First Baptist renamed itself Foundry Church in 2012. A foundry’s purpose is to transform raw metal into usable and valuable tools for good. A church is like a foundry which encourages people to spiritual maturity and usage in the kingdom of God.
Foundry Church is one of Bend’s first churches. It dates back to 1902, when Baptists met with local Presbyterians for Sunday school in a one-room log schoolhouse in what is now Drake Park. They then moved into a schoolroom on Wall Street.
By July 1904, there were 31 members of the fledgling Baptist Church. In October of that year, they incorporated, and the first services in their new, wooden building at the corner of Irving and Oregon took place November 18, 1904.
The $2,800 building was small (30 x 35 feet), with a 12 x 12 foot vestibule, but served the church until it was damaged by a fire in 1920. The fire started in the baptistery, according to The Bulletin of January 26, 1920, when a wood stove’s defective flue caught the wooden building on fire.
A new, brick building was built in 1925.
Membership at the church continued to grow from 249 people in 1931, to 536 in 1966. When the brick building was badly deteriorating, a new brick building took its place in 1968 and still stands today.
In October 2012, First Baptist Church officially changed its name to Foundry church. This change was not a departure from its heritage or its affiliation with Northwest Conservative Baptist Association. Rather, it was simply the result of Foundry’s desire to be more like Christ and be more effective in sharing His message.
One of the ways Foundry Church has pursued the Great Commission is through church planting. Over the years, numerous other congregations within Central Oregon have been born from Foundry’s ministry. Among these, Eastmont Church, Antioch Church, Sisters Community Church, and Redmond Community Church are the most visible and thriving today.
Foundry Church is an active part of Bend. Involved with numerous community and business organizations, festivals, and events, our desire is to be a fully-present and contributing member of downtown Bend. For it is only when we are present in the world that our not being of it is evident.