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A church history

The Applegate Christian Fellowship started in 1975 when three couples gathered together to conduct their own service. The church flourished under the leadership of Pastor Jon Courson and grew to a membership estimated at 5,000.

Pastor Peter-John Courson took over the leadership of the church from his father in July 2002.

Services were once held at Cantrall-Buckley Park, then the Grange Hall, followed by the old Western Auto building in Ruch. It moved to its current site at 7590 Highway 238 in Ruch in the early 1980s.

The amphitheater was added in the mid-1980s.

The retreat center and 20 cabins got final approval in 1992.

The bus barn was added in March 1992, but has since been moved because it was built on another property.

The fellowship shares a similar philosophy with dozens of other churches around the country and in Jackson County, including fellowships in Ashland, Central Point, Trail and Wimer. Pastors from the Applegate fellowship have started their own churches in Brookings, Bandon, Cottage Grove, John Day, Wimer, Portland, Bend, Shasta, Calif., and New York state.

The church asks for a 10 percent tithe that is voluntary. It would not disclose its annual income.

The 80-acre facility is made up of a main building with offices, Sunday school, classrooms and a main sanctuary that holds about 1,200. There is also a bus barn, coffee shop, retreat center, outreach building to the community and a main amphitheater that holds up to 3,000.