Historic Photographs  


The roots of the church reach back to 1849 when a Mr. George Bethers, who lived on a Donation Land claim about one and one-half miles from the present city of Corvallis, wrote a letter to the official periodical of the United Brethren Church asking for a preacher for the Mary’s River settlement in Benton County.  

The years from 1859 to 1890 were boom years for the United Brethren Church in western Oregon. Unfortunately, there are few records of those early years, but it is clear that by 1865 the farmers and people of the rural villages of this region were predominantly United Brethren.  It was during this time that the church at Westwood was built by local farmers who did not have the time to make the trip into town, and longed to have their own place of worship.

  Philomath College closed its doors in 1929, this affected Westwood church because for the last couple of years of the college’s existence it was unable to provide a pastor for the church. Therefore, sometime in the mid-1920’s, regular services were suspended at Westwood, although a Sunday School program was still in place under the direction of Superintendent D. P. Trenholm.  

In 1927, tired of sectarian bickering, the congregation decided to separate from the United Brethren Church and joined with the Pleasant Valley congregation to form the Union Sunday School.  They met at the Pleasant Valley school house until the church building was purchased from the United Brethren in 1928.  

On Sunday, July 1, 1928, a special service was held to re-dedicate the building and themselves to the service to God. About seventy-five people were in attendance for the morning worship with Rev. J. R. Parker preaching.  Following the service, a dinner was held in Porter Grove, just across the creek.  And the afternoon “Reminiscent Service” once again packed the church.

During the 1940’s, because of needed extra room, two classrooms were added to the front of the church, and the kitchen was added to the back.  And through the years, there has been various improvements.  Electric lights replaced the Coleman lanterns that had to be “pumped-up” several times during the service.  The old double hung windows were replaced, and Ed Clapper painted them to give them the stained-glass look.  Ed, along with George Best and others, also refinished the pews and pulpit furniture. And in the 1970’s the trailer was added for a fellowship hall, Sunday School classes, and a rest room.  

  The building is the representation of generations of men and women whose love for God inspired them to build and maintain a place of worship for the community.  It is an ongoing work, being carried out today inspired by that same love.  


The windows were hand painted by Ed Clapper in 1988.  He re-painted them in 2004.  The piano manufactured in 1878.
(The original windows were donated to the Benton County Museum)

Information for this history is from:
Lest We Forget by Theodore R. Buzzard, 1988;
A History of the Oregon Conference of the United Brethren Church by Theron Maxson, 1940;
Local Church Records;
Commentary from George Best and Ed Clapper .

For Further Information Read:
If Walls Could Talk
A History of Westwood Community Church