A sign for the Banks Bible Church. Photo: Chas Hundley

BANKS - A new church—called Banks Bible Church—held its first Sunday service on April 14, welcoming new congregants for an evening of worship and teaching in their current meeting spot at Five Star Builders at the north end of Banks.

30 people shuffled into a room on Sunday for an evening of worship led by Tim Curtis of Beaverton, who played guitar, and a message that focused on evangelism by Pastor Eric Nyborg.

With an audience running the gamut from an infant in the back row to those at retirement age, the spot won’t hold much more than 50 people when full, prompting some talk during the service of searching around Banks for a larger spot to host the fledgling church.

“I like it. I hope it grows,” said Banks resident and local sports broadcaster Trevor Beard. “It would be nice if they could find a bigger building,” he added.

Beard said he’s tried a few of the local churches out and hasn’t quite liked them, but so far, likes Banks Bible Church.

Led by Pastor Eric Nyborg, a former Banks resident, he’s no stranger to church plants in Banks. He’s the same pastor who launched Grace Bible Church in 2001, known then as Banks Calvary Community Church. He left that church in 2005.

“My heart’s always been out here, and so we decided to come back out and do it again. The first time around, we didn’t know anybody, and now we’ve got a lot of relationships,” said Nyborg.

While he lives in Hillsboro, he’s been active in the community in other arenas as well, working as the director of Sports Outreach Northwest, a faith-based sports nonprofit that offers workshops to students and coaches, with an upcoming wrestling camp coming to Banks in July and August.

He’s joined in planting the church by Scott Sprout, who will serve as an elder; they’re being sent as an offshoot of Cross Creek Bible Church, an independent Aloha-based Bible church with a congregation of about 80-90 attendees, according to Nyborg.

Nyborg says the church is going to take it slow, meeting with people they already know from their history in the community, while trying to bring in new faces as well.

“We’ll start doing some youth type events,” says Nyborg, who says he wants to get some sort of youth gathering going as soon as possible.

They’ve been meeting for several weeks now as a Bible study on Thursday nights, and plan to have one more Thursday Bible study on April 18 before moving to a Sunday night schedule, meeting at 6 p.m. starting Sunday, April 28. They’re skipping Easter Sunday services this year.

With the church still in the early stages, there isn’t a website yet to find more information, but Nyborg said he can be reached for those interested in finding out more at 503-577-1427 or by email at eric@sportsoutreachnw.org.

As to the focus of the new church, Nyborg shared a bit of the theology that defines his church's mission.

“The focus is to teach the scriptures verse by verse in a loving, but non-compromising way. We’re not going to water it down,” said Nyborg.

Nyborg describes himself as an evangelist. “The goal with our lives is to be reflective of Christ, honor the Lord and bring Him glory,” he said.

“There’s great excitement to do this. You know, church planting isn’t easy. I liken pastoral ministry to be like riding a horse, getting knocked off, dusting yourself off and getting back on, but church planting… same scenario, but you get knocked off and drug for two miles and then you get up and dust yourself off. It’s hard, and there’s lots to do. Everything’s new. But within that, it brings an excitement.”

The church meets in the Five Star Builders building located at 181 NW Main Street. Their next service time is Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m., with no Easter service the following Sunday. The church will begin regular Sunday evening services at 6 p.m. starting Sunday, April 28.

The congregants pose for a photo after the service on Sunday, April 14. Photo: Chas Hundley