Ascension has been a part of Portland’s community since 1889.
In 1889, Bishop Morris laid the cornerstone for Ascension Episcopal Parish at Southwest 19th and Elm Street. Later the building was moved by a team of horses to its present location on Southwest Spring Street. It was designated an Historic Landmark in 1973. Today it is one of the oldest original church buildings still being used for religious services in the Portland area.
In 1968 Ascension became a mission church with a full-time vicar, overseen by the bishop. By 1984 Ascension gained full parish status with a rector and its own elected vestry and continues as such.
At first Ascension was designated as a “chapel of ease," then later served as a Sunday School affiliated with Trinity Church (now our cathedral) in northwest Portland. As the number of children increased, a Parish Hall was added to the little brown wooden “carpenter gothic” church in 1946.
The church enjoys its Baroque organ, built by Ken Coulter of Eugene, Oregon which was dedicated in 1978. This organ is played at the 10:00 Sunday service, as well as special services, recitals, and concerts.
The beauty of the sanctuary is enhanced with an icon of Jesus’ ascension with the four evangelists written by Sherry Bettendorf of Oakland, California. This was a gift from Father Harris and his family.
Ascension Episcopal Parish has been part of the neighborhood for more than 125 years. Many of our members trace their associations from days in the Sunday School and many are new to the parish or the area. We hope that you will find your parish home with us here at Ascension.