“West Hills Community Church is a place you can come to feel welcome among friends. A place to worship, learn, and be in the presence of God. A place to feel at home.” Since 1891, they have been reaching people for Christ in the surrounding suburb of Salem, OR.
The 125 year journey has not been without ups and downs. In 2001, West Hills Community Church approached the end of a difficult season of decline. The church had experienced challenges and had its faith tested. Their only choice was to completely surrender their hearts to God. The entire congregation united together in prayer, recommitted themselves to God, and one another, and moved forward. It was then they began to see God multiply His blessings. It brought a season of renewal and revival as God sent them back into the dark and weary places of their community.
As they continued to listen to God, they soon felt Him calling them to build a gymnasium for a sports evangelism outreach. They prayed for years, but it was only when they received a VISION to reach more families through sports evangelism that they finally OVERCAME their reluctance and fears to take the financial risk. It was time to put their FAITH and TRUST in God. When they launched a capital campaign for the new gymnasium, they were awestruck by the generosity of their people and their willingness to lean on the strength of God. Pastor Marcus Elmer describes it as, “truly an Acts 2 type of experience. People sold property, gave stocks, tithed on business income, etc. And ALL PEOPLE gave something.”
“In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.” – Ephesians 2:21
The only thing left was to obtain the remaining funds needed to build their vision. Pastor Marcus Elmer shared that, “CeIF understands the needs and pulse of churches. We felt very comfortable working with CeIF.”
In 2015, the vision God placed on their hearts became a reality, and they wasted no time putting their new gymnasium to use. They have already seen new families come to church because of their basketball outreach. The gym has allowed them to host numerous community and church events. Plus, their Christian school has been rejuvenated with the new gym space.
There has also been a wonderful spirit of outreach and “new beginnings” in the church and the community. Pastor Marcus shared how, “no longer do we need to leave our own communities and go to other countries to reach out to other cultures; God is bringing other cultures to us. There may be cultural differences, but foundationally we are the same. At our core we all need Jesus and to be forgiven for our sins. We need to ask ourselves, ‘who is our neighbor?,’ and we need to show true concern for the spiritual needs of our entire community. We need to allow God to humble our hearts so that we can see others as God sees them. We need to look beyond race, status, economic levels, and political affiliations to see others as God does. We need to develop a genuine love for our neighbors.”
Pastor Marcus expressed his appreciation to the investors at Church Investors Fund whose investments helped make this building project possible. “Your investment dollars have blessed our church! Thank you!”