WHO WE ARE
Portland Christian Center lives by a five-step strategy around which the life of the church family orbits:
Know God & Make Him Known
God’s mission for the church is the same as His heart for you: Know God and Make Him Known. Wherever you are on your journey of faith—from exploring faith to beginning with Christ to desiring deeper spirituality—Portland Christian Center is here to help you move closer to God through a saving, growing and transforming knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Committed to living out our unique church shape
God’s family ought to include all ages, shapes and colors. PCC strives to equally seek, love, accept, value, reach and minister to people of every demographic.
Spiritual unity among believers is precious to God. PCC values and promotes healthy relationship in marriages, families, among believers and between churches.
Missions is the mission of the church. PCC maintains a passionate heartbeat for reaching lost people around the world, especially the unreached.
The God-pleasing church is founded on the authority of Scripture. PCC is committed to a theology that is orthodox, evangelical, and Pentecostal, rooted not in past church traditions or in current methodologies, but on what scripture declares.
To be like Jesus is the highest aim of authentic discipleship. PCC’s ministry emphasis is not just to inform, but to transform, encourage and equip people to become fully formed in Christ.
The worship arts are the church’s most visible and powerful “calling card” for reaching its community. PCC maintains an emphasis on the arts that is excellent, current, Spirit-formed and most of all, offered for the glory of God alone.
God will show himself strong on behalf of those who will step out in risky faith to radically love him and sacrificially serve his purposes in the world! PCC strives to radically love God and express risky faith.
The local church is the hope of the world. PCC is committed to planting, strengthening and multiplying the church in Portland and around the world.
The Kingdom of God is a baton pass. PCC’s core is committed to modeling footsteps of faith for future generations, leaving a legacy of radical love and risky obedience to those who follow.
The proper motto and motive for church is Soli Deo Gloria, “glory to God alone.” PCC’s driving passion and ultimate benchmark of success is to make Jesus famous in our city and around our world.
Assembly of God
Statement of Fundamental Truths
God’s family ought to include all ages, shapes and colors. PCC strives to equally seek, love, accept, value, reach and minister to people of every demographic.
What is the age and history of Portland Christian Center?
Portland Christian Center has an extraordinary and rich history. It was established in 1924 as a result of a spiritual awakening that swept the city of Portland.
It was during this time that a handful of families, who had experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in their lives, joined together to form a new congregation. This new church first gathered in the home of Papa and Mama Vetch, owners of a well-known dairy in Northeast Portland.
In a short time, a building was purchased, and the church was named The Portland Gospel Tabernacle. Hundreds of people joined this exciting new church. It was in 1928 that the church leaders felt led to affiliate with the worldwide ministry of the Assemblies of God. The church would become a leader in Sunday attendance and world missions giving.
During the 1930s, the growing congregation found a new home when it purchased a church building on the corner of S.E. 12th & S.E. Taylor. The church continued to experience growth, attracting several families that are still active today.
In the late 1940s, under the leadership of Pastor N.D. Davidson, new property was purchased at S.E. 20th and Madison, and a modern new sanctuary was constructed to accommodate the increasing attendance. In 1947, with the new facilities completed, the church name was changed to Portland’s First Assembly of God.
For nearly 30 years, the 20th & Madison location would serve as the home of the church. In the early 1970s, the present site on Dosch Road was purchased. On Sunday, October 15, 1978, under Pastor Jim Swanson, the first services were conducted in the newly constructed facilities.
What is Portland Christian Center’s denominational affiliation?
Portland Christian Center is affiliated with the Assemblies of God. The Assemblies of God was founded in 1914 in Hot Springs, Arkansas with 300 people at the founding convention. Today there are 13,017 churches in the U.S. with over 3 million members and adherents. There are more than 69 million Assemblies of God members worldwide, making the Assemblies of God the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination. The U.S. Assemblies of God national office is located in Springfield, Missouri.
Is Portland Christian Center denominationally or locally governed?
Portland Christian Center operates under a congregational form of government. That means the membership of the church has ultimate authority over the affairs of the church. The membership selects its Lead Pastor, along with the Board of Deacons, who are ratified by the membership, to govern the affairs of the church on behalf of the membership.
