Our History

Sharon Church was Founded in 1946


Congregational History

The Sharon Church has experienced a deep and rich spiritual base. African Americans, in general, thrive on their history and background. The seed for a church was planted by a small
group of six dedicated Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Christians who felt that a black church was needed to aid in the work of increasing SDA membership in the Portland area. On October 5, 1946, the Sharon Church was organized with 26 charter members from the seeds of that small group. With Portland named the City of Roses, and the reference to the Rose of Sharon in the Bible, it seemed perfectly appropriate to choose Sharon as the church name.

First Era


1946-1950 Elder Preston McDaniels became the first Pastor of Sharon Church. The church membership continued to grow through evangelistic meetings with the following year membership growing to 53.

1950-1968 Elder A. Wellington Clarke came to Sharon Church from Chicago, IL in December 1950, and began his ministry in January 1951. The church continued to grow and the members worshipped in a church building on the corner of Knott and Vancouver Streets. In 1955, the church was heavily damaged by a storm and they had to relocate.

1963-1966 Elder James North, Jr. served as the first associate pastor under the leadership and guidance of Elder Clarke. It was during this time a male quartet was formed at Sharon Church with Elder North, Henry Watts, Alex Hall, and Otis Taylor. This group provided music throughout the Portland area.

1968-1970 Elder S. A. Bushnell replaced Elder Clarke as senior pastor and during this period several revivals were held, resulting in steady church growth. A women’s singing group was formed and named The Sharonettes by Pastor Bushnell to assist in special music during his many
revival meetings.

1970-1979 Elder W. E. Penick accepted the call to Sharon in 1970 from the Northern California Conference. Many evangelistic meetings were held and with the addition of new members, the church expanded by acquiring a church building at 5209 NE 22nd in October 1978.


Second Era

1980-1986 Elder Ted Jones arrived from the Central California Conference and under his leadership, Sharon’s membership grew to 280 members. He and his wife Esther were inspirational leaders in Sharon’s musical ministry, keeping the membership spiritually strong.

1987-1998 Elder Alphonzo McCarthy came to Sharon from the Upper Columbia Conference. He immediately held a Revelation Seminar and 38 people were baptized. By the end of 1988, Sharon’s membership had increased to 356. Under the leadership of Elder McCarthy, Sharon Church celebrated the burning of the church mortgage. The Oromo SDA Church received its start at Sharon under the leadership of Elder McCarthy. In 1998, Elder McCarthy was called to the position of Vice President of the North Pacific Union Conference, Regional Affairs.

Your Bible Speaks SDA Church was established as a result of a crusade conducted by Elder
George Rainey, and became Portland’s second black SDA church.

1998-2003 Elder Dwight Haynes brought to Sharon a rich knowledge based on the “Sanctuary” message. Several evangelistic meetings were held during this time and the church continued to grow. In 2000, the Lift Every Voice Community Choir was instituted and it continues to thrive to
the present under the direction of Linda Foxworth.

Modern Era


2004-2010 Elder Royal Harrison came to Sharon from the Southeast California Conference. During his tenure a special tutoring program was developed to provide assistance for students through the PETAL Program (Preparing, Education, Teaching, and Learning) from students
in kindergarten through 12th grade.

2011-2016 Elder Kevin Rhamie came to Sharon Church from the Central California Conference bringing thought-provoking presentations on the working and need of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. The prayer ministry was amplified under the pastor’s leadership.

2017-2020 Elder Garth Dottin came to Sharon Church in the Spring of 2017 after pastoring several congregations in the Ontario Conference since 2003. Pastor Dottin also served as a Chaplain for Adventist Health Portland and the North Pacific Union Conference. He oversaw the church through multiple building improvements, the largest being the replacement of the kitchen and fellowship hall.

2021-Present Dr. Roscoe Shields, Jr. came to Sharon Church in the Summer of 2021 after pastoring several congregations in the South Central Conference. Dr. Shields also serves as the first Director of Regional Ministry of the Oregon Conference of Seventh Day Adventist. In addition to being the Lead Pastor of Sharon Seventh Day Adventist Church and Director of Regional Ministry, he is an international evangelist and has run evangelistic campaigns that brought several hundreds of souls to Christ around the globe including three campaigns since becoming Lead Pastor at Sharon Church. In the post-pandemic world, he has been diligently developing digital evangelism strategies that attract souls who are seeking a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ. You can follow Dr. Shields on all major platforms @roscoeshieldsjr