Early in 1979, Pastor Greg Kaminski and his wife, Janie, came to Eugene from Greenville, South Carolina, with a desire to start an Independent, Fundamental, Baptist church for the Lord. The first service was held on April 29, 1979, in a classroom at Willamette High School with 22 people present. In September of 1979, Westside Baptist Church was organized with 28 charter members. The original signed charter document is located on the wall in the conference room.
During the next two years, the church continued to meet at Willamette High School on Sundays and in the garage at the Kaminski home on Wednesday evenings. In April of 1981, the Lord graciously provided a piece of property with an old farmhouse at 1310 Echo Hollow Road. In April of 1990, ten years ahead of schedule, the original mortgage for the property was paid off. This left the church completely debt free. Through those early years the Lord provided a new auditorium in 1983 and a 4000 square foot two-story addition in 1997 with the help of a construction mission team from Faith Baptist Church in Taylors, SC.
In the fall of 2004, the church began two morning services with eventually three Bible class hours. This schedule helped to maximize the building and parking spaces as the church grew. In 2008 the Lord provided the finances to purchase 1360 Echo Hollow Road with the help of a generous gift from Stephen and Joyce Walkinshaw. Even with the extra property, the church felt like a plant that was root bound and needed to be repotted.
In 2012 after giving up on looking for property to build, one of our members, Dale Miller approached the church leadership about purchasing the 17-acre Eagles Club with a golf course at 1375 Irving Road. After much prayer, due diligence, sacrificial giving, and a 95% approval church vote, the church purchased this property on May 6, 2013. Through the 4-year building project that followed, God did many miracles concerning finances, city permitting/zoning, the John C. Lasko Foundation Grant, several volunteer groups, the sale of the Echo Hollow property, and the sale of around 9 acres to a developer. You can watch the “His Story” video on our website to hear more of all the Lord has done! During that time, the church was also able to take on 15 new missionaries! The first service at our new location was on November 20, 2016, right before Thanksgiving. We sure had a lot to be thankful for! Our Grand Opening was held on December 4 of that year with over 250 people in attendance. Many of the volunteers, construction workers, and city leaders were in attendance.
Over the years, God has provided many faithful families who have been a part of our church. As the church grew, additional staff were added. Pastor Chris Edwards moved from Virginia in February of 1994. Pastor Nathan and his wife, Kelly moved from Taylors, South Carolina in June of 2004. Other staff members have also ministered at our church through the years: Pastor Daniel Kaminski (2010 – 2016), Drew Bailey (2015 – 2019), Zach Eshleman (2016 – 2020), Moriah Merrill (started in 2020), and most recently Pastor Josiah Sansone (started in 2021). The church has also had many summer interns who have now gone into full time ministry. Many have also served as lay leaders through the years in the areas of finances, cleaning, hospitality, technology, facility, care, services/music, and adult and children’s ministries.
The church voted to make Pastor Nathan Damm co-pastor with Pastor Greg Kaminski on January 22, 2020. They have shared the pulpit and leadership responsibilities since that time.
Over the years the Lord has allowed several ministries to be started. Camp Northwest, a two-week summer Bible camp to the youth in the Northwest began by Pastor Kaminski in 1979. Other ministries include foreign missions, guest apartment, shuttle bus, Vacation Bible School, Kids4Truth, youth group, adult Bible classes, Faith Bible Institute, small group Bible studies and fellowships, prayer quilts, door-to-door evangelism, and an active music ministry with adult and children’s choirs, specials, and orchestra.