Table of Contents

 

U.S. – Pacific

 

This section contains the States on the Pacific: California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii, in that order. The 1999 edition of the Walterick Address Book lists 99 assemblies in this grouping.

 

California


 

We begin with a description of assembly history in San Diego, then move northward through the state.

 

In 1904, J. G. Traggardh with his wife and son moved to San Diego from Pittsburgh. In the next year, William Brunner and family arrived in San Diego from their farm in Iowa. The two families met and soon began to Break Bread and study the Bible together each Lord’s Day at the Traggardh’s home. When others joined them, the group moved to a larger home on the corner of 12th and Market Streets.

 

The need for yet larger quarters necessitated planning for the erection of a hall, the first assembly building in San Diego. Though the families possessed little means, they were able to obtain a vacant lot on Texas Street, north of University Avenue. William Brunner and others with building experience made the Bible Truth Hall in San Diego a reality.

 

In most of the ten nearby homes, at least one person, and in some cases a whole family, came to know God’s salvation. Many sought fellowship at the Bible Truth Hall, and the building was soon outgrown. In about 1919, a vacant lot was obtained on the west side of 30th Street just north of University Avenue. The hall was moved to this site and enlarged. Living space was added to provide lodging for itinerant evangelists, and here the brethren enjoyed happy fellowship for a number of years. They engaged in evangelistic work, visiting homes and holding street meetings at the corner of 30th and University each Sunday evening before the Gospel meeting. The young people visited the hospitals and jails to sing and pass out tracts. Many gathered in homes for Bible study and Christian fellowship.

* * * * * * *

 

A group including the Brunners left Bible Truth Hall after some disagreements. They bought an old Baptist church building on Marlborough Street with ample auditorium and living space to accommodate visiting preachers. This became known as the Marlborough Gospel Hall.

 

The assembly grew; during World War II, more than 200 were meeting in a building meant for 100. Busses were purchased to bring children to Sunday School. Busses and automobiles were used to pick up servicemen stationed in San Diego and bring them to the meetings at Marlborough. Many of the servicemen were saved as a result.

 

The group met at Marlborough Gospel Hall until 1957, at which time they relocated to a building on Laurel Street in San Diego and changed the name to Laurel Bible Chapel. The servicemen’s ministry continued at Laurel for a number of years. The strong Sunday school program for children and young people that had been developed at Marlborough was continued at Laurel until about 1971. Hundreds of children were brought on five busses. Evangelism was a primary emphasis in all the children’s programs.

 

From 1939 to 1963, the brethren at Marlborough/Laurel had summer camp programs at Forest Home in the San Bernardino Mountains in conjunction with other southern California assemblies. When the rent became too high, those involved in running the camp program formed a corporation with brethren from other assemblies in southern California and with financial help from Steward’s Foundation, purchased Verdugo Pine Bible Camp in the Los Angeles National Forest. Laurel Bible Chapel continues to use Verdugo Pines.

 

The large number of Hispanics in the San Diego area led to the formation of a Spanish-speaking congregation meeting at Laurel Bible Chapel. George Mora began the work among the Hispanics by means of a Spanish Bible Class at Laurel, involving an unsaved neighbor family whose children were attending the Sunday School. All of the ministries among children have provided a means of reaching the parents of the children involved; some have been saved as a result – for example Jaime and Letty De La Vega, serving the Lord in Guadalajara, Mexico.

 

As Laurel grew and thrived in the 1970s, thought was given to hiving off to other areas of the county. As a consequence, East County Bible Fellowship in El Cajon was formed in 1976. In the mid 1980s a second hive-off occurred – Cornerstone Bible Church in La Mesa. Although Cornerstone ceased to function at the end of 1994, it was instrumental in the salvation of a number of people and in the spiri­tual growth of many of those who formed this group.

 

Both hive-offs involved the loss of sizeable groups from Laurel, but the Lord gave them a vision for reaching out materially and spiritually to the in­creasing number of refugees, especially those from Southeast Asia. Many of those were saved. The refugee ministry resulted in the establishment of a Cambo­dian and a Laotian group of believers at Laurel Bible Chapel. At the beginning of 1994 a group of Korean believers, originally from the Los Angeles area, asked to meet at the Chapel.

 

As a consequence of the formation of the other ethnic groups, the number of believers meeting at Laurel in 1990 exceeded the number which ex­isted in the 1970s when Laurel was almost exclusively a Caucasian church.

 

The existence of five ethnic groups at Laurel has produced unique sit­uations and problems. From the beginning, all the ethnic groups preferred to conduct meetings in their own language, and this was agreed upon to allow worship unhindered by problems of language comprehension and cultural differences. Separate meetings facilitated evangelistic efforts to reach people of the same ethnic background. Breaking Bread together two or three times a year is arranged, at which time all five languages are used. Elders from all of the groups meet together only to deal with special situations which affect all the groups.

* * * * * * *

 

East County Bible Fellowship in El Cajon began in 1976, a hive-off from Laurel Bible Chapel in San Diego. Meeting first in Nebo Hall in La Mesa, the believers soon moved to the El Cajon Women’s Club, then to the La Mesa Masonic Lodge, and finally to their own building at 496 3rd Street, El Cajon. The Fretz, Mear, Warren, Linfoot, Coombs, Harris, and Even families were those starting the assembly. Over the years, elders have been Charles Fretz, Richard Fretz, Gary Coombs, Jim Catalano, Henri Warren, and Clay Berry. About 80 adults and youngsters attend East County Bible Fellowship today.

* * * * * * *

 

James Mader had been saved while serving in the U.S. Army Air Corp in World War II. After his discharge, he attended the Providence Bible Institute in Rhode Island and Prairie Bible Institute in Canada, followed by another short course in practical training in Los Angeles. Then he came to San Diego as the Assistant Director of the Christian Servicemen’s Center (CSC), with a desire to go full-time into the Lord’s work.

 

The CSC was run by the Christian Businessmen’s Committee, and one of its board members was Ralph Barker. He and his wife were in fellowship at Marlborough Gospel Hall. Mr. Barker lived north of San Diego in a converted barracks and operated a dairy farm on Mission Gorge Road. He and his wife had started a Sunday School in their home before World War II. The parents would bring them in, then waited for the classes to finish. Karl Hammond from Los Angeles had on occasion come to down to preach to the parents. Mr. Barker, having observed James Mader preach at the CSC, asked him to preach to the adults, and this was the start of what would soon become the Mission Valley Community Chapel.

 

In the early 1950s, Mr. Barker replaced the barracks with a purchased submarine trainer, which after remodeling became the present home of the Chapel. Mr. Mader was by then teaching Bible classes in various homes. The population in the area was increasing. One by one, people were saved and the need for a church home became evident. An assembly was formed and incorporated in 1953 as the Mission Valley Community Chapel.

 

Allied Gardens had been established after the war to provide affordable housing for veterans. The wife in a family in the new church did much visitation in the Allied Gardens area, assisting the young families. Many of them came into the assembly. In 1954, the assembly bought a 35-passenger bus to pick up children in Allied Gardens. The bus was also used as a Sunday School room.

 

Clyde and Kenneth Hammond, brothers of Karl Hammond from Los Angeles, were early leaders in the assembly besides Mr. Mader and Mr. Barker. Doug Thomson from New Zealand was much involved in the work.

 

The assembly has always had active youth programs, and its focus today is prayer and missions. It has sent missionaries to many foreign countries, including countries in Africa and Indonesia, and to the Philippines, Paraguay, and France. About 110 adults and children attend Mission Valley Community Chapel today.

* * * * * * *

 

Several other assemblies came into existence in San Diego in these years. The Front Street Gospel Hall was located near the present University Hospital in Hillcrest. This assembly later moved to a new location on Twain Avenue in Allied Gardens. The Imperial Avenue Gospel Hall in Logan Heights continued for a time.

* * * * * * *

 

In the fall of 1893, W. J. McClure held tent meetings in Los Angeles. Following those meetings, he and others established one of the earliest assemblies in the state, meeting at 806 Temple Street. The assembly later moved to 1231 West Jefferson Boulevard and built the West Jefferson Gospel Hall, where they remained for many years. In 1959, the assembly relocated a short distance away to 11138 Venice Boulevard in Culver City, and became the Culver City Gospel Hall. However, was still called the West Jefferson Boulevard Assembly in the history written for the 1993 centennial celebration.

 

Conferences were a steady feature of the assembly, the largest being in the mid 1930s when more than 300 people attended. For many years, the West Jefferson assembly held Saturday night street meetings, and sponsored tent meetings of one to two month’s duration.

 

In 1926, John and Nettie Ruddock were commended by the West Jefferson assembly to the Lord’s work in Guatamala and Honduras, continuing for 52 years. Also commended in 1926 were Ida and Margaret Last, to the West Indies. Harold and Mabel Richards were commended to the work in Alaska in 1937.

