What our name was informs what our new name is, which shapes who we are becoming. God loves Lane County, he made the people and the place.
In 1930, First Church of the Nazarene, Eugene, Oregon was formed by an unlikely group of people responding yes to God's direction. The Great Depression was raging, the church building burned down, our first lead pastor, Ava Adams, fell ill and had to resign. We had to move to a tent to worship. It wasn't easy. It was nothing short of a miracle as this faith family trusted God with a river-stepping faith.
In recent years, God has been calling and raising up leaders to steward a renewed care for our local community. A burden has been placed on our hearts for the least, the lost, and the marginalized that they might find the hope, healing and wholeness that only Jesus can provide.
With a church merger with Fairfield Church of the Nazarene, and an unexpected collaboration with a local Christian school, the name "Eugene First" somehow didn't fully capture the extent of what's taking place. God is on the move, in unexpected ways, using unexpected people. With God at the center, we can serve our city first.
It was after much prayer, consideration, that the church name was changed from Eugene First (as it was often shortened to in conversation), Church of the Nazarene to City First Church of the Nazarene. This simple change in our name makes clear the shift that has happened in our faith family. It will continue to remind us of our calling. Just as Christ served those in his community, may we be like him and put our city first. The heart of our city has always been our heart; our new logo is even a small piece of the city where we were originally planted! (See "What does your logo mean?" below).
From March 14th, 2021 onward, after 90 years of God's faithfulness, we continue to trust God to provide for whatever is next. We hope that through this group of people, called City First Church, that every person would know God, find freedom, discover purpose and make a difference.
Every person living in the hope, healing, and wholeness of Jesus
Know God, find freedom, discover purpose, make a difference
Going out of our way to graciously give to others. 2 Corinthians 9:7, Philippians 4
Loving strangers the way we want to be loved. Romans 12:13
Taking risks in response to God’s voice. Joshua 3
Not much and yet everything. We believe that "City" First instead of "Eugene" First allows us to overtly state that we love our community, enough to put it first. The last season in our church history, we have had opportunities to connect with our community in refreshing, at times difficult, but always rewarding ways. We intend to build alignment between our growing culture and how people engage with our story.
After many years of trying to relocate out of downtown, we pulled our downtown campus buildings off the market in a bold act of faith. We sensed that God is calling us to "plant a flag" in downtown Eugene by staying here. Not a year after that river-stepping move, God has brought two new partnerships that are going to better equip and empower this community.
Yes. We love our Nazarene heritage, it made us who we are today. We are leading with the name City First Church, while our full name is City First Church of the Nazarene.
The heart of our city has always been our heart, but how do you put that into a logo? And one that works for multiple locations? The grid of shapes in our logo represents a grid of city blocks and streets* in the city where our downtown campus was first planted 90+ years ago.
Just as the actual streets represented in this logo extend outside of downtown Eugene, so our Faith Family is growing outside of downtown. These real-world roads connect to other roads, which keep on extending. With our friends and family at our Fairfield Campus, and the anticipation of our West 11th property, "Eugene First" is beginning to grow outside of Eugene.
So when coming into the city and in going out into the world, may this be a reminder to serve whatever community you are in, whatever city you are in. Just as Christ served those in his community, may we be like him and put our city first before ourselves.
*The two squares with curved edges follow the on-ramp and off-ramp to the Washington-Jefferson bridge. The left outer edge represents Madison street, the bottom is 8th avenue, the right is Lawrence street, and the top is 5th avenue.
Christ is our first and only allegiance. We, therefore, choose to prioritize serving the needs of our city above our own needs. We seek to put others’ needs first before ours. We seek to embody the idea that we are not here to be served (cultural/consumer Christianity, inside-4-walls-only), but to serve and give our lives sacrificially as Jesus did (Matthew 20:28).
If you're really curious, you can watch the 16-minute version made prior to our name change, by clicking here,
That's our story, but, what's yours? We love hearing your story so much, we made Connect Party just for you! It's a time to get to meet local leaders, learn about the church, and ways you can get involved. You can sign-up by clicking here.
Just as Christ humbly served his community, may we serve our city first.