In 1978 Mike and Claire McIntosh left California with a small team of families for Federal Way, Washington to plant a new church. They were holding on to the promise God gave them that, “If we would not despise the day of small beginnings, God will do great and mighty and powerful things for us, in us and through us by the Holy Spirit.” The first service of the Federal Way Christian Center was held at Olympic View Elementary School in July. Two years later the church, now Northwest Christian Center, received its official charter as a part of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. By this time weekend services had already grown to about two hundred people.
In October 1982, the church’s name was changed to simply “Northwest Church.” The growing church moved services to Decatur High School. In January 1983 the present property was purchased. Then in the spring of 1985, the McIntosh family was called to be Foursquare missionaries to England. Associate Pastor Steven Steffy became senior pastor. Construction began on the original building in January 1987, and the first service was held in August of the same year.
In the summer of 1991 Pastor Steve and Mary Schell answered God’s call to pastor the people of Northwest Church. In November 1991 Steve officially became our new senior pastor. Services averaged in the 600s per weekend when they arrived and quickly doubled over the next few years. Throughout the nineties we grew with our weekend attendance nearing 2000. An exciting result of the phenomenal growth was that three new churches were planted from the Northwest tree. Island Hope Foursquare Church in Guam was established in 2000, LifeSpring Northwest in Fife in 2001 and Tacoma Foursquare Church in 2002.
After many challenges we finally broke ground for our new addition in August 2001. It was completed in January of 2003, and God told us, "Go the second mile." We moved weekend services into our new gym and demolished the old sanctuary in the summer of 2003. The dedication service for our new sanctuary was held in January of 2004.
The heart of Northwest Church’s ministry since Pastor Steve’s tenure has been to grow and build strong disciples by providing excellent biblical teaching, as well as making available a variety of opportunities for healing, growth and service. Short-term mission opportunities abound under the leadership of Mary Schell. Northwest Church has had a profound impact in the South King County and Tacoma area resulting in thousands of salvations, restored lives and healing. We look forward to the future with faith that God will continue to refine and empower us to reach out to Federal Way, the greater Seattle/Tacoma area and to the uttermost parts of the earth.