* * * * * * *

 

In 1922, John Ruddock of the West Jefferson Gospel Hall began a work among the Spanish-speaking people of East Los Angeles, mainly among the children. In 1924, he was joined by Adam Thropay, and many were saved in these efforts. In 1950, a Spanish speaking assembly, the East Los Angeles Gospel Hall, was established, and from it a children’s work was begun in El Monte.

* * * * * * *

 

The Pomona Assembly was started at about the time that the West Jefferson meeting began. When the Gospel tent used in the Los Angeles meetings by W. J. McClure was taken down in September 1894, it was shipped to Pomona, 40 miles to the east, where a small assembly was already meeting in a home. A campaign was opened there, continuing nightly until December. By the end of the campaign, 18 were meeting as an assembly in rented space. In 1957, the Pomona Gospel Chapel was erected at 1041 N. Weber Street, with a main auditorium seating 182. Henry Petersen and William Bush had meetings at the official opening of the chapel.

* * * * * * *

 

In the early summer of 1925, brethren from the West Jefferson meeting put up a Gospel tent on the north side of York Boulevard at Avenue 48, with Sam Greer and William Grierson as the preachers. Because of the large number of converts, property at 1100 North Avenue 54, Highland Park, was donated for construction of a church building. The Avenue 54 Bible Chapel in Los Angeles was completed by December 1925.

 

The Lord raised up many workers from the Avenue 54 assembly. Among the earlier workers were Sam and Dorothy Gallagher, Irene Gallagher, and Harold and Mabel Richards (the latter also commended by the West Jefferson meeting) in the 1940s and 1950s, and Dorothy Cornish to the work in Guatemala in the 1960s. Many others have been commended to the Lord’s work locally and abroad.

 

The Avenue 54 assembly supported a Missionary Home and an Old Folks Home in South Pasadena in the 1940s and 1950s. In the early 1960s, the property at 5415 Buchanan Street, adjoining the Chapel, was purchased to be used as a Missionary Home. From the 1970s, the Avenue 54 Christians have run an inter-city mission to under-privileged kids. In 1983, classrooms and a small auditorium were added to the Chapel, and a Missionary Apartment was completed and opened. The small auditorium is used by Iglesia Evangelica de Highland Park, and the dining room is used by the Avenue 54 Korean Assembly. Currently, about 110 are in fellowship in the English Meeting.

* * * * * * *

 

Iglesia Evangelica de Highland Park in Los Angeles began in the late 1970s as a neighborhood Bible study conducted by Stan Hanna and then Irene Gallagher. In 1989, Richard and Nancye Yarrall, who had been commended by assemblies in New Zealand for the Lord’s work in Colombia, arrived to work among the Latinos in the Los Angeles area. Being re-commended to this work by the New Zealand assemblies and Avenue 54 Bible Chapel and Westminster Bible Chapel, they commenced working with the Iglesia Evangelica de Highland Park group. Visitation and Bible studies among Latinos in the Westminster area led to the formation of Iglesia Cristiana de Westminster, CA closely associated with Westminster Bible Chapel. (See Ethnic Section)

* * * * * * *

 

The assembly in Fullerton, in the Los Angeles area, had its start in 1955. A few believers living in Orange and Los Angeles counties and attending Elm Avenue Gospel Hall in Long Beach met to discuss starting a testimony in Orange County. Agreeing on the need, they held their first meetings as the Garden Grove Assembly in a rented store in Garden Grove, with Sunday School and the Family Bible Hour in the morning, and Breaking of Bread in the evening. Wednesday evening meetings were at a motel that could accommodate the twenty or so people. For a number of months Harold Kesler came from Riverside on Wednesday evenings for ministry at the Garden Grove Assembly.

 

A partially completed cement-block house in the area, on Dale Avenue south of Katella Boulevard, was found to be for sale and was purchased. Volunteer work made the building suitable for meetings, and a house trailer was converted into three Sunday School rooms.

 

Around 1960, a larger facility on two and one half acres in Fullerton was found to be available. The decision to move the testimony to Fullerton was unanimous, and Grace Bible Chapel came into being. To facilitate the transportation of Sunday School children to Fullerton from the former areas, two old buses were purchased and operated each Sunday morning.

 

After several years, those living south of Lincoln Boulevard decided to start a new testimony in that area, and rented a Club House on Harbor Boulevard in Westminster. This move reduced the number in the original congregation by over 50%, but with so many moving out of Los Angeles to Orange County at that time, it did not take long to build the numbers back up again. In a few years, expansion and remodeling of Grace Bible Chapel were necessary again.

 

In 1977, Bruce Merritt took early retirement to take over administrative responsibilities at the assembly. In 1985, Kenneth Daughters, then attending BIOLA College, took over these duties until he left to attend Dallas Seminary. Then Andrew Holloman, a graduate of BIOLA, worked full time for a year, setting up the office, supervising the youth groups, and visiting the Christians in their homes. After that, Harold Barrington, who had helped Laurel Bible Chapel in San Diego  reorganize, came to Fullerton for several months, running the office and visiting most of the congregation and making recommendations. The assembly declined for a time, but recovered under the leadership of elders Christo Ayoub, Micahel Carter, Charles Cox, and Robert Norris. Grace Bible Chapel in Fullerton is active today.

* * * * * * *

 

In 1947 several brethren from Goodyear Gospel Hall in Los Angeles began a Sunday school work, pioneered by Karl Hammond, among the children on West Adams Street. Interest and attendance grew and a building was erected, which became La Brea Gospel Chapel. The work prospered, and the building was later enlarged to accommodate the Sunday School.

* * * * * * *

 

The Christians at Goodyear Gospel Hall also helped to establish the Bethel Gospel Hall in Los Angeles in March 1953. By 1954, more than 50 were in fellowship at Bethel. The assembly disbanded in the early 1980s.

* * * * * * *

 

In 1951, construction of the spacious Western Assemblies Home for the Aged was completed at Claremont, 15 miles from Los Angeles. The brethren living in the area then constructed Claremont Gospel Chapel for assembly meetings. In 1954, about 80 were in fellowship and the Sunday school and Family Bible Hour attendance was over 100. In 1961, when the assembly fellowship had grown to 150, the Christians added a Sunday school wing.

* * * * * * *

 

The assembly in Riverside, east of Los Angeles, began in 1925, the offshoot of tent meetings held by evangelists John Hunt and Herb Harris. A small assembly was formed soon after. John Hunt convinced his brother, A.E. Hunt, to move into the area to help teach and support the newly formed body. The Christians purchased a small church building on 6th and Park, calling it the Riverside Gospel Hall. They met there from the late 1920s to the early 1940s. Believers traveled from the cities of Ontario, Redlands, and Hemet to fellowship in the assembly. Among the others who began the Riverside Gospel Hall were the Argleban, Newman, Bourbonnais, Leest, Scott, DeYoung, Hill, and Manchester families.

 

In the 1940s, because of gas rationing brought about by World War II, many people could no longer attend. The Gospel Hall was sold, and the remaining believers began meeting in neighboring Rubidoux, after having some tent meetings there. Harold Kesler moved his residence into Riverside during the war years. He and L.G. Winfrey devoted much time to the work, and shared leadership with M. Mellinger, C. Bishop, N. Moore, and Jack Bourbonnais during that period.

 

In 1952, the assembly constructed the Riverside Gospel Chapel at 8045 California Avenue. Later they changed its name to Bethel Chapel. The assembly has more than 200 adults and youngsters in attendance, and has commended several missionaries to foreign fields.

* * * * * * *

 

San Bernardino Gospel Chapel, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles, was completed in late 1952. This testimony resulted from the pioneering labors of Karl Hammond. In 1952, John Hathaway of the La Brea Gospel Chapel in Los Angeles moved to San Bernardino to devote his time and effort to pastoral care of the San Bernardino assembly.

* * * * * * *

 

From San Bernardino, Karl Hammond moved to Montebello to open a business and to establish a testimony there, about 10 miles from Los Angeles. The Montebello Assembly was formed, meeting in the Women’s Club Building. It has disbanded.

* * * * * * *

 

In 1951, several of the saints attending the Riverside assembly began a work in Colton, east of Los Angeles, between Riverside and San Bernardino. They purchased and remodeled a church building, calling it Colton Gospel Chapel, and met as an assembly there. It is still active.

* * * * * * *

 

In 1950 several of the believers in Glendale and the San Fernando Valley bought an old Jewish synagogue and remodeled it into Glendale Gospel Chapel. Tom Westwood through his radio ministry was instrumental in bringing several of the Lord’s people into the Glendale assembly.

* * * * * * *

 

With approval of the Glendale assembly, several young men and women from there began a new testimony in the San Fernando Valley, the Valley Gospel Chapel, North Hollywood. The assembly met initially in the YWCA building on Tujunga Avenue on Sunday and in various homes for the mid-week prayer and Bible study meeting. It has disbanded.

