Our History, Over a Century of Ministry
We celebrated 100 years as a church on the weekend of October 13-15, 2006.
Part of knowing where we are going depends on knowing where we have been. Our church was born out of the fires of the Pentecostal revival of the early 1900’s. House meetings began in 1906 and, in the summer of 1907, tent meetings were held at 11th and Cushman in Tacoma. The meetings then continued next door at the Free Mission Hall. The congregation of this early church was comprised mainly of Norwegian immigrants.
In 1926 this group of believers called a meeting to consider formal church membership. Anton Nilsen, the father of Frances Zetterberg, the wife of one of our current elders, was chairman of that meeting. The group took the name The Scandinavian Mission, called their first pastor, Reverend Stolson, and named their first three deacons: John Kvamme, Ole Snartemo and K.J. Konsmo. Two of these families are still represented in our church body today.
During the next three years The Scandinavian Mission continued to flourish, ministering to the community in their native Norwegian language. Following Reverend Stolson’s departure, Reverend Lundquist was called to serve. In March 1929, the congregation moved to a church building at the corner of 11th and I where they remained until 1973. Reverend Lundquist (1927-1929) and Reverend Jens Gustavsen (1929-1932) led The Scandinavian Mission until the arrival of Reverend A.W. Rasmussen in 1933. During Pastor Rasmussen’s ministry the church changed its name from The Scandinavian Mission to Bethel Pentecostal Assembly and expanded their ministry to include the English-speaking people of Tacoma. The church enjoyed steady growth during this period of time.
Pastor Rasmussen resigned in 1936 and was succeeded by Reverend Carl Hedeen (1936-1940) and then Reverend John Mosied. During Pastor Mosied’s eight year ministry, there was a special move of the Holy Spirit, particularly among the young people. Reverend Mosied suffered a stroke in 1948, after which the church was led by a number of interim pastors including Reverend Winston Nunes, until 1953 when Pastor Rasmussen was called back to serve. In 1962 an associate, G.H. Nunn, was called to assist with pastoral responsibilities. Pastor Nunn assumed full pastoral duties in 1963 upon the resignation of Reverend Rasmussen.
Meanwhile, in 1953 Tacoma Gospel Assembly was organized under the leadership of Clifford Johnson. Following Reverend Johnson’s departure, Reverend Ernest Maisch (1955-1967) served and was succeeded in 1967 by Reverend Wesley Braaten. (Reverend Braaten is the father of Jane Zetterberg, the wife of one of our current elders.) Pastor Braaten and Pastor Nunn thought it would be good for the two churches to join as one fellowship, and each approached his board and congregation. In 1968 the two congregations joined together and resolved to erect a new building.
The church congregation spent three years constructing the building themselves, acquiring very little debt. Construction was completed in April 1973, and the congregation moved in immediately. Dedication of the building took place in September 1973 with praise and thanksgiving to God for what He had done! The new building was erected on the site of the old Tacoma Gospel Assembly, and the old Bethel church was sold to another Pentecostal congregation. The church adopted a new name, Bethel Christian Assembly, and began its new ministry.
Known as the “Christ Is The Answer” church, Bethel flourished under the following leadership: Pastors Wesley Braaten (1967-1974), Del Jester (1975-1981) and Nils Leksen (1981-1988). Our current pastor, Reverend William Wolfson, became the Senior Pastor in March 1989. Since Pastor Wolfson’s arrival, the Lord had blessed this church with tremendous growth both physically and spiritually. We have seen God answer the prayers and honor the faithfulness of those who have gone before us to lay the foundation for where God is leading us in the next century.
In November of 1999, Bethel moved into a beautiful 80,000 sq. ft new facility on 112th St. E in Parkland. Along with gaining a new home, the church took on a new name, Church For All Nations. The changing face of the church, marked by two years of historic revival, led to the most recent name change. “Church For All Nations really represents what we have become,” Pastor Wolfson says. “Our church is not just white and middle class. We have people of many cultures and every social background. It doesn’t matter if you are a millionaire or you come in off the streets.” CFAN’s congregation reflects the multicultural diversity of the Pacific Northwest – from African-American to Asian, Hispanic to Native American, Scandinavian to Samoan. We truly want to be a church of all nations!
Lakeridge Christian Center, in Bonney Lake, was established on Labor Day, 1986 by Pastor Bob and Miki Eastwood. In February of 2007, Church For All Nations marked another milestone in our growth when we joined forces with Lakeridge. The marriage of these two churches resulted in one church, with two campuses: Central Campus in Parkland, and East Campus in Bonney Lake. It all began when Lakeridge Pastor Nils Leksen, (who was our pastor from 1981 – 1988), felt led by the Holy Spirit to bring Pastor Wolfson’s energy, spiritual direction and depth to Bonney Lake.
CFAN is a church that was born out of the fires of revival. The rich spiritual heritage of our body is one of faith which works by love. It was the expressed desire of our forefathers that we would take the gospel beyond these four walls. For several generations, prayers have gone up before the Lord asking that we might take this region for Him. Today, the people of CFAN have picked up the mantle. We are taking the gospel to the Pacific Northwest and to all the world. The Lord has done and is doing wonderful things at CFAN and, just think, He’s not finished yet!