseka came from the state of Nebraska to pastor from 1947 to 1950. During this time a church parsonage, which was begun earlier under Pastor Birkeland's direction, was completed.
In 1951, Herman and Mae Kazen left a thriving work in Auburn to pastor Richmont Assembly. Church growth continued under their capable ministry until it was evident new facilities were needed. Property across the street from the original structure was purchased and a new building was erected. That edifice was dedicated September 25, 1955. The Kazens resigned the pastorate here in 1960, after being called to a church in another city.
January 1, 1961, marked the beginning of a new year and Roy and Jerrie Southard's pastorate at Richmont. Under Pastor Southard's capable ministry the church continued to grow and the Lord directed the church body into yet another building program. An educational annex was added, as well as a new church parsonage.
Following the resignation of Pastor Southard in September of 1967, Pastor and Mrs. James Bellmore became pastors and served until the spring of 1972. Pastor Bellmore's love for the local community was also evidenced by the purchase of more property west of the church for "future growth".
In July of 1972, Pastor and Mrs. Birkeland returned to the church after an absence of 27 years, to assume responsibilities of senior pastor once again. Pastor Birkeland challenged our congregation from the very onset of his ministry with his personal vision to grow and build. After three short years the church was dedicating a totally remodeled facility to the Lord. Though it was not really an expansion, the "face lift" demonstrated the ability of this church to face a challenge.
In September of 1975, a historic business meeting was conducted. At the time, a unanimous vote with a twofold mandate was given: to change the name of our church to Shoreline Community Church, and to set plans in motion for a major expansion of church facilities. The name of our church reflects the responsibility we have to minister to the Shoreline community, and our facilities and resources are offered to God for that purpose. New facilities were dedicated in October of 1983, as a new era in the outreach of Shoreline Community Church was launched. Less than one year later, Pastor and Mrs. B.P. Birkeland resigned their pastoral post to retire.
Upon Pastor Birkeland's retirement Pastor Les and Darice Welk, who had been serving as an associate pastor at Shoreline Community Church since September of 1978, were elected to serve as senior pastor and filled that post from June of 1984 to April of 1996, when he resigned to take a position in the Northwest District Office (Northwest Ministry Network) of the Assemblies of God.
In August of 1996, the pulpit committee presented the name of Pastor Earl and Joy Thornton for consideration as our new pastor. He accepted the pastoral position and came to Shoreline Community Church in October 1996. During Pastor Thornton's time here programs were started to reach out and touch needy people in our community. Pastor Thornton resigned in September 1997 to become pastor of a church in Illinois.
The task of seeking a new pastor was again given to the Pulpit Committee. Pastor George Smith of Vancouver, B.C. was asked to assume the position of interim pastor. The ministry of Pastor Smith was very well received by the congregation and he was soon approached to submit his name for the senior pastor position. Pastor George and Barbara Smith were elected to the position in March 1998.
These were years of healing for the church and Pastor Smith's spirit of unity and love was a great blessing. In May of 2001, Pastor George and Barbara Smith resigned their position at SCC.
Once again the task of seeking a new Senior Pastor fell on the pulpit committee and a very swift transition took place. In July, 2001, Pastor Kevin C. and KyAnne Weaver, from Longview, WA, were elected with a unanimous vote and accepted the position of Senior Pastor.
The ministering staff grew as individuals came to Shoreline Community Church to work as a part of the team in fulfilling the calling of our church. In 2002, Shoreline Community Church joined together in a successful capital fund campaign, "His Vision, Our Mission," to allow the church to become debt-free and release more funds into ministry endeavors and missions.
Near the end of 2005, Pastor Kevin and KyAnne resigned Shoreline Community Church with a vision of planting a church in Mississippi. In the interim, Pastor Dick Strum pastored the congregation while the pulpit committee searched for a new senior leader.
Pastor Robert C. Stone and Nancy were contacted and accepted the position of Senior Pastor. Pastor Bob had previously served as the Senior Pastor of Hillcrest Chapel in Bellingham for 28 years. They began their ministry at Shoreline Community Church starting on Easter of 2006. Since that time, they had several amazing people serve on the pastoral team, and even blessed a few of them as they have been launched into other ministries. The focus of the church is to live out Christ’s love in our own communities—to build relationships and train disciples as the church gathered and the church scattered. Pastor Bob and Nancy left an enduring legacy and indelible impression on SCC. Through their leadership, the church was repositioned for the next season of ministry.
On Palm Sunday, April 9, SCC experienced the blessing of a successful baton handoff in leadership from Pastor Bob and Nancy Stone to Pastor Dwayne and Stephanie Smith. Sensing that it was time to resign after 11 years at SCC and 50 years of pastoral ministry, Pastor Bob and the church board began a process of prayer concerning the next leader. After a season of prayer and conversations, the Smiths were asked to be the candidates for the lead pastorate. They had previously served on SCC's staff from 2001-2006 and returned in 2014 as church planters and urban missionaries.
The congregation overwhelmingly confirmed that this was the Lord's leading, and the transition in leadership was made official on Palm Sunday. The Smith's first Sunday as Lead Pastor was Easter Sunday. We are looking forward to the years ahead as the Lord continues to faithfully lead and guide this congregation!