top of page

A brief History of our Church

A Brief History of Our Church In 1904, one year after the city of North Bend was founded, Avery and Mamie Crocker came from Missouri in a covered wagon, spreading the Gospel, and introducing the Coos Bay area to the Gospel Evangel, which was, at that time, the primary publication of the Church of God. In 1912, a young lady named Violet Stauff, one of the early converts of the Crockers, planned to marry Frank Demarest, a young Christian man. Mrs. Crocker contacted George Neal, a Church of God minister from Portland, to come down and perform the ceremony. Reverend Neal stayed awhile but was unable to get a church started in this area. He returned to Portland, “thoroughly convinced that here, indeed, must be a very needy field.” Violet Demarest, by whom much of this history was recorded, served the church until her death in 1985. In 1914, a red haired man, Rev. John Van Lydergraf, noted for his sound teachings, began holding services in the home of Lee and Mary Golder, at 2207 Madrona Street, in the Bangor area, which was just west of the new city of North Bend. In 1918, in the fall, Adolphus and Nellie Brandt, both ordained Church of God ministers, called upon the Demarests, then living in Cooston, and began to pastor the small church. Soon after, the church moved to a ground-floor room near the Brandt’s home and grocery store on the corner of Marion and Virginia. Thus, it was that, with a small congregation, a consistent location, and its first pastors, the North Bend Church of God began its existence. In 1922, Sister Jarvis West came to North Bend and began to pastor the fledgling church, then numbering between 16-25 members. That same year, Ira Masters and Sister Lena Sommers, who had moved out from Idaho with a few committed believers, started a Church of God work in Marshfield (now Coos Bay), not realizing there was already a church in North Bend. In 1923, Nellie Brandt invited the younger Church of God in Marshfield, along with their pastor Ira Masters, to merge with the North Bend Church. Also that year, several members of the Nelson family moved from North Dakota to North Bend and became very involved in the work of the church. Soon, the growing fellowship moved to Bangor Hall, above the Brandt’s store. In 1925, with the church now approaching 100 members, they began planning and gathering resources to build their own chapel and purchased land on the corner of 13th and Marion. The Brandts—because of illness—were forced to leave the area, and sold their store to Hans and Anna Nelson, the parents of Violet Nelson Morin McIntosh (born in 1926) who served the church until her death in 2015. In 1928, in the spring, through the hard work and generous giving of many in the congregation, the new facility opened for service. This building would serve the church congregation and more than a dozen pastors, both men and women, for the next 36 years. The entire facility, including a Sunday School annex, added in 1948, remains standing and has since been converted to a private residence. In 1957, under Pastor Noble LaVelle, the North Bend Church of God began planting a church in the Reedsport area, aided by several of its members who lived in that community. In 1964, under the leadership of Pastor Glenn Henrichs, more growth made it necessary to build again. This time they moved to a more centralized, mostly undeveloped area, located near the brand new undergraduate higher education institution we now know as Southwestern Oregon Community College. The new facility was completed, the congregation moved, and the name was changed to College Park Church of God. In 1977, Pastor Gary and Diane Hood joined the church. Under their 16-year leadership, the church again changed names, this time to College Park Community Church, in an effort to be more welcoming to the local neighborhood. During this time there was much community involvement including broadcasting the services on the local Christian radio station. In 1994, Pastor Scott and Melody McCullough came to College Park Church and increased its ministry to the community even more, using strategies like “Saturday in the Park” to reach new people. After they left in 2001, Pastor Paul and Ruth Kendall came, along with Associate Pastor Dave and Lori Rymer, and Interim Pastor Ed and Lois Richards. In 2005, in the summer, Pastor Rich and Tina LaMar answered the call to serve in this beautiful coastal area. Once again, an emphasis was made to involve the church with our community. Over the past 18 years, our church has partnered with numerous regional service organizations, including the American Red Cross, Narcotics Anonymous, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, AMVETS, North Bend Garden Club, North Bend School District, American Cancer Society, Oregon Coast Community Action, and Southern Oregon Community College. Currently we run a community sack lunch ministry, producing almost 5,000 lunches each month. In addition, we manage a local bread ministry, distributing around 10,000 loaves of various types of bread each month to numerous service organizations, including ADAPT (addiction services), Bay Area First Step (drug and alcohol treatment and recovery), Star of Hope (mental and developmental disabilities), CASA (foster children and families), ARK Project (essential support services to homeless children and youth), Brians Home (veterans services), and several other agencies, churches, and local food banks Continuing to adapt to an everchanging culture, the church has increased its digital footprint, redeveloping our website and social media channels to be more interesting, interactive, and useful and current. We have installed a mesh network throughout the church, upgraded our video and sound systems, and livestream all of our messages. And most recently, we completed a major renovation of our sanctuary lighting and stage design systems. Of course, there has also been much refurbishment to the decades-old campus, including the inside and outside of the building, the roof, the parking lot and, soon, our new sign. Then, this year, desiring for our community to identify us more with our mission than with our location—and after months of prayer and discussion, we decided to change the name of our church family again, this time to Anchor Point Fellowship, based on the passage of Hebrews 6:19. Along with this new name, came a renewed drive and commitment to reach new generations of people with the wonderful eternal message of faith, hope, and love. This is certainly not a complete history, nor a complete listing of all the pastors and people who have built our church. But, over the years of our ministry, through times of great blessing and times of faith-stretching, we have always been amazed at how God has worked through us. We, who are here now, praise Him for our wonderful heritage, and for the great men and women who have sacrificed themselves over the past century to be a part of God’s work through this church. We pray and strive that we could continue the legacy of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ to our community and world, along with the great hope that God offers each of us in coming to know Him in a personal way—for the glory of God forever.

bottom of page