* * * * * * *

 

In 1952, several families in the Valley Gospel Chapel, North Hollywood assembly held Bible classes and cottage prayer meetings in the west end of the San Fernando Valley. In fellowship with the North  Hollywood brethren, these families began an assembly testimony in the Woodland Hills/Canoga Park area in July 1952. Meeting at the local Women’s Club, 7515 Winnetka  Avenue, the Christians called it West Valley Gospel Hall. They changed the name to West Valley Gospel Chapel in 1958, still at the Women’s Club. In 1961, the Christians built their own West Valley Bible Chapel at 20703 Chase Street.

 

The principal people starting the assembly include Dennis Mellinger, William Glaser, Dale Munier, E. Davies, Joseph Morrow, Jr., Frank Westfall, George Rake, Charles Lundsford, David Hunt and others. In active leadership over the years have been Dennis and Larry Mellinger, Jack Bitler, George Rake, David Hunt, Ben Werle, Archie Ross, David Brooks, Howard Muir, and Clarence LeLong, and others. The assembly has about 35 adults and children.

* * * * * * *

 

About 100 miles up the coast from Los Angeles at Santa Barbara, evangelist Neil Fraser took up residence some time before 1954 to help the little assembly there, which lasted for a short while.

* * * * * * *

 

Antelope Valley Bible Chapel in Lancaster, north of Los Angeles, began in 1994 and meets in homes. Three families, those of Brian and Malyn Sanders, John and Billie Cattermole, and Mike and Christina McMillan, some of whom had been in fellowship at West Valley Bible Chapel in Canoga Park, formed the group that started the assembly, which consists of about 40 adults and youngsters. Messrs. Sanders, Cattermole, and McMillan share leadership responsibilities. Several Air Force service men stationed at Edwards Air Force Base join the fellowship as their terms of service permit.

* * * * * * *

 

In Atascadero, a town halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, a work begun in 1949 as a children’s and young people’s effort, developed into an assembly testimony by 1950. A building was leased in the town’s shopping district in 1951, and in 1954, the assembly’s own chapel – the Atascadero Gospel Chapel, CA – was constructed with an auditorium seating 168. Bert Young pioneered the work at Atascadero. The assembly commended its first missionary – Bob Young to Northern Rhodesia – in 1954.

* * * * * * *

 

Charles Montgomery came to San Francisco from Ireland in about 1869, began a hotel business, and in a year or two began publishing The Evangelist. The 1873 San Francisco City Directory , referring to ‘Christian Brethren,’ states: “...They meet simply to the name of Jesus. Meetings held every Lord’s Day at 11 AM for Breaking of Bread. Preaching in the evening at half past seven o’clock in the Hall, 155 New Montgomery Street near Howard by Charles Montgomery.” The assembly is not given a name in the 1873 edition of the Directory, but the 1888 edition calls it Gospel Hall (San Francisco). A Bible Depot was also commenced in the neighborhood in the 1870s, moving through various locations.

 

Donald Ross visited San Francisco in 1887, holding meetings in a tent, and was assisted by the San Francisco assembly. Several were saved, among them some living in Montgomery’s hotel. The same year, tent meetings were held in Oakland, at which time the present Bethany Gospel Chapel in Oakland had its beginning. In October 1887, the first California Conference was held in San Francisco, and this conference, now convening at Thanksgiving time, has continued to this day.

 

In 1888, the San Francisco Gospel Hall was meeting at 866 Mission Street, with Charles Montgomery listed as correspondent. During the next three decades, the assembly moved through about a dozen locations, all of them at rented store fronts in the general area. The San Francisco earthquake and resulting fire storm of 1906, with subsequent dynamiting in an attempt to halt the fires, destroyed the area. The assembly could save only a few hymn books and other small items. At that time, a Mr. McFie was one of the leaders, and the assembly met in his home for a time. Open air meetings were held on Sunday afternoons and evenings in some of the refugee camps around the city.

 

In the first two decades of the twentieth century, the San Francisco Gospel Hall held many Gospel campaigns, some in tents in the city. Street meetings prior to the evening indoor meeting, and Saturday meetings, were common. A membership list in 1911 shows 50 to 60 in fellowship, which grew to about 80 by 1926. In 1927, a decision was made to construct a building at 910 Santiago Street, and in December 1928, the first Breaking of Bread was held in the Parkside Gospel Chapel in San Francisco. Wednesday night meetings at the Victorious Gospel Mission on Howard Street were commenced in 1931. The assembly continues today at the Santiago address. The assembly has commended many workers to the foreign field.

* * * * * * *

 

An assembly in Oakland began in a home in the early 1870s through the efforts of John McIntyre. From there the Christians rented a storefront for a time, and in 1912 constructed the Bethany Gospel Hall in Oakland on San Pablo Avenue. This beautiful building graces the cover of the book My People, written by Robert Baylis. In 1955, the assembly built the Bethany Gospel Chapel on Tompkins Avenue in Oakland. Bethany has commended William Spees, William Deans, Ruth Johnson, Fred and Jenny Kosin, William MacDonald, and Clifford Beggs to the work of the Lord.

* * * * * * *

 

In April 1954, a group left Bethany Gospel Hall to build the Castlemont Bible Chapel at 90th Avenue and Thermal Street in the Castlemont district of Oakland. About 25 men and women formed the initial fellowship. An auditorium seating about 200 with a lot of Sunday school rooms was ample for many years of progress.

A variety of outreaches brought steady growth. In 1959, the Castlemont Christians bought a half-acre site in the neighboring community of San Leandro. The new Fairhaven Bible Chapel was constructed and occupied in 1962, having 300 fixed seats. Houses were added to extend the youth work and Sunday School facilities.

 

Fairhaven Bible Chapel, with the inspiration of William MacDonald, established a nine-month full-time leadership training program called the Discipleship Intern Training Program. It graduated over 200 men in over 20 years. The program continues today as a five-month program with reduced numbers, largely from other countries. The assembly developed a very popular set of Bible Study Training manuals, which have been effective cross culturally all over the world and published in 25 languages. The assembly operates an Emmaus Prison Ministry, reaching about 4000 men and women. Fairhaven has commended many workers to the foreign field.

* * * * * * *

 

The Alameda Gospel Chapel hived off from Bethany Gospel Chapel in about 1970, the result of a Sunday School outreach in that area. Fairhaven helped start this and three other assemblies – the San Lorenzo Bible Chapel, the Santa Rosa Assembly, and the Valley Bible Church in Pleasanton.

* * * * * * *

 

The Hayward Bible Chapel is one of the older assemblies in the Hayward area. The first assembly meetings were held in a barn in Palomares Canyon. The believers later built a chapel on Meekland Avenue in Hayward. Kenneth Wakefield was one of the leading brothers there in its early days.

* * * * * * *

 

Community Bible Chapel in Hayward began in about 1962 as a hive-off from Hayward Bible Chapel. It was begun by three or four young men, one of whom was Marlin Wakefield, a son of Kenneth Wakefield. When these young men left after three or four years, some of the men at Hayward Bible Chapel went there to maintain the testimony. These included Kenneth Wakefield, Chester Paulson, Joe Wunch, and Avery Wilson. Bob Bruton was a full-time worker there for a time. The assembly is active, with about 80 adults and 40 children, and has commended workers to Zambia, Pakistan, and Indonesia, and to Clairmont College.

* * * * * * *

 

The Hayward Home Bible Fellowship began in about 1977 as a ministry to the older residents at Bethesda Home who were unable to leave because of physical conditions. Ten couples started the assembly, including Dan Kennedy, A. Noble DaShiell, Avery Wilson, Robert Livingston, Carl Swanson, Jack Osterhaus, Robert Scott, and Stan Wallace, and their wives. Some of these had been in the Hayward Bible Chapel. The assembly has commended workers to Russia. About 50 adults are in the Hayward Home Bible Fellowship.

* * * * * * *

 

Valley Bible Church in Pleasanton began in 1988 in San Ramon as a hive-off from Fairhaven Bible Chapel in San Leandro. The originators of the new assembly were Jack Davies, Bill Greenaway, Dean Gossett, and Mark Porter. The latter two are the current leaders. The assembly met in various schools until they were able to purchase a 30,000 square-foot facility, in which about 1200 adults and youngsters now meet. Valley Bible Church has commended workers to the foreign field.

* * * * * * *

 

During 1978 and 1979, Bob Bruton, who was a full-time worker at Community Bible Chapel in Hayward pioneered the start of a church in Fremont in the San Francisco Bay area. By October 1980, seven families (the Brutons, Rumrills, Luckerts, Hulls, Browers, Sowers’, and Berthiumes) were developing the basis for fellowship. On the first Sunday of January 1981, the weekly celebration of the Lord’s Supper was begun, and the Mission Peak Bible Church in Fremont was underway.

