Image Credit: Heidi Baumgartner

Port Angeles Celebrates the Oldest New Church

Port Angeles Church had a facility that was disproportionate to its needs: classroom space for 120, sanctuary space for 80 and fellowship hall space for 40. Membership would grow to capacity and then shrink back in attendance and participation.

Church leaders knew for many years they needed to address this issue. Their attendance at a Church Growth Practicum held by Washington Conference provided a catalyst to move forward.

The congregation purchased an established church building in 2011 in downtown Port Angeles. “With our old church, we had 25 cars go by a day,” says Jonathan Fetrick, Port Angeles Church pastor. “With our new church, we have 25 cars go by a minute.”

As the oldest church in a historic area known as Cherry Hill, the new-to-them facility desperately needed to be updated and renovated. The church family set to work with their renovation plans and recruited Maranatha Volunteers International to help them achieve their goal.

“We gutted the existing facility and just added half as much as was existing,” says Fetrick. “Half of the building is new; half is gutted and renovated.”

The renovated and proportionate building features comfortable space for 120 people throughout the sanctuary, four classrooms and fellowship hall. A pastor’s study, large kitchen, parent rooms and handicap-accessible restrooms round out the facility's features. Each Sabbath the church averages an attendance of 50 people.

“We were intentional about balancing the parts of the building,” Fetrick says. “Our goal is to grow the congregation to two services each Sabbath with 100 people attending each service.”

The church celebrated its grand opening with an afternoon gospel concert in mid-September attended by 150 guests. Members plan to host Bible prophecy meetings, health and wellness classes, and community concerts in their oldest new church facility.

Featured in: November 2014