Pastor Dick Iverson
His ministry began in Jamaica in 1949 at 19 years of age. He was preaching and praying for the sick and saw God do many miraculous things. In 1950 he married Edie Swanson and that was the beginning of 58 years of a blessed and fruitful marriage and ministry together.
In 1951 Bible Temple, now City Bible Church, was founded as Deliverance Temple through the leadership and guidance of Ivy & Sylva Iverson and Dick & Edie Iverson who served as co-pastors. The Lord blessed and the work that had started with 13 people began to grow.
In 1959 the Lord miraculously enabled the growing congregation to purchase the old ‘Granada Theater” located at 76th & NE Glisan. By this time the name had changed to Deliverance Temple.
In 1961 Dick’s parents resigned the pastorate to give themselves to mission work in Mexico and Dick & Edie took the responsibility to lead the church as senior pastor.
1961-1965 were years of testing and stretching and birthing the church in a vision of what God could do with a body of believers who were united. In 1962 the famous “black board vision” was given to the church. If they could believe, God would give them the desires of their heart. Outlined on that black board was the future of the church. In 1965 God brought to “birth” a visitation of His presence and opened the understanding of restoration principles which brought immediate increase and growth. Every aspect of the church seemed to come alive in God and this marked the true beginning of consistent growth and increase. The name of the church was changed to Bible Temple in 1966.
Portland Bible College, started in 1967, was one of the first results of this move of God. Thousands of men and women from around the world have now been trained for ministry.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s one of the major ministries of the church was their tape ministry. Cassette tapes with the worship and message were sent around the world. To this day there are still people who remember those tapes and speak fondly of receiving them and the impact that the praise and worship had on their lives.
In 1991 the church relocated to a 33 acre campus on Rocky Butte in Portland, Oregon. In 1995, Dick Iverson turned the leadership of the church over to one of his spiritual sons, Frank Damazio. He remains an elder in the church. The church continues to grow and impact the city of Portland and the world.
One of the marks of Bible Temple and Dick Iverson’s ministry was church planting. Many churches were planted from Bible Temple under his leadership and he has been blessed with spiritual “sons and daughters” around the world. For years the church hosted an annual Northwest Ministers Conference, and then throughout the 70s and 80s, many pastors who had no affiliation with any denomination wanted relationship and accountability. Ministers Fellowship International began as an organization in 1987 in response to this pressing need among pastors and leaders of independent churches for a sense of covering, accountability, identity and connection. These pastors had a distinct vision, a common value system and doctrinal distinctives that were compatible; but apart from joining a traditional denomination, there was no vehicle through which they could associate themselves with other like minded leaders.
Dick served as the Founder and Chairman of MFI until 2009 and remains active in the fellowship, traveling and ministering to churches and pastors conferences.
Dick & Edie Iverson were blessed with four daughters – Debi, Diane, Brenda and Tracey — who added four sons-in-law and 13 grandchildren to the family. In 2008, after 58+ years of marriage, Edie went home to be with the Lord.
This, of course, was a very difficult time for Dick, but he felt the Lord tell him that he was to have another 10 years of fruitful ministry. Since he was alone he wondered how he could accomplish the new assignment that God had given him. In God’s sovereignty his “eyes were opened” that there was a lady who had served him administratively for nearly 30 years, both in the church and with Ministers Fellowship International. He felt that this could be God’s answer for his future ministry and calling. When he approached Roxy Kidder with this possibility she responded, “if it’s God’s will I will walk with you.” They were married in 2010. Since that time they have had many doors open and have traveled extensively, both nationally and internationally. They are looking forward to a fruitful ministry as they continue to do the will of God.