 

The first fruits of the work became evident in February, when a couple professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. In May 1981, the first baptismal service was conducted. Sixty six persons, constituting 24 families, were in the assembly in 1996. The assembly now occupies quarters at 32701 Falcon Drive in Fremont.

* * * * * * *

 

The Sun Valley Bible Chapel in Lafayette on the east side of Oakland, hived off from the Gospel Auditorium of Oakland. It was started in homes in 1951 by the families of David Gerke, David Jones, Harry Fisher, Travers Welch, Bain Jackson, and Edna Soroka. Outgrowing the homes, they rented space in downtown buildings (Portugese hall, Town Hall, Veterans Building) in Walnut Creek, and then moved to their present location at 1031 Leland Drive, Lafayette. In 1996, there were about 100 in attendance. Several workers have been commended by Sun Valley Bible Chapel.

* * * * * * *

 

San Jose Bible Chapel was started in the late 1950s by families moving into the rapidly growing area. Most of these were young families from assemblies in other places, including Bob and Bernice Miller, John Payne, Bob and Barbara Sherrard, and Gordon and Christine Westwood. The Family Bible Hour and Sunday School were initially held in an American Legion Hall, and the Sunday evening Breaking of Bread and midweek Bible study and prayer meetings were held in homes. The assembly has relocated to Hillview Bible Chapel in Cupertino, at 1160 S. Stelling Road. It has over 200 in attendance and has commended many people to the Lord’s work. Elders have been Bob Bunce, Wallace Carroll, Gordon Westwood, Phil Hamilton, Bill Davis, Pedro Dillon, Rick DeVaul, and Jim McCarthy.

* * * * * * *

 

The Twelfth Ave­nue Gospel Chapel in Sacramento was built in the late 1940s. After a series of meetings with Neil Fraser in June 1954, 23 were baptized and Sunday school attendance was well be­yond the 200 mark. It has discontinued.

* * * * * * *

 

The Sacramento Bible Chapel assembly at 1931 Silca Avenue, Sacramento’s second assembly at the time, expanded its facilities in 1959. It continues today.

* * * * * * *

 

In the middle of the state, White Avenue Gospel Hall in Fresno began in 1911. Evangelists Sam Greer and Fred Hillis are credited with starting the assembly. Meeting first in a home on Divisadero Street, the Christians moved later into the Fresno Gospel Hall, their present location at 2818 Olive Avenue. Leadership over the years has been held by Tom Mulligan, John Royer, Harry Thorpe, J.C. Drake, Roy Argleben, Roy McDonald, Robert Leerhoff, and Gene Paulson. About 55 persons attend the assembly.

* * * * * * *

 

Valley Bible Chapel in Napa began in April 1966 in a home. At the end of the year, the believers rented an abandoned church building at 1747 Second Street for their meetings, and in 1971 they purchased and moved into a building 1550 Second Street, their current location. Those initiating the assembly were the families of Homer Williams, Charles Arthur, Edward Parker, Dean Chase, Clifford Olson, and Byron Bradford. Leadership over the years has been shared by Homer Williams, Michael Westfall, Edward Parker, Byron Bradford, August Lanum, and James Wright. About 30 adults and youngsters are in the assembly.

* * * * * * *

 

At the beginning of 1953, a few believers began meeting to remember the Lord in the northern California mountain community of Loomis, forming the Loomis Assembly. In mid 1954, about 25 were in fellowship. In addition, the assembly supported a Sunday school work at Peardale, 35 miles east of Loomis, where 25 chil­dren regularly attended. David Sharp was commended to the work in northern California by the brethren in Bethany Gospel Chapel in Oakland and labored in and about Loomis. He carried on an extensive visitation  program at Auburn, and labored also in the Sacramento assembly.

* * * * * * *

 

Crescent City is in the far northwest corner of the state. It was there that Samuel Cardy, who had spent many years as a full-time worker in Ireland, began the assembly in 1993 called the Crescent City Christian Chapel. The assembly met in a single room in the Fishermen’s Hall. Mr. Cardy and Pearl McJimpsey were the leaders of the assembly, which had grown to about 30 adults and 15 children before it disbanded after just a few years. A weekly Bible study continues in homes, and Mr. Cardy continues with a local television ministry.

 

 

 

Sources:

Questionnaire responses

Grace Bible Chapel History, by Bruce Merritt, March 1, 1997

In the Beginning, a History of Laurel Bible Chapel, by Doug Foight and Cliff Peterson, undated; based in part on an article entitled Birth of an Assembly by Arthur Brunner

History of West Jefferson Boulevard Assembly, by Adam Joseph Thropay, 1993

History of Mission Peak Bible Church, by Bob Bruton, October 1996

Avenue 54 Bible Chapel, by Rodney Hippenhammer, November 27, 1996

History of Parkside Gospel Chapel, 1998; www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~jonafon/history.html

Letters of Interest, June 1954; July 1954, p. 17; November 1957, p. 26; June 1959, p. 11; July 1961, p. 8


Oregon

 

The first known Breaking of Bread in Oregon was in 1887, held in the Joseph Marshall home on Hoyt Street on the west side of Portland. Four or five Christians were present.

 

In 1892, Donald Ross arrived in Portland for a tent campaign, bringing with him his son-in-law James Harcus, another evangelist. The tent was pitched on the corner of Seventh and Ash Street in East Portland, as Mr. Ross reported in the June 1892 issue of his monthly magazine Our Re­cord.

 

A year later, the little Portland Assembly rented and met in Parrott Hall. Donald Ross, James Harcus, W. J. Mc­Clure, and John Monypenny mini­stered the Word at the first Bible Conference of the assembly, held in 1895. The Christians continued to meet in various rented quarters until 1904, when a small Gospel Hall was built on S. E. Eight Street. The numbers in the assembly increased slowly to about 40 by the turn of the century.

 

In 1915, the assembly erected a building on East Stark Street at 29th in Portland. The building was known as the Stark Street Gospel Hall. By about 1950 it was called Stark Street Gospel Chapel. In 1957, some 165 were in fellowship and Sunday School attendance was about 85 children. The mid-week prayer meeting attendance aver­aged 40.

 

In 1958, the assembly bought a large building site in an area of new homes much farther east at 114th and Stark Street, and built Eastgate Bible Chapel in Portland, the current location of the assembly. The assembly has commended the Floyd Schneiders to the Lord’s work in Austria  and elsewhere. Walter Purcell, Jim Hislop, and Eliseo Lopez have served as full-time workers in the assembly. About 275 are in the assembly today.

* * * * * * *

 

In 1929, a Sunday School work was started in a goat barn in southeast Portland, as an evangelistic outreach of Stark Street Gospel Chapel. Andy and Beth Schroth were among the first of many workers from Stark Street to help with the growing children’s work. The Sunday School moved from its goat barn in 1934 to a rented facility on Southeast 87th Avenue near Powell Boulevard. Preaching meetings there began to attract the parents of many of the children. Dave Masson and Joe Murray shared the preaching responsibility. The Stark Street as­sembly took over ownership of the 87th Avenue facility in 1948 and added more Sunday School rooms.

 

By 1952 the band of about 20 committed workers formed an assembly meeting in the building, calling it the 87th Avenue Bible Chapel in Portland. In 1957, there were 50 in fellowship and 115 children in the Sunday School. In the 1960s, the building was enlarged. Leadership at that time consisted of Dave Jannsen, Bob McNicol, Dean Sigler, and Jon Marks.

 


The growing assembly moved into a larger building at 76th and Irving in Portland in 1975, calling it the Laurel Park Bible Chapel. Bruce McNicol and Rex Koivisto were its first commended workers. Growth continued, and in 1980 Laurel Park hived-off her daughter church, West Side Bible Chapel in Beaverton; this assembly is now located in the Hillsboro section of Portland and is known as West Side Bible Fellowship.

 

Laurel Park continued to grow and moved into McGuire Auditorium at Warner Pacific College in 1985. While at its numeric peak, the assembly experienced internal trials, and many people left. In 1990, the remaining Christians sold their building on 76th and Irving and purchased land at 122nd and Mather Road in the southern reaches of Portland. The assembly constructed the Spring Mountain Bible Church in Clackamas, having its first meeting there in 1994, with a common goal and new priorities.

 

Spring Mountain Bible Church and its predecessors have commended workers to Chad, Rwanda/Uganda, Russia, Austria, Peru, Uzbakistan, and to Interest Ministries  and  International Teams.

* * * * * * *

 

Before 1909, a small group of Christians associated with the Grant ‘exclusive’ brethren met in various homes in the St. Johns district of Portland for Bible study and the Breaking of Bread. Some of those who met together were Hans Jackumsen, his brother Mads, and J.P. Andersen and family, all of whom had moved west from New Jersey. Through the years, they met in homes and rented storefronts on North Halladay Street and on East 4th and Burnside, and even met in a dance hall.

