Unity of Beaverton History

The merge of two spiritual communities...

West Side Unity

  • 1976: West Side Unity initially run by Rev. Larry Miller in Portland fed about 25 people.
     
  • 1978: Westside Unity moved into an office building in Sylvan area and grew rapidly so service was moved into a theater in Washington Square. Yet still not enough room and moved to Ace of Clubs Bridge Center on Beaverton­ Hillsdale Hwy. After Larry and minister wife; Vicki Brown moved to Washington state. Vicki Miller's husband passed away and remarried. Became Victoria Etchemendy, present minister at Lake Oswego Unity. 
  • 1984: Rev. Barry Knowles became West Side Unity's pastor in 1984.
     

Church of the Truth

Unity Church of Beaverton originally was Church of The Truth, an independent New Thought group with no connections to a larger denomination. Church building has undergone very little change--in fact, baptistery remains to this day-now covered.

  • Early 1950's: Sanctuary was built and originally a Seventh-Day Adventist church. (.46 acre/ 4,546 sq. ft.)

  • 1950: group met at Masonic Temple in downtown Portland.

  • 1960: Acquired current building and congregants loaned the church monies to purchase without interest for 25-year mortgage;  paid for in 3 years

  • The active name on sign in front of building was "Church of Truth and Metaphysical Library"

  • Original light fixtures throughout the building were hand-carved.

  • 1960: February 14 - Building was deeded to and occupied the first New Thought Church in Beaverton, OR.

  • 1962: Al Lee joined Unity of Beaverton and quickly got involved---still here today.

  • 2006: Building was appraised for $385,00.

The Merge

  • 1985:  Church of The Truth merged with West Side Unity, also New Thought group affiliated with Unity School of Christianity in Missouri (a group that had been meeting in rented spaces in SW Portland). The new congregation adopted name: Unity Church of Truth, while Barry remained the pastor until 1993. During this time, parking lot was paved and Youth Education building was purchased. 75-150 people attended church.

  • 1991 - 1993: Challenges grew and the result was that the membership dwindled down to 50 with Sundays being even less. When Minister Barry Knowles retired in 1993, serious discussion was given to ending the community. They decided to stay together and Rev. Ed Townley was hired--he'd been working in Portland with a non-traditional Unity ministry (Spirit Expressing). They merged and called themselves Unity Church of Beaverton. The hope and intent was to allow Unity Church of Beaverton to establish a new identity while honoring principles of New Thought.  Membership jumped from 30 people to 160-180.
     
  • 1994 - 1995: Church growth at 200 per week; lots of fundraisers, reduced debt; good energy. Y.O.U. (Youth of Unity) grew stronger; music ministry improved - Rev. Ed Townley --charismatic/motivational speaker; yet very private person/non-pastoral
     
  • 1995 - 1997: Challenges within ministry began to develop (struggles with staff, music team, and not enough pastoral identity for people to lean on Ed); numbers began to dip; Ed left. His assistant Suzan Hill and others tried to help carry the ministry and became burned out--too many  expectations.
     
  • 1999 - 2001: Rev. John Wingfield came '99-'01--fondly remembered for.loving his red shoes; nice person; good pastoral identity and prayer consciousness; Myrtle House was purchased  in this time frame. Congregation went from 100-150 to 40-80; John W.resigned due to personal/marital  problems·(in Berkshire England today)
     
  • 2000-2001: Interim minister
     
  • 2001: Then, John Lloyd arrived  'O1-'04--he improved  the physical beauty of the church, paint/flowers/etc. -- congregation was ready for change; did a Gandhi series, Grand piano was purchased; authentic presence on platform; not strong administrator/pastoral  presence for people. Congregation stayed around 90-150 people; refinanced property; strongly supported YOU; real estate was consolidated; personal problems caused John to be released. Numerous  Guest Speakers, Board of Trustees  forced to run church
     
  • 2005: Rev. Marylou Palmer--1/05--Transitional Minister--Specialist in getting congregation to make peace with their past; let some/encouraged others people go; faced pains and anger of past betrayals; initiated new team concepts; introduced NVC, ADDs, collaborative approaches to ministry, Town halls, consensus, etc.; great healings occurred; Unity decided to remain a Unity church.
     

Past Ministers

  • Dr. William Graham (Church of Truth)

  • Charles McCutcheon (Church of The Truth)

  • William Ash Baugh (Church of The Truth)

  • Robert Ruder (Creator responsible for Lotus stained window in 1960)

  • Larry Miller (Senior Minister 1979-1982)

  • Vicki (Brown) Miller (Co-Minister 1982-1983)

  • Barry Knowles (1984-1992)

  • Ed Townley (1992-1997)

  • John Wingfield (1998-2000)

  • Bob Wasner (2000-2001)  

  • John Lloyd (2001-2004)

  • Marylou Palmer (2004 - 2006

  • Debbie Taylor (2007 - 2012)

  • Guy Lynch (2012 - 2015)

  • Catherine (Cathi) Condon (Present)