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The Montesano Church of God exists
to glorify God by
winning people to faith in Christ,
up in the Word of God,
equipping them to serve Christ
in our community and beyond.
317 Spruce Street E • Montesano, WA 98563 •
In 1880 a reformation movement called the Church of God began in the Michigan-Indiana area as a non-denominational thrust to restore Christian unity. Word of this group reached Montesano in 1895 via a religious periodical called The Gospel Trumpet and it was through this that Mrs. E. E. Torpen and Mrs. Laura Whitney made contact. Through correspondence they were able to secure a minister to come and serve the handfull who were meeting in private homes. F. N. Jacobsen, a blind man, conducted the first public service in a rented hall on the present site of the City Hall on March 17, 1897.
In those beginning years before 1914, many itinerant evangelists spent varying periods of time with the local group and in preaching missions at Alder Grove and North River. Pastors in those early years, besides Jacobsen, were George Bailey, James Peterman and Dan Rice. With the need of their own building apparent, Belle Watson, a Montesano school teacher and later 25 years a missionary in China put up the first $50.00 toward the purchase of a house on the south side of the 300 block of East Broadway. The street level was used for a chapel and the lower level served as parsonage.
Growth was steady under the leadership of S. S. Johnson so that before long the first building was bulging. The property was sold and the present corner site was purchased. The existing house on the corner of the property was used as parsonage and a new church built next door which was completed in 1917. During the construction services were held in the Episcopal Church. Growth was accelerated with the coming of U. G. Clark as pastor in 1921 so that by 1924 the Sunday School was running over 200 and again the building was crowded out.
The parsonage was razed and another church built on the corner which served until 1966. The older church building was remodeled into an annex-parsonage. The congregation continued its growth and hit its peak under Pastor A. P. Gregory In the depression years 1929 - 1935 averaging around 300. One Easter it reached 450 in Sunday School. This made it the largest of Church of God congregations in Western Washington. During these peak years a large number of the Imported Filipino laborers were brought in through a special class arranged by Mr. George McCready. This formed the beginnings of the Church of God mission in the Phillipines when the men returned to their homes.
The Second World War and the depletion of the timber caused an exodus from Montesano which hit the church hard. The 40's and 50's were years of re-building. By the late 50's under the leadership of A. A. Blankenship, the congregation again began to crowd its facilities. Additional adjoining property was purchased and a fund campaign raising $15,000.00 was executed. However, it was not until 1964 under the leadership of Ronald Glessner that plans materialized for a new plant. The parsonage was razed along with two other acquired houses and the sanctuary, educational wing and fellowship hall erected beside and behind the old edifice. The old church was then torn down with community help and the corner area was landscaped.
The picture of growth continues as expansion can be measured in numbers of people served, institution of new programs and enlarged budgets each year.
One of the proudest accomplishments of this church has been the large number which have gone out into full time Christian service: as pastors, pastors wives and foreign missionaries. Even the dispersion of the War Years provided pillars in countless other congregations up and down the West Coast...
A Continuing Story
More To Come!!!
MCHoG Ladies Missionary Society - late 1950's
Here is the photo of the Women's Missionary Society taken in the home of
Gladys Powell in the middle to late 50's
Left to Right, BACK ROW: Nancy Chism, Mrs. Homeland, Minnie Wing,
Blossom Brown, Gladys Powell, Dora Fry,________???_______, Eura Borum, Ada
Beardsley,Pearl Hammill, and Lola TenEyck seated.
Left to Right FRONT ROW:, seated, Mrs. Walker, (Eura Borum's mother) Nettie
Glispey, Amy Rosen, Grace Bilow, Della Schoonover and Emma Crass.
The only one I don't know is the
lady in-between Dora Fry and Eura Borum. On the ones I put "Mrs." I cannot
recall their first name. We usually called them "Sister".
Early 1960's Youth Group
Back row: Darrell Tinnerstet, Chas Whitney, Roger Tinnerstet, Perry
Whitney's head behind Steve Shurr, Sandy Springer, Louise Valentine, Linda
Carter, Chuck Sims, Emma Crass, Nancy Soderstrom, Marion Glessner, Pam
Brewer, Ruth Valentine, Pat Whitney, FRONT ROW: Jane Nordman, Arlene Crass,
Darlene Hooper, Sue Simons, Raynell Glessner and Nikki Lukin.
This is of Pastor Carlton Peters of Elma Church of God, baptizing at Camp
Meeting at Lake Serene. Many are recognized in the crowd. I can see Mrs.
Peters and Carla, Donna Wickstrom is recognized, and some others, the
Skaggs, the Worthings to mention a few. Let the people identify some!
A Baptism Service at Campmeeting at Lake Serene Edmonds, WA
A photo of baptism at Camp meeting. I see Pastor L.T Flint
baptizing at the left, and his wife Helen Flint in the crowd. and a few
Front row: Mae Nordman, Lola TenEyke, Pearl Crass, Nettie Gillispy, Karen Dobransky, Marjorie Crass, Merle Whitney, Linda Johnson, and Betty Hooper. Back Row: Ross Crass, Orville Crass, Mrs. Hermenson, Lou Rich, Jean Marie Taylor, Charlie Crass, Alan Tinnerstet and Carroll Dobransky.
This is the "Young Pillars" singing group around 1972 in the present building. I'll not try to name them all. There were about 75 in this photo and at one time, the Pillars had over 100 members. A few standouts in the picture are: Karen Crass, Jerry Weaver, Gladys Hensley, Sue Simons, Lucy Vest, Mary Vest, Rick Crass, Sue Holcomb, Paul Easter and Chas Whitney.
We will continue to add pictures as we receive them. If you recognize those we don't please let us know who they are. We hope you enjoy this NEW feature of our web site...
A Prayer For The Montesano Church Of God
Father, we come to You with a spirit of gratitude for the Montesano Church of God.
We thank You for the love, mercy and grace that You extend to us. Help us to think of others before ourselves and to take on the same mind as Christ who took on the character of a servant.
Lord, use us to bless others. Help us to be creative in ways that we can extend hospitality, warmth and kindness. Let your love shine through us in our stewardship of the blessings you have bestowed on us so lavishly.
Father, everything we have is yours. Our resources are not our own, but Yours. Guide us and direct us, as we strive to go into this community and reach the unsaved and hurting. Create in us a new heart that beats for the lost and welcomes them with open and loving arms.
Lord, thank you for an opportunity to grow and serve Your children.
Kristy Haynes,Columbia Heights Community Church of God