 

In 1920, evangelist Fred Elliot teamed up with E.K. Bailey for a series of meetings in a large tent in Portland. Several people were saved and added to the assembly, which was known then as the Grace and Truth Gospel Hall. In 1926, the Christians purchased a building at 602 NE Prescott, and met there for over 30 years until they outgrew those facilities. In 1932, the decision was made to break away from the Grant brethren and become associated with the ‘open’ brethren.

 

In 1957, about 120 were in fellowship and 110 children were in the Sunday School. The present building of the assembly was erected in 1960 at 12420 NE Siskiyou Street, Portland, and the name was changed to Grace and Truth Chapel. Since 1996, the assembly has been known as Grace Bible Fellowship.

 

Missionaries have been commended from Grace Bible Fellowship to Peru, Ecuador, France, and Zaire; others have been sent to work among native Americans and with Hospital Chaplains’ Ministry of America. Gilbert and Sue Gleason have been commended to pastoral ministry at Grace Bible Fellowship.

* * * * * * *

 

An assembly in Bonita near Tigard on the southwest edge of Portland start­ed with a Sunday School in the farm home of Mrs. West in 1912. The Bonita Gospel Hall was built in 1927 and 1928 with volunteer labor and was enlarged from time to time. There were 25 in fellowship in 1957, with an average of 75 in the Sunday School. The Stark Street Gospel Chapel in Portland supplied some workers over the years. The assembly has disbanded.

* * * * * * *

 

An influx of believers from North Dakota led to the start of the Forest Grove Gospel Hall in the town of Forest Grove, west of Portland (see North Dakota). Dick and Fanny Goff arrived first and purchased a farm in the Hillside district eight miles northwest of the town. A few weeks later the Hazlitt family arrived and settled on a farm in the Thatcher district. The Alex Hunter family came with the Hazlitts and bought a house on the Gales Creek Road.

 

On the last Sunday of 1901, this little group of eight first met to Remember the Lord in a rented house on 17th Avenue in Forest Grove. Within a few weeks, Mrs. Emma Goff and her son Edward arrived. Edward purchased a farm in the Hillside district. For the next eight years, the assembly met in that home.

 

In the spring of 1902, James Harcus and W.C. Arnold held a series of Gospel meetings in the Thatcher Community Church, at which many were saved. Over the next decade, a steady flow of brethren preachers, including J.J. Rouse, Alex Matthews, David Scott, and W.J. McClure, as well as Messrs. Harcus and Arnold, held Gospel meetings in the area. A Sunday School work was established, at which upwards of 30 children attended. Nevertheless, the assembly remained small. From 1911 until 1919, the assembly met in the Jacob Hazlitt home on Thatcher Road.

 

In 1919, the assembly started meeting in the Thatcher Community Church and met there through 1946. They neither owned the building or paid rent, but maintained and improved the building, sometimes with help from neighbors. This was their Gospel Hall, and they would refer to it as Community Hall or Thatcher Hall. Gospel meetings were held in a hall on Pacific Avenue that B.B. Goff had purchased in 1922. In 1946, the Christians moved into their newly built Forest Grove Gospel Hall at 21st and Cedar Streets, where they still meet.

 

At the end of 1920, although only about 13 were in fellowship, some 70 were attending the Sunday School. The assembly grew slowly but steadily. Records show 48 in fellowship in 1947. In 1958, the Sunday School and Sunday Bible Class reached 144. In 1964 there were 79 in fellowship. However, that year was also a time of testing for this and other assemblies in the state and as far away as Seattle, and numbers decreased.

 

In 1969, a new assembly was begun in Salem, some 50 miles to the south. The Salem Gospel Hall and Forest Grove Gospel Hall are in happy fellowship.

 

B.B. Goff, W.C. Arnold, and E.G. Goff were the principal leaders of the assembly at Forest Grove for the first 50 years. B.B. was the energetic leader, Ben Arnold was the teacher, and E.G. was the shepherd. Other leaders have been Harry Goff, Ralph Goff, Frank Goff, John Robertson, David Williams, and Richard Goff. Gaius Goff joined Herbert Harris in Newfoundland to work on his Missionary Gospel Messenger boat for the summer of 1960, and has continued to minister there and elsewhere on the continent. The assembly commended Fanny Mae Goff to the field in Venezuela, where she eventually became director of the Colegio Evangelico in Puerto Cabello. About 30 are in fellowship at Forest Grove today.

* * * * * * *

 

An assembly at Linnton Gospel Chapel near Portland began in 1932 as a result of personal work by Will Hall of Vancouver among Italian families in the district, as a follow-up to Sunday School work among their children. Stark Street Gospel Hall was involved in the early days of the assembly. At first the meetings were Italian-speaking, but by 1957 were entire­ly English-speaking. This assembly has since discontinued.

* * * * * * *

 

An assembly in Gresham on the east side of Portland began in 1958 as Clinton Street Bible Chapel. The families of Darwin L. Kirchem and Ralph N. Morris from the 87th Avenue Bible Chapel in Portland began the new work with the blessing of the elders of that assembly.

 

Later, the Christians shortened the name Clinton Street Chapel, and then changed it to Cascade Community Church. The assembly has commended workers to the field in Colombia, Indonesia, and other areas abroad, and others to ministries in the States. Rick Simmons has been commended for work at Cascade Community Church.

* * * * * * *

 

An assembly began meeting in 1895. in the home of the Bates family on the Columbia River Highway, 18 miles east of Portland. Helping in the beginning were Clement and Amos Crowston, along with the S.S. Bates, Lucos, Chamberlain, and Shelley families, among others. A local school was used later for the Sunday school and special meetings. The W. D. Close, Conzler, Charles Berney, and James Berney families became active in the assembly. In 1914, the Christians built the Springdale Gospel Hall. Years later the name was changed to Springdale Bible Chapel.

 

The assembly has commended workers to the field in the Congo, Peru, and Europe. James and Berney has been commended as Director of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship in Canada. Others have been commended to serve with Operation Mobilization and Interest Ministries. Springdale Bible Chapel is small at this time.

* * * * * * *

 

In 1940, several Christians met in the Michael Keefe home at Eugene to Break Bread. They continued there until the late 1940s, when Fred El­liott and Neil Fraser held a series of tent meetings on the edge of the downtown area. Following those meetings, five or six couples met as an assembly in the Presbyterian church on Sunday afternoon for worship; they also started a Sun­day School and an adult Bible class in a gymnasium in a neighborhood school.

 

The principal persons who devoted themselves to the building of the assembly in the early years were Michael J. Keefe, Clarence Caudell, Dick Taylor, and Phillip Gossard.

 

The Christians purchased the lot across the street from the school, at the corner of East 33rd and Donald Street, and in 1952 construction began on the Willamette Gospel Chapel under the supervision of Walter McAfee of California, who had done the same work for many assemblies of the West coast. The chapel was completed in 1953. In 1957, there were 50 in fellowship and 125 children in the Sunday School.

 

Visiting speakers from Portland came frequently after the move into the building in 1953, including R. Fred Elliot, David Masson, and Wally Johnson. Neil Fraser came to live in Eugene from 1956 to 1968, committing himself to the building up of the assembly. Throughout the 1950s, the chief evangelistic outreach was through neighborhood visitation, youth meetings, and the very large Sunday School, which reached into many unbelieving families. The name was changed to Willamette Bible Chapel in the late 1960s. Additional classrooms were added later.

 

Through the years, various young persons have gone on short term missions to India, Kenya, France, and Papua New Guinea. Along with Eastgate Bible Chapel in Portland, Willamette Bible Chapel has commended workers to Europe, Papua New Guinea, and the Samuel Zwemer Institute.

* * * * * * *

 

Two families from the Stark Street Gospel Chapel in Portland moved in 1944 to Seaside, on the northwest tip of Oregon, and began meet­ing to Remember the Lord in the home of Joseph Murray. In 1950 they were offered use of a vacant Baptist community church building in nearby Gearhart, which was later deeded to them. In 1957, there were 20 in fellowship and 60 in the Sunday School. This assembly has disbanded.

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Questionnaire Responses

History of the Arlington (Washington) Assembly, undated but apparently written in late 1980s

History of the Forest Grove Assembly, by R. Goff, 1965, revised 1976

Spring Mountain Bible Church: Our History, 1994

Our Record, June 1892

Letters of Interest, November 1958, p. 11

 



Washington

 

Hope Bible Fellowship in Seattle has its roots in an assembly that was in existence by 1921, and that met then at Taylor Avenue Gospel Hall. The families of Coy, Greenhill, and Hitchman are remembered from that time; they had earlier met to Remember the Lord in a store front in the Fremont area. The parents of Daniel Hayden were saved in 1924 and joined the fellowship at Taylor Avenue. Arthur and Winnie Knight and their family joined with Taylor Avenue in 1930, coming from the dwindling local Grant ‘exclusive’ meeting.

