our history

The Vision for the Parkland Community
 
In 1955, five families from Lincoln Park Christian Church in Tacoma decided Parkland needed its own church.  They began with a weekly Bible study, and in a few months, they rented a house for a meeting place. By the following summer, 40 neighborhood kids stuffed into the little house for Vacation Bible School, and Parkland Christian Church was formed.

In 1957, the church raised $5,000 and bought a lot at 138th and Yakima.  They moved into an old tire shop that required lots of cleaning and refurbishing.  With little resources and a lot of faith, the church members enlarged and remodeled the building.

In 1962, the church hired its first full-time minister and continued to grow.  It was soon evident that a larger building was needed.  The 75 members banded together and built a new sanctuary in 1969.  By 1975, church members bought an adjacent house and lot to accommodate the 200 weekly attenders. As more people came, the church expanded into three morning services and maximized all the space available at the 138th street location. 

In 1977, the congregation purchased 15 acres ideally located across from Washington High School on Spanaway Loop Road, just south of State Route 512 – our current Parkland campus. 

In 1987, with an average attendance of 426, the church sold the property on 138th and moved into Olson Auditorium at Pacific Lutheran University for Sunday morning services while the building on our Parkland Campus was under construction.

In August 1989, when the average attendance was 507, the church moved into the facility on Spanaway Loop – a strategic location near two major freeways and with close proximity to a university and two military bases. 

In 1998, after a decade at our Spanaway Loop location, plans were drawn to add more space to accommodate the growth.  And add we did! The most recent addition was completed in the summer of 2000 and more than doubled the size of our facilities so that we could continue reaching out to the people of Pierce County! God continues to give the increase as our heart for God continues to give us a heart for people who need Jesus. 

one church - two locations

Early in 2001 God began to stir our hearts to reach the unchurched people throughout Pierce County.  Our burden for lost people caused us to begin praying about the need for evangelism in the rapidly growing area of South Hill and Graham.  This led to conversations with the leadership of a small congregation known as Rainier View Christian Church meeting in the Graham Grange on Meridian and 224th.

The original congregation known as Rainier View Christian Church had been planted 13 years earlier by the Christian Evangelistic Association when the community was primarily rural.  However as that part of the county experienced a surge in population growth, everyone agreed that a more outreach-focused ministry was necessary to meet the growing need. The conversations and prayers among the leaderships of the two congregations eventually resulted in an agreement to partner together for the sake of being more effective at fulfilling the great commission. 

In August of 2001 Rainier View Christian Church closed its doors and merged with Parkland Christian Church.  The hope behind the partnership was that by working together we could re-launch a healthier, better-resourced and more effective ministry back into South Pierce County.  The marriage of the two congregations was a great honor to the cause of Christ, because from the very beginning there was a mutual love and acceptance of one another and a spirit of unity and cooperation.  The two churches became one unified team and one spiritual family.

One Church - Two Locations
 
In the process of planning the re-launch, there was a unanimous agreement among our leadership to begin the new ministry as a 2nd campus. Thus, a vision to become a multiple-site church was born. We would be one church meeting in multiple locations. 

In August of 2003, we realized that we needed a name that would appeal to multiple communities in our region, so prior to launching our 2nd campus, Parkland Christian Church changed its name to Rainier View Christian Church, a name with regional appeal and historical significance.  Considering our desire to reach out to our community, it seems especially noteworthy that the original Rainier View Christian Church got its name not from the view, but from their vision to stand atop the mountain and “view from Rainier” those to be won for Jesus.

On October 5, 2003, we launched our 2nd campus at Stahl Junior High School in South Hill.

In February 2006, our 2nd campus moved to North Star Elementary in Graham, directly across 224th Street from the property where we hope to build.

On January 25, 2009, we rejoiced as we broke ground and began construction of our permanent Graham campus.

On August 1, 2010, we moved into our new Graham Campus facility and had our first services in our new location.

At Rainier View Christian Church we have had the privilege of being part of this community of faith that has enjoyed God’s hand of blessing for more than 60 years.  We feel a great responsibility to not only continue to make this a fruitful and effective church for the sake of those who will come after us, but especially because we long to hear God’s “Well done!” when we stand before Him in eternity.  As long as we have breath we will offer to God our lives, our resources, and our influence and join Him in the greatest work this side of heaven - the building of a prevailing church!