Welcome to the Rev. Wendell Wallace Memorial Webpage

This webpage is in honor and memory of Interracial church pioneer and evangelist Rev. Wendell Wallace who passed away in early 2009. He was a remarkably thrilling speaker and church visionary. Rev. Wallace lead Maranatha Church in the 1960's and early 70's, and again in the late 80's and early 90's, shaking up Portland and establishing an example of how to create interracial harmony and inclusiveness that remains instructive 40 years later.

Maranatha Church was groundbreaking in its racial and inter-generational harmony in a time of great social upheaval in America. Civil rights was on the agenda and much was being written about a "generation gap" as protesters of all strips took to the streets and the culture clashed and shifted.

In 2011 Sunday church service is still thought of as "America's most segregated hour" but over 40 years ago Rev. Wendell Wallace lead a church in the inner city where blacks joined whites, and formal church-goers along with hippies with no shoes came together. If so many young people of the era weren't trusting "anyone over 30" it was remarkably different at Maranatha. Inner city, suburb, young and old, black and white, all worshiped along side each other in what is still a textbook example of how inclusive and accepting a Christian church can be.

Rev. Wallace lead Maranatha into uncharted territory. The music was unique for the era - a mix of old hymns and new Andre Crouch style modern gospel music sang with both a traditional choir as well as a "Youth Choir." In the services healings and dramatic revelations were seen and the people were drawn to the church through a combination of love, acceptance and the amazing clarity of the anointed preaching. A special move of God was obvious, more like an historic revival than traditional church growth. Maranatha was a new culture and in poured so many young people and visitors that the growth was phenomenal. With the many young hippie converts came special houses where some lived - such as the Christian hippie commune known as "The House of Rainbows" and others.

A major key to the success of the ministry was Rev. Wallace's ability to raise up young ministers and not have to control all outcomes. To be open to change and to "thinking outside the box" before that term was popular. Like a coach on the sidelines, Rev. Wallace taught the young leaders such as Donald Warren, Richard Probasco, and converted hippies Adrian Simila, Steve Anderson, Craig Porter, and Jon Staab, and sent them onto the ministry field "despising not their youth." He didn't have to control things by rushing onto the field and calling all the plays and so the ministers rose up and were developed because Pastor Wallace understood how to teach and then let go and trust the Lord in the young people.

All this change and informality would have simply been too much for almost any other church of the era and yet with the vision of Pastor Wallace and the agreement of the people of Maranatha change was possible and dramatic. There was no place quite like Maranatha.

Rev. Wallace who was also a leader at the beginning of a new move of the Holy Spirit in the mainline churches (see re-printed article below) traveled the world with Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International where he touched thousands.

He moved to Detroit, Michigan where he founded Maranatha Church and Maranatha School of Ministry which he pastored for seven years before returning to Oregon where he was welcomed back in 1989 as the senior pastor at Maranatha. In 2002 he retired from the pulpit of Portland's New Azusa Christian Center. Rev. Wallace had battled health concerns for many years and was hospitalized in Portland before passing away.

To the right are a couple of slide shows with pictures showing some of Rev. Wallace's Portland years, and of the Home Going Service in Portland. Also included with the ministry pictures are photos from the Appreciation Service held in his honor a handful of years ago.

Leave a Message or a Memory
You can leave a note about what Rev. Wallace meant to you and/or how the church he lead touched your life. It would be wonderful for others to hear your thoughts or stories and where you are now. Short or long notes are welcome - either way, read what others have written and feel free to share by clicking here.

How Many People Who Rev. Wallace Influenced Went into the Ministry?
If you know of someone Wendell Wallace pastored or directly influenced who later went into the ministry we need to hear from you. Please send their name, website address and their connection to Pastor Wallace to: mailto:contact@wendellwallace.org

Do You Have Any Old Pictures?
Let's add to this collection with some of your pictures! If you have pictures of Wendell Wallace or of his era at McLaughlin Heights, Maranatha/Metropolitan/Beech Street Church of God, New Azusa, or of him at other churches or speaking engagements, or during civil rights work, please email: mailto:Contact@WendellWallace.org

Help Spread the Word About This Webpage
The people who need to know about this webpage are spread far and wide, and your help would be appreciated in letting them know that this webpage exists. If you are a pastor please consider mentioning WendellWallace.org in your church bulletin and making an announcement during a service. If you are not leading a church, please ask your leader if they would consider putting something in the bulletin. If you have a webpage, a link back here would help more people find this site. Please consider emailing people you think might want to know about WendellWallace.org.

Print Materials by Wendell Wallace
Here is a scan of an article by Rev. Wendell Wallace on how he received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It was written from the perspective of a traditional Church of God denominational Pastor at the Metropolitan Church of God. The church was renamed Maranatha Evangelistic Center when the congregation moved into the building at 13th & Skidmore in Portland.

At the time of this article it was quite controversial for a mainline denominational pastor to publicly say he had received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit with evidences of speaking in tongues.

Pastor Wallace's article was published along side six other mainline denominational ministers in a booklet entitled "Charisma in the 20th Century Church" put out by the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International in 1968. To view the article click here or on the photo above.

Maranatha congregation circa 1970 . Click to enlarge photo.

The Maranatha Reunion is Saturday, July 28, 2012 at Maranatha Church
Please join us for the second annual summer Maranatha Reunion, held on the last Saturday in July yearly. For more information and a map to the church go to: MaranathaReunion.com

About This Webpage
This webpage, though not officially connected with Maranatha Church or other ministries, is nevertheless supportive of the them. This site is here to remember and help pass on the ministry of Rev. Wallace through possibly downloadable MP3 audio tracks of his sermons, old photographs of his ministry and church, and to at the same time remember and spur on the great fellowship we all recall during that time.

Thank you.

Write: MaranathaReunion.com

Please Leave Your Memories and Thoughts

You can leave a note about what Rev. Wallace meant to you and/or how the church he lead touched your life. It would be wonderful for others to hear your thoughts or stories and where you are now. Short or long notes are welcome - either way, please feel free to share!

To view notes others have posted here or to possibly leave a note yourself: click here.

Thank you.