 

Harry Penman, a Scotsman who began a successful advertising business in Seattle, was a true leader and encourager at Taylor Avenue. He had a large vision and was instrumental in inviting well-known ministering brethren from the ‘old country’ to have week-long ministry and evangelistic meetings at the Gospel Hall. Initially the assembly consisted mostly of brethren of Scottish, Irish, and English extraction. A.L. Ritts, a well-known Bible teacher from the Midwest, moved to Seattle with his family and helped out in the early days.

 

At that time the Taylor Avenue Gospel Hall was situated on the summit of Denny Hill, near the present Seattle center. When Denny Hill was sluiced into Puget Sound to make way for a level northward expansion of downtown Seattle in 1930, the assembly purchased and moved into an existing church building nearby at 40th and Whitman Avenue N; they called it Hope Gospel Hall.

 

The assembly was blessed with a vibrant young people’s group of about 40, out of whose number some were later commended to missionary service, including Ernie and Helen Crabb to Alaska; Dorothy Munce to India; Ken and Helena Fleming to South Africa; Peter Fleming to Ecuador; Paul and Helen Flint to Emmaus Bible School; Lloyd and Linda Rogers to Ecuador; and Mark and Carol Mattix to Bolivia. Also in those decades missionary meetings were easily arranged, and scarcely a week would go by without a visiting missionary exposing the saints to the needs and triumphs of the Gospel in many parts of the world.

 

Frank Hitchman, Charles Joss, James Greenhill, Ray Knowles, Ray Anderson, and Doug Kazen are some of those who have been active in leadership through the years. Many of the Lord’s servants involved in itinerant ministry visited the assembly during the 1930s to the 1950s, holding week-long evangelistic and ministry meetings, and sometimes special children’s meetings. These men included A. N. O’Brien, George Landis, Alfred Mace, Inglis Fleming (who had moved to Seattle), E. K. Bailey, Walter Purcell, Leonard Sheldrake, Harold Harper, A. P. Gibbs, and Henry Petersen.

 

Because of the proximity of both Army and Navy bases to Seattle, Hope Gospel Hall enjoyed the fellowship and stimulation of many servicemen during World War II years. These visits were a source of enrichment and increasing awareness of world-wide needs. Annual inter-assembly Labor Day Bible Conferences, rotating among the Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland assemblies were also a source of growth and encouragement.

 

In the late 1940s, the name was changed to Whitman Avenue Gospel Chapel, reflecting its location. At that time, adult attendance was often up to 250, with a Sunday School close to 100 children and teen-agers.

 

In July 1987, Whitman Avenue Gospel Chapel and the Wedgewood Bible Fellowship in Seattle merged, and changed the name to Hope Bible Fellowship, but remaining at the Whitman Avenue address. Adult attendance in 1996 was a little over 50. In late 1996, Michael Vederoff was engaged as a full-time worker for the assembly. Current elders are Dex Sederstrom, Aaron Vederoff, Terry Dickerson, and Mike Lytle.

* * * * * * *

 

During World War II, the Whitman Avenue Gospel Chapel planted a new assembly in Des Moines, some 15 miles south of Seattle. It was called at first the Highline Gospel Assembly, meeting at the Odd Fellows Hall. The assembly moved in 1955 into their own building in the center of Des Moines and named it the Des Moines Gospel Chapel. Growth in this young assembly occurred largely through a series of home Bible studies, using the Emmaus Correspondence Courses What the Bible Teaches and Lessons for Christian Living. Beatrice Kosin was commended from Des Moines Gospel Chapel to the work of the Lord in Laos, where she was killed by the Viet Cong.

 

As the Des Moines Gospel Chapel continued to grow, the building was enlarged in stages. Attendance at the Lord’s Supper was about 150 in 1997, with some 250 to 300 present on Sunday morning for the Family Bible Hour. Sunday School classes for all ages are well attended. The assembly administrative staff consists of a full-time pastoral worker, two youth workers, and a secretary.

* * * * * * *

 

In about 1970, the Des Moines assembly thought it would be wise to consider a hive-off, so they purchased property in the Federal Way area, about 10 miles south of Des Moines. In 1973, the new assembly was planted and began meeting in the Brigadoon School. Shortly thereafter construction was begun on Evergreen Bible Chapel in Federal Way at 21st Avenue SW. Robert Arthur, Tom Parks, Bill Erickson, Russell Howard and George Mathews were the original elders there. Others involved in establishing Evergreen Bible Chapel were William Mitton, William Erickson, and Homer Grob. Other leaders have been Marchant King, Jerry Schwartz, and Dean Mills.

 

About 110 adults and youngsters were in attendance at Evergreen Bible Chapel in 1996. The assembly has seen blessing in a good Awana Club ministry, as well as Vacation Bible Schools. Workers have been commended to radio station HCJB in Texas and to Papua New Guinea.

* * * * * * *

 

In October 1949, some brethren who were affiliated with the testimony at Hope Gospel Hall, and living in the north end of Seattle, began meeting in homes for prayer and Bible studies, with E.K. Bailey and Alec Ainslie as teachers. In May 1950, they purchased a building in the Northgate area from a Lutheran group and immediately began building up a Sunday School as well as reaching adults in the neighborhood. Northgate Gospel Chapel in Seattle was established in mid 1950 with the full fellowship and cooperation of the Hope brethren.  Besides Messrs. Bailey and Ainslie, the people involved in establishing Northgate Gospel Chapel include the families of Bob Flint, Les Reitz, Bill Hitchman, Frank Fulton, and Bernie Salins. Celoa Brown was one of the original group, and Olive Liefeld (Ainslie) was the first Sunday School teacher. Ray Anderson and Delbert Slattery also helped with the fledging assembly. Leading brethren from the earlier days include, besides those above, Lee Miller, Sumner Osborne Sr., Virgil Holterman, Edwin Wald, Henry Soderlund, Max Johnson, and Bob Hess.

 

By May 1951, the Sunday school had grown to more than 100 children, and 60 to 75 adults attended the morning preaching service. An addition providing more classroom space was built in late 1952; remodeling in the late 1950s added more space. Attendance in 1996 was about 150 adults and youngsters. Workers have been commended by the assembly to Chile, Bolivia, and Australia.

* * * * * * *

 

North Lynnwood Bible Chapel, WA began with six families meeting together in 1978. At that time the name South County Bible Fellowship, WA was chosen, since the families expected to be located in the south part of Snohomish Country, north of Seattle. The first meetings of the group were in a home for Wednesday evening Bible Studies and fellowship. By September 1978, they decided to meet as a church, on Sundays. During the first year, the group doubled in size and moved from one rented house to another and then to a YMCA. In 1981, they purchased property north of the town of Lynnwood, and changed their name to the present one. They met in rented space in a grade school until moving into their own completed chapel in 1986.

 

Gordon Strom, who has worked with several Seattle-area assemblies, was closely involved with the group during the early years. Among other leaders have been Dan Covert, who grew up in the assembly at Cosmopolis Gospel Chapel, and James Gray, a product of Emmaus Bible College and the Discipleship Intern Training Program. North Lynnwood Bible Chapel has commended workers to church planting and building in Puerto Maldonado, Peru.

* * * * * * *

 

The Bainbridge Bible Chapel is an assembly which meets in the gymnasium of a school on Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound. In 1997, there were approximately 35 adults who regularly came together for the Lord’s Supper, and approximately 120 adults and children for Sunday School and Family Bible Hour. A Monday evening adult Bible study is held in the Law Offices of a brother in the meeting, with about 30 to 35 attending. Other meetings are held in homes.

* * * * * * *

 

Sunrise Fellowship in Edmonds, on the north edge of Seattle had its beginnings in the 1960s. Composed largely of young families and singles, it is a growing church fellowship in the 1990s.

* * * * * * *

 

In the 1950s, the assemblies in the Seattle area purchased the site for a camp on a lake on Whidbey Island, 30 miles north of Seattle. Lakeside Bible Camp through the years has been a great blessing to young people and adults as well. Camps and retreats are held the year around.

 

A monthly Missionary Focus meeting for all the greater Seattle area assemblies is held in north and south Seattle assemblies on a rotating basis. This has been continuing for the past 40 years, and has been an important factor in stimulating local missionary interest. Missionary speakers are usually drawn from those who may be on furlough.

* * * * * * *

 

In 1901, a business man invited evangelist James Harcus, then living in Portand to come to Everett, then a small town north of Seattle, and hold meetings. With the help of W.C. Arnold, Mr. Harcus pitched a tent in Everett and held meetings for several months. A number found Christ during the meetings. Mr. Harcus later moved his family to Everett and continued to work in the region for many years; he is buried in Everett.