How is Portland Christian Center governed?
The church operates according to its constitution and bylaws, which is available to any member or attendee upon request. By stipulation of that document, a board of eight deacons acts in an advisory capacity to the Lead Pastor, who serves as chairman of the board, in all matters pertaining to the church in its ministry and mission. They provide counsel and mutual assistance in the administration of the business and work of the church. They examine applicants for membership, administrate church discipline, and have ultimate oversight of the finances of the church. In the event the church is temporarily without a pastor, the deacons are empowered to provide for their own chairman from their membership to transact business for the church and to provide for a search for the new pastor. The Board of Deacons meets monthly to pray over the church, receive staff reports, give input on the direction of the church, and vote on key action items, such as the missions report, the finance report, and various other matters requiring board approval.
How does Portland Christian Center select members of the deacon board?
Deacons are chosen from the membership of the church. They are nominated by a nominating committee consisting of the pastor, the retiring board members, and four laypersons selected by the board to represent the various departments and demographics of the church. Deacon candidates may be submitted to the nominating committee by any member of the church. Those nominated to serve as deacons must be ratified by a two-thirds majority vote of the membership present at the annual business meeting for a term of three years each. Deacons cannot serve for more than two consecutive three-year terms. Two deacons are ratified each year.
How are the board officers selected?
The board officers, the Secretary, and the Treasurer, are selected by the existing board members and are ratified by a two-thirds majority vote by the church membership at the annual business meeting.
How are major decisions made at Portland Christian Center?
Major decisions, such as the purchasing, selling, leasing, and mortgaging of real property must be authorized by a vote of at least two-thirds majority of the votes cast in a regular or special business meeting of the church. Other matters, deemed of corporate significance by the pastor and the board of deacons, may be brought to the entire membership from time to time for advice and consent.
How does the leadership of Portland Christian Center create the operating budget each year, and what is the process for approval of the budget?
The following points describe Portland Christian Center’s budgeting process:
- Senior Finance Team approves all budgets, and submits them to the Board Finance Committee.
- The Finance Committee approves the summary budget, then submits it to the Board of Deacons for final approval in January of the new calendar year.
- Budget reports showing actual vs. budget in detail are prepared monthly for department heads.
- Budget reports showing actual vs. budget, in summary, are prepared monthly for the Finance Committee and Board of Deacons, which formally approves these reports.
- The church staff, from the Lead Pastor to all the Departmental Pastors and Directors, operates within the board approved balanced budget.
Does Portland Christian Center audit its finances?
Portland Christian Center has strong internal financial controls, oversight, and reporting. Our goal is to have a formal Financial Review (abbreviated audit) every 2-3 years and a full audit every 5-6 years. An independent certified, public accounting firm, is engaged to perform these functions. Due to the substantial expense for these services, flexibility in scheduling is sometimes required. Results of the review or full audit are presented to Senior leadership, the Finance Committee and the Board of Deacons. The results are also shared at the following annual business meeting.
When is the business meeting held for the Portland Christian Center’s membership?
Portland Christian Center holds its annual business meeting during the first quarter of each year. At the meeting, church members are given a written report, the vision of the church is reviewed, progress toward the church’s mission and vision is analyzed, a financial analysis for the previous year is presented, new deacons are ratified, and various other business that requires the input and approval of the members is transacted. The meeting follows Robert’s Rules of Order.
Who is in charge of the Portland Christian Center’s finances?
What is Portland Christian Center’s financial control for spending?
Senior Leadership Team reviews weekly financial data: income, expenses, and expenditure requests to ensure that income and expenses are staying within the guidelines of the board approved church budget. Each month, both the Finance Committee of the Board as well as the Board of Deacons reviews the financial data to ensure that income and expenses are within the guidelines of the budget. Any beyond budget needs that arise are submitted to the board for approval.
- Expenditure controls:
Expenditure requests in excess of $500 (in budget or not) are submitted to Senior Leadership Team prior to making a purchase commitment. This ensures good cash flow management.
