St. James Lutheran Church, Portland, Oregon, Records, 1890-2012  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

St. James Lutheran Church (Portland, Or.)
St. James Lutheran Church, Portland, Oregon, Records
1890-2012 (inclusive)
3 files
Collection Number
OPVELCA7a4_224 (collection)
Collection contains the records of St. James Lutheran Church in Portland, Oregon.
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington
Telephone: 253-535-7586
Fax: 253-535-7315
Access Restrictions

Collection is available for research

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.Processing funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission

Historical NoteReturn to Top

St. James, the first English Lutheran Church in Oregon, came into being on March 2, 1890. Rev. M. L. Zweizig led a group of 30 interested people. On October 15 a constitution was adopted and the trustees were authorized to purchase two lots on the corner of SW Park (the present site) at a cost “not to exceed $200.” A year later the Pioneer Chapel was erected, and in 1910 the present church was built. An education and office building was added in 1958. In recognition of its historic place and character in the life of the city of Portland, St. James was listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings in 1974. Two grants from the Collins Foundation and the National Historic Registry made a $600,000 restoration project possible. During the years of its early history, St. James participated in the organization of the Pacific Synod of the ULC, the founding of the Pacific Lutheran Seminary, the formation of the Lutheran Family Service, and the establishment of nine new Lutheran congregations in the Northwest. Later there were years of conflict. Not all members wanted community involvement. People left and membership declined. Nevertheless, in time there was new growth. In the fifties, membership figures were over 1200. New interest developed in radio, television, and ecumenical ministry. Once again there were difficulties. The turmoil of the 1960s did not leave St. James untouched, and hard decisions had to be made. But new life came once again to an old downtown church. An older congregation became younger in the average age of its members. A Child Development Center now cares for 80 children; new worship and educational programs attract 50% of the membership every week; an enlarged staff meets more needs and develops more programs; and the fine facilities of the church provide space for various church and community programs.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

(folder #1) This folder contains various letters, a copy of a newspaper article about the church, an informational pamphlet about the church, a financial record, an application for a loan, a proposed budget, notes from a congregational meeting in 1974, a 1977 annual report, 1974 Recommendations for Actions, program goal sheets, a copy of “Partners in Mission” congregation – synod consultation, an application for program support 1975 , a packet included with the application for program support, structural inspection, a report on the church structure and recommendations to the church council, a report from the St. James retreat in 1973, a thank you note to the pastor. (folder #2) This folder contains a congregational historical record, a Liturgy of Holy Eucharist and Installation of a pastor booklet (two copies), a copy of a newspaper clipping, an informational booklet about the church, a certificate from the rededication ceremony in 1977, a bulletin from 1956, a 65th anniversary booklet, a brief history of the church, a copy of an article about the church’s new advertising methods in public transportation, various other newspaper articles, various letters, a church questionnaire, a document illustrating the action the church council had taken recently, various ministry reports, a document outlining the church restoration project, ministry profiles from 1975 and 1976. (folder #3) This folder contains a book created for the 100th anniversary of the church, program celebrating Pastor Smith's 25 years of service, organ dedication 1989, bulletin for Third Sunday after the Ephiphany 1997, paper on life and mission of church, booklet on centennial, Bach musical sheets 2005-2006.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Archives and Special Collections Department at Pacific Lutheran University. Copyright resides with the creator of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to the University Archivist. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder

Preferred Citation

From the St. James Lutheran Church, Portland, Oregon, Records, OPVELCA7a4_224, Archives and Special Collections, ELCA Region I Archives, Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Avenue South, Tacoma, WA 98447

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Location of Collection

Box 13 Files 3-5

Acquisition Information

Transferred to ELCA Region I Archives. .

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Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Church anniversaries
  • Lutherans--Oregon--History

Personal Names

  • Leas, J. Allen, 1901-1916
  • Smith, Joe, 1973-?
  • Voeks, Don, 1979-1980
  • Andersen, Dennis A.
  • Brinkman, W. E., 1916-1947
  • Eckstrom, Dr. Vance, 1972-1973
  • Jacobson, Lloyd, 1947-1953
  • Nissen, Frederick P., 1947
  • Oslund, J. Edward, 1953-1972
  • Pechman, Warren W., 1981-?
  • Rahn, Charles, 1899-1901
  • Zweizig, M. L., 1890-1898

Corporate Names

  • National Register of Historic Places
  • Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
  • Collins Foundation
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church--Oregon Synod
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church--History
  • Pioneer Chapel (Portland, Or.)
  • United Lutheran Church in America

Geographical Names

  • Portland (Or.)


  • Clergy