 

Some of the Christians there, who included Lawrence Kane and William Harcus, a son of James, built a small hall and started a Sunday School. The Everett Gospel Hall first met in Riverside, the eastern, older part of the town. Mr. Kane married William Harcus’ sister Mary, joined William in the printing business, and became one of the strong leaders of the assembly. In 1926, the assembly moved into Parkside Bible Chapel in Everett at 2427 Lombard, its present location. Parkside Bible Chapel has commended workers to Paraguay.

* * * * * * *

 

The Arlington Gospel Hall had its beginning at about the same time. In the early 1900s, several families, all related or acquainted, moved from Illinois to the area near Arlington, north of Everett. These families were all accustomed to attending the Dutch Reformed Church, but because the distance of the nearest church was too far to go by horse and buggy, they met in one another’s homes.

 

Three Klein brothers, John, Richard, and Otto, and their families, were among these early settlers. The Otto Klein family settled in Everett in 1900. One day Otto saw James Harcus’ tent pitched near his home so he stood near it to listen and liked what he heard. When Mrs. Klein passed away at about that time, Otto asked Mr. Harcus to share the funeral service. His daughter Mary (later Mrs. Peter Kazen) began attending the Sunday School in the Everett Gospel Hall, and they both attended Gospel meetings there, but did not join the fellowship.

 

In the fall of 1905, an evangelist held Gospel meetings in the Arlington Baptist Church. Several of the Illinois settlers attended the meetings, with the result that some trusted the Lord. Learning of the interest in the Word of God among these believers, Mr. Harcus began having Bible studies in the home of Otto Klein, who had moved to Arlington, teaching them about believer’s baptism and about New Testament assemblies.

 

In 1907, Mr. Harcus and W.C. (Ben) Arnold put up a tent on Olympic Avenue and held gospel meetings for six weeks. Souls were saved, but there was also some fierce opposition to the gospel. When the tent was taken down and readied for shipment to another area for meetings, the Northern Pacific Railway agent refused to receive it. Since the only way to send items then was by rail, Ed Eylander and John Klein loaded the tent on a hay wagon and took it to the agent at the Edgecomb Station.

 

Early in 1908, John Klein found it necessary to go to a medical clinic in Kansas City for surgery. Mr. Harcus, being well acquainted with the Kansas City brethren, gave him a letter of introduction to Caleb Baker and his associate Mr. Lockwood. John Klein and his wife Carrie were entertained by the Christians there and attended the assembly meetings. They became thoroughly convinced concerning the doctrines of believer’s baptism and gathering to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. After their return home later in the spring, sixteen believers were baptized in the river near the Lincoln bridge. In the fall of 1908, these believers met for the first time in assembly capacity in the home of John and Carrie Klein in Arlington. The assembly was composed mainly of the Klein, Kazen, and Kroeze families.

 

In 1909, Louis and Rose Hoy moved with their family to Arlington. They had been in assembly fellowship in Minnesota and Seattle prior to coming to Arlington and were most helpful to the saints in the newly formed Arlington assembly. Mr. Hoy was a faithful teacher and shepherd in Arlington for many years. The assembly meetings were held in the Hoy home until the Christians rented a tire store near the north end of Olympic Avenue. David Scott and Albert Payne held a six week series of meetings in that tire store. Mr. Scott was the initiator of the first Conference, held for two days at Thanksgiving time in 1912. The speakers, in addition to David Scott, included Albert Payne, Harry Fletcher, James Rae, and William Rae.

 

In 1913, the assembly moved to a building at 324 North Olympic, the first Arlington Gospel Hall. The number of Christians in fellowship continued to grow, and after about seven years they needed a larger building. When the Baptists ceased holding services in Arlington in 1920, the assembly rented their building at Third and McLeod. Three years later, Harry Fletcher of Vancouver purchased it and the assembly rented it from him. Mr. Fletcher employed Hector Alves to oversee much-needed renovation. The assembly was able to purchase the building from Mr. Fletcher in 1946.

 

Others of the Lord’s servants who ministered to the saints and held Gospel meetings during the early years include Alexander Matthews, Ed Stack, J.J. Rouse, George Duncan, C. Willowby, and David Oliver.

 

In 1931, Albert Joyce and Herb Harris held a series of Gospel meetings which resulted in many souls being saved, baptized, and received into fellowship. One of these new believers was Mrs. Maude Cumbow, who soon developed an outreach to the neighborhood children. For many years,  youth services were held on Friday evenings in the Arlington Gospel Hall.

 

During the late 1940s, a burden developed among some of the Christians regarding the unsaved people living in the neighboring areas. In 1950, a portable hall was built under the direction of Hector Alves. This building was first used in Mount Vernon for a series of Gospel meetings conducted by Hector Alves and William Warke.

 

In the late 1950s, the Arlington Gospel Hall on Third Street could no longer accommodate the crowd attending the annual Labor Day weekend conference. The high school auditorium was rented for the services, and the meals were served at the Gospel Hall. The Hall became increasingly inadequate for regular meetings and Sunday school activities, and the believers began looking for a suitable lot. Vern and Helen Pickett then sold about two acres on South Stillaguamish to the assembly. The hall had a total seating capacity of 700 and 10 Sunday School classrooms.

 

In 1974, the assembly purchased a 60 x 40 foot tent for Gospel services, which has been used almost every summer in the Arlington, Marysville, and Mount Vernon areas, or has been loaned to other assemblies for gospel work. Beginning in 1978, a booth was set up each year at the Skagit Valley Fair in Mount Vernon where contacts are made with people in the Burlington and Mount Vernon areas. Many pieces of literature are handed out each year in this Gospel outreach. Gospel meetings were held in the tent at Mount Vernon for two summers, and a Youth Bible Hour was held there each Monday evening.

 

Two other evangelistic outreaches began in 1976. Several Christians started a Youth Bible Hour on the Swinomish Indian Reserve in LaConner. Many Indian children attended and after a few years an adult class was also held. The second evangelistic effort was a radio program on KWYZ in Everett.

* * * * * * *

 

Sometime before 1909, Otto and Louisa Timmreck moved to Everett after a fire destroyed their tavern and hotel. In that city they heard the Gospel preached by W.C. Arnold and James Harcus. Louisa Timmreck was saved, among many others. Later, the Timmrecks moved to farm in the Okanogan valley, which was then a remote area in north-central Washington. In 1911, Mr. Arnold came to Okanogan and held Gospel meetings in a schoolhouse, at which time seven people were saved. His daughter, Mrs. John D. (Betty) Robertson, later wrote: “In the fall of 1911, Dad took Mother with him to Okanogan. It was a trip she never forgot and she would tell of the terrifying stagecoach ride into that country. Dad had Gospel meetings in a schoolhouse. Very few folks knew the hymns and Dad could not carry a tune, so Mother led the singing.”

 

In 1924 and 1925, Mr. Arnold returned for more meetings at which several more were saved, including Lester P. Hinde, who was many years later commended by the assembly to minister throughout the region, and was instrumental in starting the Grants Pass Gospel Hall in Oregon.

 

In 1926, Henry Clifton of the Penticton Gospel Hall in British Columbia, came to the area for cottage meetings and visited extensively. In that same year, Lester and Leone (Timmreck) Hinde visited for a time at the Forest Grove Gospel Hall in Oregon, the home of the Arnolds, to learn of New Testament principles of meeting. Returning to Okanogan in early 1927, they started a meeting to Remember the Lord in their home, and the Okanogan Gospel Hall came into being. Seven people comprised that first assembly, the Hindes, Mr. and Mrs. Sterley, Mrs. Martha Moss; Mrs. Amy Moss, and Mrs. Louisa Timmreck. Garner and Nellie Garrett joined the assembly soon after that.

 

Soon, Lester Hinde and Henry Clifton began preaching together. Henry Clifton and W.C. Arnold are considered to be the pioneers of the Okanogan Gospel Hall. Of several others who led the assembly through the years, we mention Lester Hinde, Alvah T. Williams, Hubert C. Hitchner, J.W. (Chuck) Klein, and more recently Farel Hitchner.

 

In 1929, the assembly moved into a one-room schoolhouse at 1033 S. Seventh Avenue. In 1939, the Christians built their present hall at 304 Conconully Street. The assembly has always been small, and helped by men such as Hector Alves, Ralph Goff, and Charles Summers. Many others also worked in the area and strengthened the assembly.

* * * * * * *

 

The Shoultes Gospel Hall in Marysville was an outgrowth of the work at the Arlington Gospel Hall. The portable building used by Hector Alves and William Warke in the Mount Vernon area in the 1950s was later used for Gospel meetings in the Marysville area north of Everett. Because of the interest, the portable hall was erected on the Steen farm and used for weekly youth meetings. In 1960, a building for this work was erected on land donated by the Steens. Children’s meetings were held there on Friday evenings, and Gospel series’ from time to time. In 1981, Sunday evening Gospel meetings were added. Then in 1984, nine acres at 116th Street and 51st Avenue N.E., Marysville, were purchased. A building was constructed and an assembly was established at Shoultes Gospel Hall in 1994.

