our story - it’s an old one
The First Presbyterian Church of Laidlaw, Presbytery of Pendleton, Synod of Oregon, was incorporated on December 21, 1905 with the following elected trustees names in the corporation papers: E.B. James, J.C. Tullar, and J.W. Brown This gave the group the authority to acquire, hold and dispose of church property for the benefit of religion, for works of charity and for public worship. Each member of the church and renter of a pew being entitled to vote.
According to Crook County records, the Laidlaw Townsite Company on June 5, 1906, deeded to the Presbyterians, land for their church. It was in two deeds and $1 was paid for each piece of land.
W.H. Hall was in charge of construction of the building and the lumber came from the Hightower & Smith Mill located about 7 miles west of town on the Bull Creek Ditch. Much labor was donated for the building. The church was dedicated early May, 1907. The Rev. Jesse C. George was the first minister.
The Presbyterians and Methodists alternated having evening services and they apparently cooperated with Sunday school. The church changed its name to the First Presbyterian Church of Tumalo in the 1920s. On May 5, 1976, the Presbytery of the Cascades deeded the building and land to the Tumalo Community Church. This was again in two deeds for $1 each, but the second deed stipulated that In the event the above property is no longer used as a church, then Grantee’s interest shall revert to the Grantor.
This church has been used continuously since it was built and is the oldest such building in Deschutes County. On September 13, 1981, the Deschutes County Historical Society placed a marker at the church, designating it as a historic site.
In March of 1992 the Tumalo Community Church entered into an agreement with Village Missions to provide pastoral leadership. In April of 1992 a letter came from Village Missions assigning Francis & Rosemary Klontz to Pastoral leadership. Their first Sunday was May 3, 1992. There have been three other Village Missionary families serving at TCC. Tim & Barb Douglass, Ken & Pat Wutzke, and Robert & Susan Bohlken. When the Bohlkens left in early 2015, the search began for another V.M. pastor. TCC was without a pastor most of that year with various fill-in pastors provided by C. O. Police Chaplaincy, one of whom knew of a pastor living in Sisters - Stan Peterson and his wife Cheryl - and after interviewing a few other pastors as well, The Elders hired the Peterson’s to lead us.