About Us


Our church started out in 1960 as a branch Sunday School of the First United Pentecostal church on NE Killingsworth, pastored by Rev. and Mrs.Klemin. This work was started because there were many of the families who lived on the east side of town. As a Sunday School branch, the families met just on Sunday mornings in an old farmer’s grange hall on 102nd and SE Stark. Later on, a mid-week service was added but on Sunday evenings, everyone went to the First United Pentecostal Church on Killingsworth.

In the beginning, there were three families that assisted  Bro. and Sis. Klemin with the services.  Bro. and Sis. Art Hill (Sis. Renee Higgin’s father), Bro. and Sis. Reynolds, and Bro. and Sis. George Sponsler. 

The Sponslers moved to Visalia, California (his home town) where he accepted a teaching position with the Visalia school system.  After a year, the Sunday School branch was ready to become an autonomous church.  Bro. Sponsler received a call from Bro. Klemin asking him to come back to pastor the church.  He accepted the invitation and the family moved back to Portland in the summer of 1965.  Upon Bro. Sponsler’s installation, he decided to name the church the Neighborhood United Pentecostal Church.  Bro. Klemin would come to preach on Wednesday nights and Sis. Klemin would teach or preach on Sunday mornings.

Eventually, the grange hall was sold and the church had to move.  The new location was near 80th and SE Stark.  It stayed there a few years until the present day property was purchased and a building was started. 

The foundation of the first part of our church was poured on a very cold Labor Day in 1967.  God graciously blessed with one miracle after another until the building was completed.  The congregation was very small and poor.  There were some who were discouraged and left saying there would never be a church built on this property.  They failed to recognize this was God’s desire and not just man’s will.  The first part of our present day church was finished in 1967.

The Lord continued blessing the congregation and they were increasing in numbers. 

In 1994, Bro. George Sponsler needed help to meet all the demands of a growing congregation.  After praying about it, his son, Rev. Michael Sponsler was contacted.  The decision was made and Rev. Michael Sponsler would become the new pastor of the Neighborhood United Pentecostal church.   Bro. George Sponsler would be the pastor emeritus. 

Pastor Mike Sponsler assumed his new position in February of 1995.

In the summer of 1995, Pastor Mike Sponsler and his wife Miriam opened a Christian school at the church.  It was called the Neighborhood Christian Academy. 

About 1998, Pastor Sponsler felt led to change the church’s name to the Apostolic Worship Center.  The school’s name changed to the Apostolic Christian Academy.

At some time in late winter or early spring of 2005, God began to deal with Bro. & Sis. Mike Sponsler about returning to the foreign mission field.  It was during the school’s Student Convention in May that the Lord told Bro. Mike that our guest speaker that year was to be our new pastor.  His name was Ted Graves. 

The Lord began working out all of the details that summer.

Bro. and Sis. George Sponsler moved to Kansas City, MO to be closer to her family.

Rev. Ted Graves was voted in  100% by church members.  Bro. and Sis. Mike Sponsler’s last service was December 5, 2005.

This history was compiled by Sherry Felts.