The roots of ministry that eventually became Charter Oak Community Church began in the early 1900’s with the Charter Oak Schoolhouse being used as a Sunday School for children. Church services were held there when a preacher was in the area and available. In the 1920’s an American Sunday School Union missionary organized Bible training and educational opportunities for children. As people got involved with this ministry, relationships grew, children and adults were trusting in Jesus and desiring to grow spiritually. By the mid-1930’s a youth program had been added with groups now meeting in the Charter Oak Grange Hall. An adult Bible study group was formed in 1937 and was encouraged by Rev. A. Lindvig, who pastored in nearby La Center, WA, encouraged the group to affiliate with the Evangelical Free Church of America as a new church. Gerhard Person donated an acre of his farm and construction began in 1939. Ninety-eight people attended the dedication of the building in 1940 marking the formation of Charter Oak Community Church. The church was officially welcomed into the Evangelical Free Church of America in October 1941.
The church continued to be actively involved in the community, providing ministries for children, youth and adults through the 1940’s, 1950’s and into the mid-1960’s being lead by a number of Bible teaching pastors. In 1965, Pastor James Barton began his ministry at Charter Oak. Construction on the current worship center began in 1970 as the church was growing and more space was needed. It was dedicated in 1973. The church grew to over 300 people with many new believers, an expanded missions program and a significant impact in the community. Pastor Barton resigned in 1978.
The ministry continued through the 1980’s and 1990’s with an active missions program, home Bible study groups, Awana for the children and a remodel of the education wing in 1990. Through those years a number of solid Bible teaching pastors served Charter Oak Church.
Following a period of transition in the late 1990’s, Pastor Danny Tedder was hired as the new Lead Pastor. He helped lead the church through some reorganization and continued the history of solid Bible teaching. In the years around 2010 the church experienced another jump in active attendance and growth with a youth group seeing 100 attending a Tuesday evening program, and Sunday morning expanding to two services. With the departure of the two young men who led the youth group to pursue pastoring their own churches, along with some other staff transitions and changes, the ministry returned to it’s pre-growth levels. Pastor Tedder continued his ministry into the time of Covid, helping guide the church through the Covid stage until his retirement in December 2021.
Since his retirement the church has been working through a time of transition under the guidance of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM) as they refocus and prepare for a new pastor to lead the church into the next chapter of its God-honoring history.
Charter Oak Community Church is affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of America and the Northwest District of EFCA.
Pastoral and Support Staff
Presently Charter Oak Church is being led by Interim Pastor Glenn Hoerr. He has been serving the church since May 2022 guiding the church through an intentional transition process through Interim Pastoral Ministries. Laurie Howard serves as the Office Manager, Adrienne Morris is the Children’s Ministry Director and Preschool Director, Kara West is the bookkeeper and Kylene Costich is the custodian. Rachel Deschand leads and coordinates Sunday worship.
Leadership Structure and Philosophy
In early 2022 the church approved a shift from a Leadership Council format to following an Elder and Deacon structure. Prior to officially appointing elders and identifying deacons, as part of the transition, the Leadership Council is clarifying the “Roles and Responsibilities of Elders”, the process for electing and serving as an elder and the training and leadership development process for elders. It is important for these aspects to be clearly stated and understood before naming elders. The “Elder / Deacon” structure will be organized and operational before the new Lead Pastor begins his ministry at Charter Oak.
“We exist to equip and empower people to spread the hope of God’s love.”
“To be a God-reliant community known for equipping and empowering people to love God passionately, love others intentionally, and spread hope by sacrificial service.”
Having, and adhering to, distinctly stated Core Values regarding the beliefs, preferences, attitudes, practices and behaviors that characterize Charter Oak is essential for maintaining a clear and unified focus on the stated mission and vision. This is essential for maintaining a healthy church. These shared values form the convictions that ground and guide what we do as a church. Values clarify what is most important. They describe who we are, unite us in loving relationships, and inspire and energize us toward accomplishing our God-given mission.
We believe glorifying God is central to all we do. Honoring God is essential for living the Christian life and carrying out the mission of the church. Charter Oak strives to glorify God by doing all things well, taking care to ensure a gracious and respectful environment in all areas of ministry.
Charter Oak Core Values
Transformational Biblical Teaching (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12)
We believe it is critical to stand firm on the authority and inerrancy of God’s Word, the Bible. Sound doctrine is vital for life transformation. We are committed to understanding the Scriptures as accurately as possible through applying sound principles of interpretation, including historical and biblical context, the purpose of the book, grammatical structure and the author’s intent. Authentically communicating the truth of God’s Word, with practical life application, will lead to renewed thinking, living an attractively different lifestyle and becoming better equipped.
Equipping for Spiritual Growth (Matthew 28:16-20)
We believe the God-given mission of the church is to make disciples, who in turn make disciples. Equipping people to grow spiritually, serve effectively and train others needs to be an organized, intentional process for spiritual maturity to result. This is accomplished through strong biblical teaching, connecting people in small groups for training, helping people identify their God-given giftedness, and guiding them to be engaged effectively in serving where they are best designed to minister.
