South Beach Presbyterian Church is a coastal church in a rural set-ting. As a small church, we min-ister to a wide area. We seek to proclaim the Good News of God’s love as people who trust and obey Jesus Christ. Therefore, we aim to provide a place where we can all grow in knowledge, faith and love of Jesus Christ. We commit to being sensitive to the needs of those around us regardless of physical, mental or spiritual state. Our com- munity’s increasing ethnic diversity gives us opportunity to expand our mission outreach. With God’s help and grace, we are eager to meet any and all needs of our community as they may arise.
A Short History of SBPC
The South Beach Presbyterian Church in Westport, WA was officially founded in September 1968. Westport has long been a tourist town, and in the 1960‘s billed itself as “The Salmon Capital of the World.” This coastal town is still full of activity during the warmer summer months, where fishing for rock fish, ling cod, halibut, tuna and salmon, arts, crafts and music shows still draw thousands of tourists to the area.
Having said that, our Presbyterian presence on the central coast spans more than 100 years. SBPC is a church representing the merger of the Community Church of Westport (Presbyterian) which traces its beginnings to 1893 and the Grayland Presbyterian Church having been chartered in 1947.
SBPC first began meeting in the Episcopal Church in Westport as a suitable building between Grayland and Westport could not be found. However, in the early 1970’s, “The Dunes,” a favorite dance hall located on State Route 105 between Westport and Grayland was purchased by the South Beach Presbyterian Church and remodeled into our current home. The dance hall featured many Northwest bands such as the Wailers, Viceroys, Mer-rilee Rush & The Turnabouts, and the Sonics. National touring acts that also played “The Dunes” include The Guess Who, The Byrds, the Pleasure Seekers, and Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. The first Sunday that SBPC gathered in our present location was April 22, 1973.
Rev. Don Davis
Rev. William Ainley, September 25, 1977 – December 31, 1990
Rev. William Meyer, Interim, April 1, 1991 – Mary 31, 1992
Rev. John Akers, June 1, 1992 – September 1, 2000
Rev. David Strickland, Interim, February 4, 2001 – August 1, 2002
Rev. John Indermark, Stated Supply, April 2003 – June 30, 2003
Rev. Paul Kohler, Pastor, July 1, 2003 – December 31, 2009
Dr. Mark White, Temporary Supply, July 1, 2010 – November 30, 2011 Dr. Tammy Stampfli, Temporary Supply, September 2013 – November 30, 2014 Rev. Dan Wicktorek, Temporary Pastor, December 1, 2014 – Present
We are a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a member of the Pres-bytery of Olympia, which is composed of 52 churches in Southwestern Washington. We are also part of the Synod of Alaska-Northwest which includes the 7 Presbyteries of Alaska, Washington and the panhandle of Idaho.
The South Beach Presbyterian Church is part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Presby-terians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation that was rapidly growing in Switzerland. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, can be traced to the writings and teachings of the French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), who also served as the city manager of Geneva, Switzerland.
Soon, the Reformed movement spread from Switzerland to other parts of Europe and the British Isles, particularly, Scotland. The word “reformed” is said to have been coined by Queen Elizabeth of England. According to the Queen, John Knox and others who pro-claimed the teachings of Calvin from the Geneva school appeared to be “more reformed by the Word of God” than the reformers from other parts of western Europe. It was not one of the goals of the leaders of the Reformation to create a new church or denom-ination, but rather to “reform” the existing church by reclaiming their biblical and historical heritage.
Accordingly, the “watchwords” of the Protestant Reformation were:
- sola scriptura (scripture alone) — the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments “are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life” (2 Timothy 3:16,17, Westminster Confession of Faith, 6.002).
- sola gratia (grace alone) — salvation is the free gift of God, by his mercy and love (Ephesians 2:1-10, especially v. 5, 8-9), and;
- sola fide (faith alone) — salvation is by faith in what God has done for us through Jesus Christ, and not a result of what we do for God (cf., Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11).
If these are the “watchwords” of the Reformation, it may be that the “motto” of the Reformation could be “the church reformed and always being reformed by the Word of God and the call of the Spirit.”
Many of the early Presbyterians in America immigrated from England, Scotland and Ire-land. The first Presbytery in the United States was organized at Philadelphia in 1706.
What is distinctive about the Presbyterian Church?
There are, perhaps, two major ways in which Presbyterians are distinctive in their approach to ministry and theology. The first distinctive, as was mentioned earlier, is that Presbyterians hold to a pattern of religious thought known as Reformed theology. A second distinctive is that Presbyterians have a form of government that stresses the active, representational leadership of its officers — ministers of the Word and Sacrament, elders and deacons. These officers, men and women alike, work together with the members and friends of the church, side my side, rather than through an hierarchical structure. Put another way, it is the responsibility of ministers and lay people alike, to share the Good News of God’s love and presence, ministry and mission, with the whole world.