A Century of Grace and Growth

April 01, 2011 | Louise Atkinson

The Kalispell (Mont.) Church celebrated its 100th anniversary on Dec. 12, 2010, with a special Sabbath service. The church was officially organized on Dec. 10, 1910, and has operated a school 77 out of those years. Under the leadership of J. Foster, pastor, the church was organized and grew from a small group of Adventists meeting in members' homes. Since then, 24 pastors and at least 39 teachers have served members in three different locations, one of which was destroyed by a fire in January 1969. By June 1969, property was purchased on Highway 93 North, where the church is currently, and groundbreaking took place July 26, 1970.

The commemorative service included guest speakers, special music, fellowship dinner and memories. Casey Higgins, current pastor, hosted the proceedings and all guests were honored. Speakers included Steven Chin, pastor who served in Kalispell from 1976–1980; Tammy Fisher, Kalispell's honorable mayor; David Prest; and Merlin Knowles, Montana Conference president. There was special music by Jessica Chon, Damyann Middleton and Sonny White. Additionally Kalispell's Men's Quartet (Josh Holloway, Randy Courser, Gary Dieter and Rob Vixie) sang throughout the day. Rob Vixie drove all the way from Yakima, Wash., to share in the celebration. What an incredible blessing they are able to share their talent for the Lord.

After the fellowship luncheon and a generous break, everyone reconvened to participate in a "meeting of memories" and fellowship. The pleasant and often humorous walk down memory lane was entertaining for new comers and homesteaders alike.

We all share in God's mercy and grace and pray that the church and school will continue to be the blessing it is to our children, youth and community. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven," (Matthew 5:16).