Our History

 Humble Beginnings

First Church of the Nazarene came into being because of the vision and effort
of Mr. Eugene Emerson. He envisioned a place where people could hear the “old-fashioned Gospel” preached. On the night of April 17, 1913, he reached his decision to build a church and began planning the Nampa church the next day. He erected a 40x60 ft. chapel at the site where the church now stands (pictured right). 

On the first Sunday of August, 1913, formal organization of the church took place. “Uncle Bud” Robinson assisted in the dedication of the structure, in which 13 charter members worshipped under the leadership of their pastor, Michael Ennis Ferdinand. From these 13 charter members, Nampa First Church has continued to grow throughout the years, and now has 1,860 members who are active in their faith and their community.

 

Ties to NNU

During this same year of 1913, Eugene Emerson orchestrated the first classes  at the Idaho Holiness School, which changed its name to Northwest Nazarene College in 1916, and Northwest Nazarene University in 1999.  Nampa First Church of the Nazarene has had strong ties with Northwest Nazarene University since their inception. In fact, one winter, the college did not have enough coal for heat, and Nampa First Church donated their supply of coal to the college – NFC members wore their winter attire during church, and were happy to support the college! From Eugene Emerson's day to today, Nampa First Church remains a strong supporter of the University, and many of NNU's professors, faculty, and students are members and regular attendees of First Church.

The Church Building

The first church building for Nampa First Church was built in 1913 (shown in the picture above).

Around 1950, construction was complete on NFC’s church building; a white stucco building featuring a John 3:16 sign on the steeple.

Around 1960, construction of a new sanctuary featuring a wood arched cathedral ceiling began. This building, now known as Ferdinand Hall, was NFC’s main sanctuary until the construction of the new sanctuary was complete in 1977.

As the church body continued to grow, it became apparent the church building was going to need to grow as well. Pictured to the right is the congregation of about 1,000 on a "faith walk" in the mid 1970's, outlining the perimeter of what would become the new sanctuary. Construction of the 50,000 square foot sanctuary began in 1976 and was dedicated in 1977 by Pastor Charles Higgins. This building is still in use, seats 1,750 in the main sanctuary, and has many rooms surrounding the sanctuary’s perimeter used for Sunday School and other meetings.

Construction of the Family Life Center began in 2000 and was completed in 2001. This building features a gym, nursery, areas for children and youth, and the church administrative offices.

Nampa First Church’s Pastors

1913:  Michael Ennis Ferdinand

1915:  Harry Hays

1915 – 1916:  Lewis I. Hadley

1916 – 1917: Earnest E. Turner

1917 – 1918: G. Arnold Hodgins

1918 – 1919: James W. Short

1920 – 1921: C. Howard Davis

1921 – 1922: J.T. Little

1923 – 1927: R.J. Plumb

1927 – 1929: E. E. Mieras

1929 – 1935: E. E. Martin

1935 – 1940: J. Russell Gardner

1940 – 1951: Melza Brown

1951 – 1952: Irving F. Younger

1952 – 1960: Raymond Kratzer

1960 – 1966: Earl G. Lee

1966 – 1972: Arnold E. Woodcook

1972 – 1983: Charles Higgins

1983 – 1991: Jerry White

1991 – 1994: J. Dennis Johnson

1995 – 2002: Stephen Borger

2002 – Present: Kent Conrad