A Brief History of the Northwest Church

The Northwest Church began in the first great expansion of Seattle during the days of the Klondike Gold Rush when the city was growing and new neighborhoods were springing up overnight. New immigrants were feverishly pouring into the city. It was one such group of immigrants, a hearty band of Brits possessed of a fierce loyalty to each other and restoring New Testament Christianity, who found their way to the shores of Lake Union in 1902. These citizens of the United Kingdom were descendants of a group of church leaders who followed the teachings of Thomas and Alexander Campbell and ideals of the Restoration Movement.


Northwest Church of Christ

Shoreline Christian Church

The Merger Story

Founded 49 years after the first settlers came to Seattle, and just 18 years after the arrival of the railroad, the Northwest Church and city grew through the gold rush and two world wars. Dominant forces of the region’s economy emerged: airplane manufacturing, computer technology, and the “coffee culture,” represented chiefly by Boeing, Microsoft, and Starbucks. The church has seen tremendous change in our society over the last 110 years of continuous service to this dynamic city.

Throughout these years the Northwest Church has been influenced and fed by some of the giants of the Restoration Movement including George Pepperdine; pioneer church planter J.C. Bunn; and Christian Church leaders, Dr. C. H. Phillips and James Earl Ladd II. Over the years we have been involved in church plantings, city wide evangelistic campaigns, and a cutting-edge small group ministry. In 1978 the Northwest Church, together with 16 students from Texas Tech University, started a campus ministry at the University of Washington. Over 500 students were brought to the Lord during the early years of this ministry.

Believing that God was moving in a special way, the Northwest Church listened. In 2004, responding to a renewed call for unity in our historic Restoration Movement, the Northwest Church of Christ and the Shoreline Christian Church merged into one body. Shoreline Christian Church already had its own path of distinguished service to the Seattle area for over 40 years, with a special emphasis on producing preachers, missionaries, promoting Christian education and church camp ministry.

The merger of the two churches has brought fresh energy and a combined leadership. We seek to transform our community through the Spirit working among us. The church is investing in serving Christ locally, regionally and globally. Locally, we have renewed our efforts to reach our local community. Regionally, we have partnered with Kairos ministries to plant the Renovo Church in Puyallup, a suburb of Tacoma. Globally, we continue to grow in our international mission work with a special emphasis on reaching and caring for the lost in sub-Saharan Africa.

God has placed a unique church in a unique city. The Northwest Church is proud of its heritage, yet we are flexible enough to move ahead. We have deep roots in the past, but we are poised to look to the future. Today we are a diverse but united body of believers. We come from all walks of life and backgrounds with one united purpose, to follow the example of Jesus Christ, seeking to spread His kingdom throughout Seattle and around the world.