We–Trinity Lutheran Church and the McMinnville United Methodist Church–share virtually everything together: staff, buildings, property, ministries, worship, community, and so on. We’re not actually a merger, because we value and retain our historic ties to our denominations, but we can see why people might think this is the case.

We have Methodists, Lutherans, and a lot of other people who identify themselves in another way (or don’t care what they’re called) together in worship each week.

We know we’re not the only ones, but it can be hard to find other examples.
Most churches that appear to be cooperating are either just sharing space (one congregation renting space to another) or are being forced to “cooperate” because neither one can survive on its own.
We have chosen to cooperate because of our common mission and vision, not because we have to.

•The McMinnville United Methodist Church was founded in about 1854 by early settlers on the area.
•In about 1869 or 1870 the Methodists had gained enough in numbers to build their own structure on the block that we still occupy at Second and Evans Streets.
•The congregation continued to grow and over the years the buildings were replaced until the current church on the corner of Second and Ford was completed in 1941.
•In fall of 1998, a ministry plan identified serving the whole community as a major emphasis.
•As a result, the congregation decided to remain downtown and construct another multipurpose building instead of moving out to its Parkview property.

•In 2001 Trinity Lutheran Church sold the suburban church building it had occupied since the late 1950’s because their congregation had outgrown it.
•The congregation had an option on property on the edge of town and planned to build a new facility there.
•Over the next five years that piece of property and six others failed to work out as a new home for the congregation.

Formation of the Cooperative:
•Both churches participated in a spring break trip called Mexico Mission.
•In 2004, the question was asked whether there were other things we could do better together than we could do apart.
•In summer 2005, we began sharing worship.
•In 2006, after a long process, both congregations voted to become McMinnville Cooperative Ministries.
•In 2008, we took a final step into a fully cooperative relationship by voting to share ownership of the downtown property.
•In 2009, we adopted a welcoming statement that specifically includes all GLBT persons; Trinity Lutheran Church also voted unanimously to become a Reconciling in Christ (RIC) congregation.

◦If you are searching for a church, you might be asking questions like these. Some of them have easy answers, but others are less clear. We don’t fit some of the categories that people sometimes put churches in. Many of these categories represent old arguments and issues that don’t seem very important to us anymore. We recommend you check out our mission and vision to get to know us better.