December 10, 1924 – Christian people of Newport, Oregon got together for the purpose of effecting an organization. First Christian Church of Newport was chosen for them to be known by hereafter.
John B. Hoag, a retired minister from Ohio was the first pastor, three trustees, a clerk, a treasurer, one elder, two deacons and – later – two deaconesses were elected to this first board.
The church rented the Baptist meeting house on 31 SW High Street Newport, OR. It is still there and owned by a different Baptist Church).
Beginning with the new year, the church would observe the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. There were times when no preacher or elders were present and the ladies had to serve communion.
1927 – the church bought the meeting place on High Street.
1935 – an addition was added to the side and rear of the building.
1945-1950 a basement construction was started in three independent sections.
1954 – Mrs. Grant’s house, next door, was purchased for $3,900 and remodeled for a parsonage.
October 10, 1954 – Wilburn and Joyce Hall joined the church.
January 15, 1956 – Harry and Ellen Schick joined the church
May 11, 1967 – Even as the congregation was in the middle of a building project, the growing division in the Restoration Movement between Disciples of Christ and Independents reached Newport. On this day in May, the amendment to remove the connection with the Disciples of Christ from the church constitution was passed.
June 17, 1967 – a formal request was mailed in, of removal of First Christian Church of Newport from Disciples of Christ.
February 9, 1958 – Wally Conklin joined the church
1965 – Gene Sonnenberg retired as youth minister
November 2, 1967 – Mission Baptist Church bought the old building on High Street.
November 26, 1967 – the first Sunday service in the current building.
December 4, 1967 – The current building was dedicated after 7 months and 2,000 hours of volunteer labor.
February 23, 1968 – Esther Conklin joined the church.
November 1969 – the first Faith Promise started with Dr. and Mrs. Robert Chapman visiting from Eugene to share about the Ethiopian mission field (soon after they traveled over themselves as medical missionaries). Jim Smith came in Jan. 1970 to share about Christian Missionary Fellowship, and Ray Smith came the same month to pitch the Oregon Christian Convention and Turner Memorial Home. Glen and Elaine Lyda came Feb. 8 (on a Sunday evening) to show pictures of Wi-ne-ma Christian Camp. March 8 brought Mr. and Mrs. Boyrs Boyuk from McKinley Indian Mission and Children’s Home.
The 1970-71 Faith Promise Rally started May 17 with Mont Smith – a former missionary to Ethiopia – preaching. That evening the Missionary Festival was set up with display booths showing items from numerous countries. There was a missionary panel, and several meetings set up at people’s homes during the week. Mont Smith closed the Rally on May 24.
November 1, 1970 – Darrell and Maxine Demory joined the church
June 1972 – Clay and Margie Creech joined the church
May 6, 1973 – Carol Armington joined the church
1974 – the church celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special ceremony.
April 29, 1978 – Dennis Bartoldus joined the church
May 7. 1978 – Patti Arnsdorf joined the church
April 20, 1980 – Dan Arnsdorf joined the church
1983 – the mortgage was paid off, and the congregation celebrated with a mortgage burning ceremony.
1998 – a roof was built over the deck of the front porch
2014 – the church goes through a time of self-discovery and planning for the future, leading to a name change: Newport Christian, a new logo, and a new motto: Seeking, Serving, Saving.
Church Pastors through the years (approximate)
1924-1926 – John B. Hoag ($3.50 – first week’s salary)
1926-1927 – W. Lawrence Wells
1927-1928 – Lestis E. Ellett
1929 – A.A. Beery
1932 – Frank Moon
1934 – Lloyd Balfour
1936 – George E. Williams ($10 a week salary)
1936-1937 – C.J. Law
1939-1940 – Edwin (or Erven) Harris
1940-1943 – George E. Williams
1944 – Eldon Wiidenen
1948 – Frank W. Zook
1949-1953 – Wesley (or Eeasley) A. Goucher
1953-1956 – Ray Smith
1956 – David Dunning
1959-1961 – Wallace M. Prowell
1961-1965 – Marvin Schrom
1965-1974 – Robert Church
1974 – David Kullowatz
1975-1978 – Gene Sonnenberg
1978-1980 – Milton Faxon (Associate Minister 1982-1986)
1980-1987 – Jody Hardenbrook
1988 – Wayne Osborne (interim)
1988-1998 – Vernon Landreth
1999-2014 – Derek Helt
2014 – Gene Sonnenberg (interim)
2014-present – Reed Adams
Arlo B. Bristow