Our Story

How it all started...

The work of God through this local church includes the uniting of three separate congregations established out of a variety of circumstances in the late 1970s and continues through today with emphases on solid Bible-teaching, grace-oriented life and ministry, a Biblical world-view, and a commitment to disciple anyone who desires to grow a vibrant relationship with God through Jesus Christ

Key Developments

1975: Klamath Evangelical Free Church was founded by a small group of families who desired a distinctive Bible-teaching ministry for this community

1976: Robin Maxson was called to be the first pastor of Klamath EFC

1979: Peoples Community Church, an independent congregation with Baptist roots, was begun and developed a successful ministry to youth

1980: New Covenant Fellowship, a group with connections to the Nazarene movement, established a church just down the street from Peoples

Mid-1984: Klamath EFC was meeting in New Covenant’s building so that three small but growing churches were carrying out ministries in 2 facilities separated by 2 short blocks

Sept. 1985: God arranged circumstances so that Klamath EFC and Peoples Community Church merged to become United Evangelical Free Church

Oct. 1985: Pastor Rick Sonerholm came from LaCenter, WA to become Associate Pastor

Apr. 1990: United EFC moved into its new 20,000 square foot building on 13½ acres at 3333 Beverly Drive

Thanksgiving 1990: New Covenant Fellowship merged with United Evangelical Free Church

Feb. 2007: Pastor John Kupitz moved from Tualatin, OR to become Youth Pastor

Feb. 2013: Pastor Troy Rife moved from South Bend, IN to become the Sr. Pastor upon Pastor Robin Maxson’s retirement and who was given the status of Pastor Emeritus

Jul. 2015: Pastor Rick retires from staff but remains active in the ministry of the church

2019: Casa De Oracion begins meeting in our building under Pastor Gabriel Hernandez

Feb. 2022: God provides Pastor Troy Rife with a new opportunity in Iowa, causing him to resign as senior pastor at UEFC

Nov. 2022: The church launches their 50-50-50 Vision plan, a 3-year initiative to grow our church in the areas of evangelism and discipleship

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together at 10:30am

Our Denomination and name

We belongs to an association of over 1,300 congregations called the Evangelical Free Church of America.  Though not as well-known in Oregon, the “Free Church” is a significant movement that is both historically established and rapidly growing throughout the country.  To learn more, go to our denomination’s website at www.efca.org.

We typically need to explain three words in the church’s name.  “Evangelical”describes our beliefs and refers to our emphasis on the “good news” (“evangel”) declared and explained in the Bible. What is this good news?  That we can return to personal relationship with God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.  For more details on this good news or our beliefs, see “Jesus” or “Statement of Faith” under the “About Us” menu.

The word “Free” indicates that each church in our denomination is free to govern its own affairs.  Ministry decisions are made by the local congregation, not the national denomination.

What about “United”?  That’s the distinctive name of this Evangelical Free Church.  It represents our unique history where separate congregations joined together to form a new, united church (See “History” under the “About Us” menu for more information).  It also reflects our commitment to preserve a unity of belief, mission, and devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ as a community of faith.