Hillsboro Church Turns 100

February 28, 2016 | Paul Willis

In a modest Northwestern city nestled between the Coast and Cascade mountain ranges, a milestone was passed by the local Adventist church. On Oct. 10, 2015, the Hillsboro Church celebrated its 100th anniversary — that’s right, 100 years of Adventist Christian service in the town of Hillsboro. Former congregants from near and far came to reminisce with current members, to renew old friendships and to admire the work accomplished over a century.

The festivities began Friday evening, Oct. 9, with vespers. The weekend’s master of ceremonies was the current pastor Viorel Rosca, and the main speaker for the Friday evening program was Christie Shine, daughter of Brad Whited, Hillsboro Church pastor from 1981 to 1986.

The Advent Trombone Quartet provided both classical and sacred music in beautiful, swelling brass tones. Other local talent contributed noteworthy musical selections as well. Shine spoke about "Meditations on Jesus," highlighting the humble beginnings and the continued accomplishments of the Hillsboro Church.

Sabbath kicked off a celebration highlighting the precious memories of former pastors and elders who manned the pulpit throughout the history of the Hillsboro Church. The music was especially grand for the congregational pieces, and, like the Friday night vespers, contributions to the grandeur were made by the Advent Trombone Quartet and local talent.

The guest speakers for the Sabbath program included pastors Calvin Hartnell, Dale Ziegele, Christie Shine, Glen Gessele, Weldon Treat, James Ash (in a video message) and Dan Linrud, who gave the prayer of dedication prior to the close of the service. Shine and Robert Gaede Sr. also spoke during the program.

A slide presentation shared by Rosca highlighted major events and brought the joy of past remembrances to many of members as they recognized younger faces of now-older constituents with whom they were sharing pews.

The church was filled for the Sabbath program with members past and present together participating with fervor — laughing jovially at the anecdotal stories from the past and sharing in the grieving of Bible warriors since deceased or recently passed.

Heb. 10:24–25 says, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” The centennial celebration at Hillsboro Church was certainly in keeping with the letter and the spirit of this verse and many others in the Word of God that admonish us to find solace in the experience of Christian fellowship. 

The day culminated in the breaking of bread at the weekly fellowship dinner. Members that might have lost contact over the years were able to catch up on old and new news and generally socialize with one another while enjoying the delicious vegetarian faire contributed willingly and unsparingly by the current members. The atmosphere of celebratory praise and thanksgiving continued as the event drew to a close.

For 100 years Hillsboro Church has stood as a beacon of light in a small bedroom community. As with many churches, it has had its ups and downs and its congregation has waxed and waned. But until the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ the prayer for the church on the corner of NE Grant and Fourth Street is that it will continue to be a place where sinners come and saints are born.