- Check requests/invoices require approval by the next higher level of authority prior to entry to accounts payable system.
- Weekly accounts payable listing is submitted to and approved by Senior Leadership Team prior to issuance of checks.
- All checks require dual signature; those with check signing authority are board approved.
How do we handle offerings?
- When offerings are received, at least two authorized individuals and a security person oversee the process of depositing the cash and checks into an onsite safe in a secured area.
- Administratively, a team of at least three people (two staff and one volunteer) perform the accounting and handling of the offerings in a secured area.
- The bank deposit receipts for cash and checks are always verified to the original count sheets to insure accountability.
Does Portland Christian Center have debt?
In January of 2017, Portland Christian Center celebrated becoming debt-free. In our intentional journey of eliminating corporate debt, the leadership of the church made a commitment to operating debt-free in all matters. With the church’s freed up financial capacity, the following adjustments were made:
- Salaries were significantly below market and increases were given
to our staff.
2. Departmental ministry budgets were increased,
3. Funds were allocated to local and global outreach, and
4. By the end of 2017, a reserve account for emergency and seasonal
financial swings was established, and maintained to this day.
To whom is the Lead Pastor accountable?
The Lead Pastor is accountable to his ordaining body, the Assemblies of God, and to the Board of Deacons of Portland Christian Center.
How does Portland Christian Center select missionaries for support, and how does it manage the mission’s budget?
Portland Christian Center’s prayer is to be the greatest conduit for the great commission the world has ever known. Not because we are so great, but because God is so great and we want to be used by Him to change the world. As a church, we focus on remaining blessable by God and transparent in our missions giving.
Aside from helping to fund missionaries, one of Portland Christian Center’s key roles as the steward of Kingdom Builder funds is to help provide financial stability for missionaries. By helping to absorb the financial risk for missionaries through monthly sponsorship, missionaries can focus more on other ministry concerns. Additionally, Portland Christian Center provides a platform for missionaries to disseminate their message and develop support for their ministry, and to show the church family what God is doing and how He is working around the world. The feedback we receive from our missionaries tells us Portland Christian Center is exemplary in our practices and our giving.
The Role of the Missions Advisory Committee(MAC):
The Missions Advisory Committee (MAC) serves as an advisory committee to the Lead Pastor and the Board of Deacons and carries out the administration of Portland Christian Center’s Missions Program. All MAC members are active members in good standing of Portland Christian Center as outlined in the Corporate Constitution By-Laws. MAC activities and practices are guided by our Missions Policy Manual. The MAC meets once a month to continually evaluate and promote our missions program, review updates on active missionaries, as well as, pray for, encourage, and prepare recommendations for missionaries and projects according to our seven core values and the guidelines in the policy manual. Minutes are taken at every meeting and submitted to the Board of Deacons every month.
The MAC, as a volunteer committee, makes great effort to maintain close communication with each of our sponsored missionaries and to partner with them to help tell their stories and provide consistent support while on the field. After an initial interview and discussion of missionaries and projects interested in support, the MAC presents recommendations for expenditure of funds to the Board of Deacons. Typically, the church makes monthly faith commitments for up to a 4-year period time (the timeframe an international missionary is on the field before returning to the USA). Once recommendations for faith commitments are approved or adjusted by the Church Board, the MAC informs the missionary or project leader of the church’s partnership, and they are added to our missionary roster.
Before supporting new initiatives, donations received through Kingdom Builders are prioritized to fulfill the church’s monthly faith commitments to our missionaries and projects. Donations designated to Kingdom Builders and designated to a specific missionary or project help the church to meet our monthly faith commitments and provide stability for the missionary while on the field. Gifts directed to a specific missionary that is more than the monthly commitment established by the church board are sent within the quarter unless there are extenuating circumstances or requests by the missionary or project. Donations made through Portland Christian Center are confidential unless the donor has asked for the missionary or project to be notified.
We invite you to stay up-to-date with our sponsored missionaries and projects through our mission’s portal at pcctoday.com/missions. All members of the congregation may submit recommendations for support for missionaries and projects to the Missions Advisory Committee (MAC) at any time by contacting the Missions Department at the church office or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.