Saturday afternoon, Aug. 6, 2022, the North Pacific Union hosted a dedication service for the NPUC building. The mortgage on the building was officially paid off in March 2019, and the NPUC and North American Division officers ceremoniously burned the original mortgage document during the service.
The ceremony was attended by approximately 220 constituents and members of the community, including Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue and Jennifer Lindsay, mayor from the City of Ridgefield, Washington.
“Nearly $20,000 a month is a lot of weight to carry [for a mortgage payment], and now that goes out to our conferences to expand the ministry of the North Pacific Union,” shared John Freedman, NPUC president. “It’s the house that God built, and it’s also the house that God paid off.”
Mark Remboldt, NPUC chief financial officer, shared a bit about the building's history. Previously, the NPUC headquarters were located in downtown Portland, Oregon. In the 1990s, the area began to change. Garbage and drug paraphernalia were often found in the bushes on the property, and employees' cars were frequently broken into, even during office hours.
Due to this, the NPUC administration began to consider moving the headquarters to a new and safer area. In 1998, they decided to put the Portland building up for sale and begin looking for a new place to call home.
The office was sold fairly fast, and the new owners allowed NPUC to continue to occupy the building until they moved into their temporary office in the Columbia Tech Center in Vancouver, Washington.
"Eventually, the property search focused on the I-5 corridor," shared Remboldt. "Initially, a 12-acre parcel along I-5 north of Vancouver, on Delfel Road near the Clark County Fairgrounds, was purchased for $718,000."
Once it was purchased, they discovered that part of the property was wetlands and therefore not buildable. In addition to that, trees that blocked visibility from the freeway could not legally be cut down.
This was a very disappointing discovery and caused another delay in their moving process. The Delfel road property was eventually sold for a nearly $200,000 profit, and the search continued for a property more suitable for the needs of the NPUC.
Soon after, Sue Patzer saw a large for sale sign while driving farther north on I-5, near the Ridgefield exit, adjacent to Tri-Mountain Golf Course. She told her husband Jere, then NPUC president, about the 30-acre property, and after much prayer and more research, the search team had the foresight to purchase that beautiful acreage.
On Jan. 24, 2005, the property annexation was completed. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new NPUC office building was held on May 4, 2005, and construction began soon after. By Aug. 30, 2006, 90% of construction was completed and on target with the budget. On Jan. 10, 2007, the occupancy permit was signed, and the staff began the process of moving into the new building.
"The many earnest prayers for this building project were answered with the purchase of this beautiful property, and with this edifice that was designed for God’s glory," shared Remboldt. "Not only has it been a blessing to the members of the NPUC, but community relationships and friendships were established early on, and continue to grow. The full impact of those relationships won’t be known until eternity."