Empowering People for Meaningful Service (Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Tim. 2:2)
We believe God has designed every believer to minister and to serve. To be a consistently healthy church people need to be released to do ministry and be fully engaged in the mission of the church. This means ministry leaders are to train and prepare others to be actively engaged in using their God-given gifts in serving. We are especially committed to developing people to serve with our children’s ministry, youth ministry, worship teams, hospitality and small groups.
Inspirational Worship (John 4:24; Psalm 100)
We believe in striving to glorify God in all we do. Worship is one way we glorify God. Times of corporate worship are meant to direct peoples’ hearts to acknowledge the presence and power of the Holy Spirit at work in their lives, to connect us to God and each other in celebration of being part of the family of God. We intend those times to develop an ongoing attitude of worship as we live out our lives.
Praying Boldly (Ephesians 6:18; Ephesians 3:20-21; Hebrews 4:16)
We believe it is imperative we rely on God’s guidance and power. We cannot fulfill the church’s mission on our own. Jesus said He would build His church (Matthew 16:18). Therefore, encouraging and providing opportunities for consistent individual and corporate prayer is essential for the health and proper focus of the church.
Loving Relationships (John 13:34-35; Romans 12:10)
We believe God designed us for relationships and commanded us to love others. We are committed to extending encouragement, grace, love and acceptance to those in the church and in the community. We strive to create and maintain a loving family atmosphere through showing hospitality, hosting social gatherings and connecting people in small groups. We desire to see individuals and families strengthened by the love shared through the people of this church.
Missional Living and Outreach (Gal 5:14; 2 Cor. 4:5, Acts 1:8)
We believe every believer is called to serve other people as Christ modeled serving. We seek opportunities to lessen suffering in this world by showing compassion, extending grace, lending a hand, and loving and serving others wherever we are. We seek to be God’s hands and feet working in the world as the Holy Spirit leads to advance the Kingdom of God. Our desire is to prepare hearts to receive the seeds of the hope of God’s love to take root in a broken world. We believe every believer should be prepared to share the good news of the Gospel as God provides opportunities as witnesses of God’s grace.
Efficient and Purposeful Structures (Exodus 18:13-23; 1 Corinthians 10:31)
We believe in having well-defined leadership and organizational structures that specify how decisions are made and how things will be done. These structures will promote clear communication, an ongoing process of multiplying leaders, developing strategic ministries and offering growth opportunities. Having these structures will enhance our focus on equipping and empowering people to fulfill our God-given mission.
Charter Oak is located on 6.7 acres just off a major roadway in north Battle Ground, WA. Included in the campus is a worship center that comfortably seats 300 people with additional seating in the balcony and a nursery area for infants and toddlers. Attached is an education wing that is comprised of a fellowship hall with adjoining kitchen, several classrooms, a boardroom and several offices. There is a separate youth center for youth activities and events that has its own worship area and music equipment. Two children’s classroom buildings serve the Children’s Ministry and Preschool. Additionally two houses are located on the property. One is designated as a parsonage and is currently occupied. The other is vacant and can be used for a variety of ministry options. The leadership, with input from the people, has been considering ways to further develop the campus in order to provide more opportunities to connect with the community.
Charter Oak has an annual budget of $342,000 for 2023. This budget is intended to cover all personnel, operating, ministry and missionary expenditures. As a practice Charter Oak does not pass an offering plate but receives donations online and with the use of an offering box in the church lobby. There is no debt on any of the facilities and just one small loan used to complete some equipment upgrades.
Our People and Ministries
The people regularly involved with Charter Oak mainly live within a 10 mile radius of the church. Many of them have been connected with their extended families to the ministry over the years. The church has a number of retired people along with empty nesters still working and a solid core of younger families. The majority of the people are committed to actively supporting the church through a time of transition that began with the impact of Covid and is now looking to build on the recently updated mission and vision statements. There is a core of around 100 people who are ready to partner with God and to see what He will do in this next chapter in the life of the Charter Oak.
The church offers a Sunday morning worship service with nursery care and children’s programming. The worship director leads a team of people with the music components of the service. Periodic trainings, or learning opportunities, have also been offered prior to the worship service as electives. There are small group studies meeting in homes during the week, women’s ministry events and activities, youth group meeting on Sunday evenings, all church gatherings, a weekday preschool and missionary / outreach involvement. In the Fall of 2023 a church-wide strategy for equipping and empowering people will be incorporated into the various ministry options of Charter Oak.
As a church we are looking for God to fulfill His promise in Ephesians 3:20 to do exceedingly, abundantly more than anything we could imagine as we seek Him, His wisdom and guidance and look to fulfill our God-given mission.
More information can be found on the church website at www.charteroakchurch.com and inquiries can emailed to - officecharteroakchurch.com -