History of the Northwest Church of Christ

The body of believers known as the Northwest Church of Christ first met together in 1902. Eight adults formed the nucleus of the church that met in a rented storeroom on 4th Avenue NE and NE 42nd Street near the north end of Lake Union.

These early pioneers of the church were primarily Canadians who immigrated first to the San Juan Islands and then to Seattle. The fledging church erected its first building in 1904 on NE 42nd Street, between Eastern Avenue and First Avenue NE.

George Pepperdine, the founder of both Western Auto and Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, played a significant role in the growth of the congregation.

When Pepperdine opened a Western Auto store in Seattle in 1923, he recruited families from Churches of Christ to move to the city to work in his business. Most of these families came from Vancouver, British Columbia and they served as the backbone of the church. Thus the Canadian influence continued.

1927 was a watershed year for the congregation. The church moved again – this time to the corner of NW 62nd Street and 5th Avenue NW in Ballard. It was at this location that the congregation would hire its first full-time minister, appoint elders, and begin supporting its first missionaries. It was also at the Ballard location that the church would adopt the name ‘Northwest Church of Christ’.

The church experienced a boom in growth during World War II. As a result of this growth, the congregation moved again – this time to N 81st Street near Green Lake. The minister during much of this period was J. C. Bunn. Bunn stands as a giant in the churches of Christ in Washington for his work in planting churches and for his evangelism.
In 1978, the Northwest Church of Christ established a campus ministry at the University of Washington. This ministry was led by Milton Jones and William Lawrence. They, along with 16 others, moved to Seattle from Lubbock, Texas. Hundreds of students were converted through the campus ministry. The boom in growth caused another move to be made by the congregation – this time to its present location on 15th Avenue NE in the city of Shoreline.

During the 1980’s and 1990’s the Northwest Church of Christ became one of the ‘cutting edge’ congregations nationally in the Churches of Christ because of their innovative use of such things as Life Groups and worship teams.

In the 1990’s the Northwest Church of Christ continued to grow. The facilities on 15th Avenue NE was filled close to capacity and parking was becoming a problem. The church began buying houses around the current facilities and a new parking lot was completed in the year 2000. Also in the spring of 2000, an instrumental service was added. Worship was led by a contemporary worship band, Praise by Northwest (PBN).

In 2002 Northwest celebrated her 100th year of serving the greater Seattle area. She stands in a unique position to continue the growth and outreach for which the church has been known for almost a century. The church remains dedicated to future growth as we encourage one another to put in a good word for Jesus in Seattle and around the world.