Bonanza Adventist Church members are still celebrating how God has blessed them since the completion of their new building and the burning of their church mortgage along with the re-dedication of their church, which took place in February.
Festivities began that winter Sabbath morning with historic photos shown by Sid Dyer and Ike Carson. Dyer and Jim Osborne interviewed charter members Jim Yoder, Nancy Yoder, Art Fry and Jeanette Fry. These pioneers, along with Ray Erwin, pastor, and his wife, Dorothy, were instrumental in working with the community to plan a branch Sabbath School in fall 1979.
On Jan. 5, 1980, a large group met in the Bonanza Library for the first time and on April 12, 1980, they were assigned the title of “company.” The newly formed company provided for the needs of the Bonanza community through Pathfinders, Vacation Bible School, youth activities, women’s ministries and much more.
The company purchased and remodeled a small house into a church, and on Thanksgiving weekend 1982 the members entered their little church for the first time. Bonanza Company became a church five months later on April 23, 1983.
As the years progressed, the little house no longer provided adequate space for the growing congregation and plans were made for a new facility. After helping to construct a large fellowship hall, kitchen and classrooms in June 2013, Maranatha returned in August 2013 to help build a sanctuary. Meeting in the sanctuary for the first time on April 1, 2017, the members praised God for His answer to prayer.
Following the interview, Sarel Smit, pastor, offered a prayer of rededication and thankfulness. Then the congregation watched with joy as Brent Plubell, then serving as Oregon Conference vice president for finance, burned the mortgage statement, paid in full in August 2020.
You could hear the voices of devoted members and friends of the community as they stood in unity, raising their voices to God, singing the words by E.A. Hoffman, “What a fellowship, What a joy divine, Leaning on the everlasting Arms.” Bonanza Church was truly built on a firm foundation and has been very blessed.