The History of Tualatin Plains Presbyterian Church

On November 16, 1873, twelve devout immigrants from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, organized the Tualatin Plains Presbyterian Church, carrying their deep-seated Calvinist beliefs to the young state of Oregon. While not necessarily the rugged pioneers of early wagon trains, these founders were no less dedicated and determined in establishing their ancient culture and faith in their new country. Under the able leadership of the Rev. George Ross, the ambitious business and agricultural entrepreneurs soon acquired land, plotted a cemetery, erected an attractive chapel, and set up seed churches in a number of nearby communities.

With the dawning of the twentieth century, the congregation’s fervent conviction in its Christian mission remained strong, especially under the twenty-eight-year guidance of the Rev. Andrew Carrick who laid the groundwork for dynamic programs that continue today. Faithful servants included Frank Chalmers, a passionate, innovative Sunday school leader; the widely-respected musician, composer, and instructor, Jean Warren Carrick, who cultivated a dedicated choir; and Emma Dierdorff, whose leadership in the Ladies Missionary Society aided both home and foreign operations.

During the long pastorate of the Rev. Gene Upton, the church’s 1973 centennial celebrated the anniversary of an enduring, vibrant ministry. By now fondly nicknamed “The Old Scotch Church,” membership grew over sixty percent within fifteen years.

Today’s twenty-first-century congregation is a family of believers that finds joy in its proud heritage, its strong tradition of music, its handsome landmark building, and its historic cemetery. The Tualatin Plains Presbyterian Church is an intergenerational community that is diverse in outlook and experience, welcoming of new members and friends, and resolute in sharing the love and saving message of Jesus Christ.


Before the ground on which the Old Scotch Church is located was called Washington County or the territory or state of Oregon, thousands of years of life went on among its forests and waterways. For countless generations, the Kalapuya people occupied and belonged to this place. Hebrew and Christian scriptures say, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” and all that is in them.  We acknowledge the Kalapuya people’s ancient relationship with this traditional land and we give thanks for their steadfast stewardship of this place.