Yakima Church Celebrates Faith of Pioneers

In the summer of 1894, Elder S.H. Kime and several assistants held tent meetings in North Yakima, Wash. After the North Yakima meetings in 1894, Robert S. Donnell, conference president, reported: "At Yakima, the interest has been small, yet a few have taken their stand. We hope a church can be organized there in the near future." The next spring, March 30, 1895, his hope became a reality when the North Yakima Church was organized.

Almost 115 years later, Oct. 23–24, 2009, the Yakima Church celebrated the "Faith of Our Pioneers" with a heritage weekend, planned by the church history team: Jack Chambers, Vera Coleman, Bill Faith, Al McCoy, Bill and Velma Jean Robinson, Harry Sharley, the late Joan Whitehead and Virginia Young. The weekend began Friday afternoon with a tour of a historical site of church interest followed by a power point presentation by Doug Johnson, UCC vice president and historian, on the growth of the Adventist Church in the Pacific Northwest.

Bill Robinson led out as superintendent of an old-fashioned Sabbath School for which Vera Coleman gave the secretary's report. Her grandfather, Phil Eustace, purchased the North 11th Ave. church site and led out in the construction project. He also built the chairs, matching pulpit, and communion table still in use today. The congregation moved to the 11th Ave. site in 1918 and occupied that building for nearly 50 years.

Thanks to those early pioneers, the Yakima Church, has more than 300 active members and spiritual seekers, and is reaching out to benefit youth and their community, with an aim to "keep our eyes fixed on Jesus" and His soon coming.

Featured in: February 2010