The Center of Exodus
by Dan Werthman
A Brief History of Eastside
In the early months of 1997, a handful of families began meeting and praying for the purpose of starting a church marked by clear and substantive teaching of God’s Word.
The group formed a relationship with the Southeastern District Superintendent of the Evangelical Free Church, Walter Eriksen. In October of 1998, through Walter, the core group called Rick Bourque, then pastoring a church in Portland, Oregon, to be our first pastor.
The church adopted the name, Eastside Community Church, and held its first Sunday morning service on October 11, 1998, with five families present. In 2000, we began the process of acquiring property for a future facility, and our current property on Beach Boulevard was dedicated on April 22, 2001. By God’s grace, over 100 families were regularly attending by April of 2004 when Eastside moved into its current building.
In time, Eastside established a team of elders and deacons, staff expanded, and various ministries developed. We praise God for His abundant graciousness, as Eastside has been blessed with generous people, and we enjoy the blessings of serving and ministering to people worldwide while having our property and facilities debt-free today.
In August of 2010, founding pastor Rick Bourque moved to another pastoral position out-of-state. A few months later, Tim Lusk came to serve ECC as Interim Pastor until October of 2011, when Pastor Dan Werthman joined our team of elders.
Over the years, the church has continued to be marked by sound teaching, devotion to Christ as the Head of the Church, influencing our culture for Christ, a love for the Church, intercessory prayer, and multiplication of shepherds and churches. All of this is the result of the Lord’s grace and faithfulness, for His glory and the advancement of His Kingdom.