Kent First Church of the Nazarene was organized August 19, 1945 by District Superintendent, Dr. B.V. Seals with 13 charter members. They met in the I.O.O.F. Hall in Kent. Rev. Virgil K. Grover was the first pastor and served the church for nine and a half years during which time an old barracks building was purchased and used until the erection of the Church at the corner of Smith and Clark in 1952.
Rev. Edgar Kincaid served as pastor from 1954 until 1959 and led the Church forward in good gains in membership and attendance.
In March of 1959, Rev. Ramon Vanderpool became the pastor of Kent First Church. In 1962 a neighboring house was purchased for expansion purposes and in 1963 two more neighboring homes were purchased. After considerable study it was decided that a larger piece of property was needed to fulfill our requirements and in 1964 a four and a half acre site was purchased on James Street with the purpose of relocating and building a new church.
Construction was begun and under the leadership of Rev. Vanderpool church facilities on James Street were completed in 1968. Rev. Larry Lewis became pastor in 1975 and served until 1980 when Rev. Hiram Sanders began his ministry. In 1982, Rev. J. Dennis Johnson was called.
Little People Day Care was started in 1972 and eventually grew to become Kent View Christian School providing education for children through grade 6. In 1995, the school joined with the Rainier Christian School District and expanded to middle and high school levels. The school moved to their own facilities in 1997.
In 1983 an additional 1.7 acres adjacent to the current property was purchased and additional parking was added. A remodel and expansion of the current facility was soon to follow with approximately 10,000 square feet of space added including an expanded sanctuary and fellowship hall and new classroom space downstairs.
Rev. Mark Stone became the pastor of Kent Nazarene in 1991, followed by Rev. Ray Morrison in 1995. During Pastor Morrison’s tenure, 25 acres of property was purchased in Covington off Hwy. 18 for future development prospects. Pastor Morrison’s ministry was cut short when he suffered a cardiac episode in September, 2001. Rev. Kirby Hughes was his successor, serving until March, 2011.
In March, 2004, Kent Nazarene was approached by a Hispanic congregation looking for a place to meet. Since the Hispanic congregation’s belief structure was very similar to the Nazarenes, they were invited to become a part of a new Multi-congregational strategy of Kent Nazarene. They have grown from about 30 to over 150 in 2011 under the guidance of Pastor Gabriel Ruiz.
In October, 2004, Kent Nazarene gave birth to a new start, Ardent Church, under the leadership of Pastor J. Scott Davis. Ardent became a fully organized church in 2009.
In 2009, the Kent True Life Samoan Church was organized and is being mentored by Kent Nazarene staff and board members.
In 2009 and 2010, the church board worked extensively on future planning and vision setting for Kent Nazarene. One result of this work was the decision to sell the Covington property.
Pastor Mark Butcher came as an Interim Pastor from June 2011 to March 2012.
Pastor Ev Tustin came on staff as Senior Pastor in March 2012.