Sherwood Community Friends Church has been a part of the community for more than 125 years. We’re in our third building and have seen Sherwood transform from a little country hamlet with a population of just a few hundred to the highly sought-after bustling community of more than 18,000 people. It is a wonderful place to live, and we so enjoy being a part of this growing and dynamic community.
Newberg Friends Church opened June 1, 1878. Another meeting (i.e., congregation) was established in Middleton, an area beyond Rex Hill and before the present city of Sherwood, where there was a school and a grange hall. A Friends meeting was also opened in Rex (at the top of Rex Hill as one follows 99W out of present day Newberg). There is no record of when the first meetings were held in Sherwood, but all the historical sketches say “in the late 1880s.” Part of the time Sherwood and Middleton shared pastors. Then, around 1892, a meeting house was built on Washington Street near the corner of 2nd Street.
The original Friends meeting house in Sherwood burned down around 1903. The congregation met for a while in the building then known as the Janeway building at 155 Main Street. Later, services were held in the Congregational Church on Sunday afternoons. In 1912, a new Friends Church was built at 2nd and Pine Street.
The Sherwood and Middleton meetings united as Sherwood Friends Church in 1914. In 1920 the two meeting separated; however, no reason for the separation is given in the records that exist. In 1946, they united again. In 1952, it was decided to build an addition to the church, which was completed and dedicated March 11, 1956. These were growing years for Sherwood Friends Church. When Gordon St. George came as pastor in 1954, attendance averaged 75; it increased to 174 before he left.
In 1964, the church purchased 4.5 acres on South Sherwood Boulevard (now Main Street). Architect Don Lindgren drew a plan, and construction began in April. Seven months later the first services were held in the new (present) church building. It was dedicated in March 1972. The present parsonage was built in 1972. The former church properties were sold.
As the years have gone by, the church ministries have changed but its purpose has remained the same. Revival meetings gave way to seminars and all-church retreats. Vacation Bible School, at one time a summer staple, gave way to Day Camp at Camp Tilikum (in Newberg, Oregon) and resident camping at Twin Rocks Friends Camp & Conference Center (in Rockaway, Oregon).
The church bell, which traveled from Rex to Middleton to Sherwood, was moved to the new church location in 1971, where it occupies the tower designed for it by Terry Baron. The clock, which went from Middleton to Sherwood, now rests on the wall of the present fellowship hall. These two symbols remind us of three past congregations that eventually merged to form our present.