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As a part of our church Stewardship Campaign, recognizing that as Christians our "giving" is much more than financial, the Stewardship Committee would like to recognize a few of the ways our church members volunteer in the community! 

Teri Helser


Teri was born in Portland, Oregon.  She was the middle child of two sisters and one brother.  Teri's father sold books for a book company so they moved around a lot.  One day the opportunity came to move from Kansas to Oregon or Alaska. Her father decided upon Oregon because he liked the weather and the city of Portland.  Teri is thankful he didn't choose Alaska!


Teri met Jim Helser when she was in the 5th grade and attending Grant Park Baptist Church in Portland.  She was baptized at that church.  Later Jim went to Grant High and Teri to Madison.  Her parents let her go out with Jim because he came from a good Baptist home.  They were married in 1969 in Portland.  Teri went to beauty school, and Jim graduated from Oregon State.  Jim took up banking in Eugene, but later moved to a home in Gresham.  They have two sons, Garrett and Grant, and one granddaughter, Ariel.


The family started attending First Baptist of Gresham in 1980.  


What might surprise you about Teri is her love for animals.  For surprises Jim buys her stuffed

animal toys.  She loves them all.


Her favorite Scripture is 1 Corinthians 13:13 - "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three;

but the greatest of these is love."  Garrett, their son, recited this from memory at her

parents' 50th Anniversary.


Teri has volunteered for many things but would have to say that three charities have been

the most rewarding:


  • Our Homeless Shelter - She says the homeless people have her heart.  She feels she gets more from working with them, than she gives.  She says the other volunteers feel the same. We can't do enough for them!


  • Her volunteer work placing coats and other clothes donated by Columbia Sportswear into the hands of those who need them.


  • Restore Hope.  This is a new ministry area for Teri, and she hopes it grows because there is a real need for groups to help children who have been abused and their families.  


Teri says that what has been her biggest surprise in volunteer work is how people hesitate to begin and can even have a negative feeling about the work; but once they put a foot in the door, they change completely and become big supporters. 


Well Teri, we are BIG supporters of you and your willingness to serve.  Thank you for your example!



For The Month of October ........... Lenny Langley


Lenny Langley was born in 1952 at OHSU in Portland, Oregon.  He was placed in a foster home at the age of eight.  His foster parents were Al and Charlotte Van Blokland.  With five foster brothers and sisters, Lenny lived with the Van Bloklands until he married Sharon in 1976. 


He feels that his greatest blessing has been in the fact that God gave him two loving

Christian foster parents who brought him to Christ.  He became a Christian when he was

twelve years old and was baptized a couple of years later.


Lenny and Sharon have two children; son, Kevin, and daughter, Jessica. Jessica was adopted

from Bogota, Columbia.  They are blessed with three wonderful grandchildren all of whom

live nearby. 


Lenny worked for thirty five years; first at OHSU in building maintenance and the last

nine years at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. While at Doernbecher, his boss was a

Christian. This was a very rewarding time in his life.


A favorite Scripture is Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”  And Lenny has shown time and time again he believes and lives those words.


Lenny and Sharon minister in so many ways in our church. But they also volunteer at the Department of Human Services in Gresham; picking up children that need counseling and taking them to counseling appointments.  They stay with the children through it all.  They try to let the children know that God is with them and praying can help.  Lenny tells them that all they have to do is ask CHRIST for help and then believe He is with them and will help.  He reminds them that God is love.


For the month of September ......... Bob and Nila Jackson


Bob and Nila were both born in Michigan; Lansing and Sturgis respectively.  A favorite Scripture is Proverbs 3: 5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths”.  


In 1964 the family moved to Anchorage Alaska.  Bob, working for the IRS, was needed to help handle related loss claims following the Alaskan earthquake.  A two year commitment, ended in 1990, and Bob began to work for the IRS.  In 2004 they moved closer to their daughter and family in Gresham.  Last year their son moved from the Seattle area to Fairview!


While in Alaska, Nila was involved in Child Evangelism Fellowship and held Good News Clubs during the summer and after school during school hours.  Their daughter Janel, at 5 years of age, asked Jesus to come into her heart at one of the Club Events!  Nila was also assigned to work in the Alaska Psychiatric Institute and was recognized by the hospital for her work for 7+ years! 


After retiring as a nurse, Nila volunteered for 10 years in the gift shop at the

Sisters of Providence Extended Care Facility.  In 2005 she volunteered at

Legacy Hospital in the gift shop until 2013.  She now volunteers with our Dorcas

Sewing Circle!


Bob has been volunteering at Legacy Mt. Hood Hospital for 9 years.  He has

served four years on the state board of the Oregon Volunteer Association. 

At Legacy, he volunteered at three different locations within the hospital; and

for the last five years, he has served as the treasurer of the Gift Shop. 


The Lord has definitely directed Bob and Nila as was referenced in their favorite

Scripture.  He also directed them to First Baptist Gresham where they became members 5 years ago, for which we are very grateful. 


Thank you, Bob and Nila, for your generous hearts for our Lord and for your examples of serving Him in our community.



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