In the late 1920’s, several families in the Killingsworth Garden area of Northeast Portland started a Sunday school in the auditorium of the old Whitaker School (at the corner of Northeast 42nd Avenue and Killingsworth Street). This led to the planting of a new church, which came to meet in a building along the 5700 block of Portland Highway.
As the church grew, more room was needed. In 1935, plans were drawn up and a new building was constructed at 5750 NE Portland Highway (across the street from where the congregation had been meeting). At that time, the church called itself Killingsworth Garden Presbyterian Community Church.
1n 1955, the church body voted to separate itself from the Presbyterians and become an independent church, called the Killingsworth Garden Community Church. The following year, through the help of Charles Loise (the pastor of North Baptist Church), the church joined itself with the Conservative Baptist Association. In 1958, Charles Green became the pastor of the church, which then designated itself Northeast Baptist Church. Pastor Green remained at the church until 1961.
In 1962, Robert Burnett was called as the new pastor, and the church began to grow. Requiring a larger facility, the church acquired a site along the 6700 block of NE Prescott Street, and construction of the current building was completed in 1969. During pastor Burnett’s tenure, the church’s membership increased significantly. In order to accommodate future growth, the church purchased three adjacent properties – two to the west of the church, and one on the corner of 68th and Prescott. In 1973, pastor Burnett resigned.
In 1974, Dr. George Till became the pastor. During this time, a mobile home was placed to the west of the existing church building for additional Sunday school meeting space, and new church constitution and bylaws were adopted. Pastor Till served until his resignation in 1977.
In 1978, Dr. Ernest Maylon was called as pastor. During this time, Pastor Maylon broadcast five-minute devotionals each day of the week on local radio station KPDQ. In 1981, Pastor Maylon retired. At that time Dick Leithner, who had previously served as an assistant pastor under Pastor Maylon, became the church’s new lead pastor.
Pastor Leithner served until 1985. During his tenure, the church worked to remove homes that were situated on the adjacent properties that had been purchased for future expansion. In addition, the church was able to satisfy its mortgage indebtedness, so that the church property was owned free and clear.
After Pastor Leithner’s resignation, John Lawrence, a professor at Multnomah University, came on as interim pastor for about one year. In 1986, Dennis Perkins was called as pastor, and he served until he resigned in 1996.
In 1995 Don Hanson was called as an associate pastor, and later became lead pastor. During Pastor Hanson’s time, the church rewrote its constitution, helped start a Hispanic church, participated in various outreach activities, and worked to impact Harvey Scott School.
Pastor Hanson retired in 2015. Dr. Tim Harmon was called July of that same year. Under Dr. Harmon’s leadership, the church underwent a season of revitalization, established the NEB Scholarship Fund, and developed a community garden. Dr. Harmon served as lead pastor through June 2019.
Pastor Nick Marks commenced his role as lead pastor in July 2019. Prior to being called as lead pastor, Pastor Marks served as an associate pastor of the church.