 

Some of brethren involved in the early outreach were Fred and Chuck Steen, John A. Klein, Jack Saword, Al Flett, and George Styles. Later, Ken Kroeze, Phil Kazen, Jim Klein, and Tom Hoy joined to help carry on the Gospel outreach in Marysville. Leadership was carried by Phil Kazen, Tom Hoy, and Tony Flett. The assembly has commended workers to El Salvador. Shoultes Gospel Hall has about 100 adults and youngsters in attendance.

* * * * * * *

 

The assembly now meeting at Tieton Drive Bible Chapel in Yakima had its start in about 1908, when a group of families started meeting in the Yakima area in south central Washington, following the pattern of the early churches of the New Testament. They probably met first in homes. In 1910, the group moved into an old Methodist church building on North 4th Street. The name Yakima Gospel Hall was probably used then, although they did not legally incorporate until some time later. Some of the men involved in this early group were Robert Stanton, Otto W. Elder, Charles Peterson, and Harry Guthrie; these had no connection or interchange with brethren assemblies at that time. John Mallett and a Mr. Duffield came from ‘exclusive’ assemblies in England.

 

In the period 1910 to 1913, two events occurred which had a major effect on the believers at the Gospel Hall. David Little came to Yakima from Spokane and preached on the second coming of Christ, then a radically new notion in the area. As the result of his teaching, area churches split over the issue. Some individuals then came over to the Yakima Gospel Hall, which was in full accord with Mr. Little’s teaching. Among these were J.V. Mohr and his daughters.

 

George L. Hunt, a dynamic evangelist-preacher, had also come to Yakima at that time and held a series of tent meetings in the Fruitvale district. He moved to Yakima and joined with the group at the Gospel Hall. His ministry drew many people to the assembly. Among the outreach ministries that Mr. Hunt helped foster were Sunday afternoon meetings in country school houses. O.W. Elder, Bert Stewart, J.V. Mohr, and Ira Meyer helped in this ministry. Baptisms during this period were in the cold and gravelly Yakima River, and in an irrigation ditch on Park Avenue.

 

Around 1914, the building on North 4th Street was sold. The assembly met in various homes until about 1917 when a building was rented on west Yakima Avenue near 8th Avenue. In 1918 they rented a wood frame house on the southwest corner of 10th and Yakima Avenues.

 

The well known writer and teacher A.C. Gaebelein visited the area around 1918, staying in the home of Harry Guthrie. While there he taught in the Yakima assembly. Many people were attracted to the Yakima Gospel Hall through his teaching.

 

Saturday night street meetings were a regular part of the evangelistic outreach of the assembly from its earliest days, usually at 2nd Street and Yakima Avenue. These continued until the 1930s when automobiles became popular and dominated the scene.

 

By 1920, more space was needed to meet the needs of the new families that had come into the assembly. The old building was moved out and a new building was completed in 1921. In May 1922, the assembly was incorporated and officially took the name Yakima Gospel Hall. Records show that Breaking of Bread took place on Sunday evenings.

 

The numbers continued to grow. New family names were the Sweets, Mickelsons, Purviances, Cramers, Franksons, Davidsons, Martha Winchester, Louise Walker, Charles Hamilton, and Percy Hamilton. Yakima Gospel Hall was also a center for the main social life of the people involved. The annual Thanksgiving Conferences were highlights of the year for the assembly. The platform was ‘open,’ meaning that any brother could speak. The meetings began in the morning and lasted into the evening.

 

Itinerant preachers came often to hold series’ of meetings, sometimes every night of the week. John Smart, Neil Fraser, and Wallace Logan, are remembered. Henry Petersen had a series on Pilgrim’s Progress that lasted for three weeks. In the 1930s, Edward G. Dillon held a series of meetings and was instrumental in getting the assembly involved in door-to-door distribution of tracts. Leonard E. Brough and H. Allister Thompson were effective workers at the Gospel Hall in that period.

 

The 1940s brought dramatic change. World War II took many away, into the military service or ship building or aircraft facilities. The assembly founders passed from the scene. The itinerant preacher era began to phase out. The number of men in the assembly dwindled and did not revive much until after the war. Then John E. Crawford and Harold Buckley returned with their families. These men were much used in the assembly.

 

In 1950-51, the Christians remodeled their building and changed the name to Yakima Gospel Chapel. In the 1960s, Ernie and Helen Crabb and their family, who had served as missionaries in Alaska, came to live in the community. Mr Crabb was a real driver for gospel outreach and he involved the assembly in door-to-door visitation. People were saved and added to the assembly. With the growth and also the movement of the city population toward the west part of the city, the elders decided that the assembly should buy a property on Tieton Drive. Total attendance was running around 150 at that time.

 

In November 1970 the move was made to the newly constructed building and the name was changed to Tieton Drive Bible Chapel. The time of construction was one of the most cooperative and supportive times of the assembly life. Through it all the visitation program continued and the new neighborhood canvassed.

 

The assembly recognized elders and deacons in the 1990s, and was growing again after a period of decline. Workers over the years have been commended to Malawi, Argentina, Mexico, Africa,  and to Immanuel Mission in Arizona.

* * * * * * * *

 

The Cosmopolis Gospel Chapel on 3rd Street in Cosmospolis, 100 miles southwest of Seattle had its beginning through the work of E.K. Bailey. In the fall of 1922, Mr. Bailey held a three-month series, with meetings every day in the schoolhouses of the North River lumbering and farming area. He drove his Gospel Car over the precarious plank roads to reach these places, but God’s Word found an entrance into hearts, and an assembly testimony was established at North River.

 

At about that time, he purchased a tent and set it up in Cosmopolis, some 15 miles from  North River. The little assembly of the Lord’s people moved from North River to Cosmopolis and met in a small hall there until the building of the Cosmopolis Gospel Hall. An apartment was built at the back of the Hall in which Mr. and Mrs. Bailey could spend the winters when tent work was impossible.

 

P.E. Pearson, who worked in a pulp mill, obtained employment at the mill for several people in the Cosmopolis assembly; he was instrumental in the formation of the assembly and was its treasurer for many years.

 

In July 1930, an inaugural Conference was held in the completed Cosmopolis Gospel Hall, with Harold Barker from London ministering the things of Christ. In May 1938, another Conference was held at Cosmopolis with Alfred Mace, George Landis, Harold Harper, and Henry Petersen ministering the Word. This time the gospel tent had to be set up in the lot adjoining the Gospel Hall to accommodate the crowds attending.

 

In the late 1950s, the assembly moved to their current location and changed their name to Cosmopolis Gospel Chapel. The Cosmopolis assembly was primarily responsible for the building of Shiloh Bible Camp in the mid 1970s and still is the main supporter of the 70-acre facility.

 

During the 1960s and 70s, the assembly had a Friday night program for kids that drew more than 100 to hear the Gospel. In the 1990s, the assembly produced a weekly half-hour children’s program that aired over the local access cable TV station. About 40 adults were in fellowship in 1996.

 

Other men active in leadership in the assembly have been John Covert, Charles Smith, Al and Gary Geddes, Robert Smith, and Don Norkoski. The assembly has had several full-time workers over the years: Leroy and Debbie Junker, Jack and Irene Heseltine, Ray and Lynne Wald, Sam and Margaret Stewart, Larry and Wincie Anderson, Peter and Louise Daley, Scott and Marsha Blair. Paul and Helen Flint worked in the assembly before moving to Emmaus Bible School.

* * * * * * *

 

The Centralia Bible Chapel in Centralia, south of Olympia, began in 1962 through the efforts of Richard and Nora Barada, and Ken and Anne Schrier. First meeting in rented space in the Carpenters Union Building in Centralia, the assembly moved in 1970 to a vacant shool building, and then in 1973 to its present location at 209 North Pearl Street. Mr. Barada was a chaplain at the local hospital at the time of the formation of the assembly. Centralia Bible Chapel has commended workers to Bolivia, Thailand, Peru, and other areas, including a military chaplaincy.

* * * * * * *

 

The assembly at Longview, near the Oregon state line, was established in the early 1930s and for many years continued in rented quarters. In 1950 the brethren started building the Evergreen Ter­race Gospel Chapel in Longview, using largely their own labor. They completed the building and moved into it in the fall of 1952, but within a few months fire completely destroyed the chapel. E.K. Bailey was on his third weekend visit to Longview when he suffered a stroke which took his life in June 1953. He had been asked to come for weekend meetings through June and July in the Gospel tent that the Longview assembly was using during the summer because of the destruction by fire of the chapel. The loss was covered by insurance, and after meeting for some time in the tent, the brethren rebuilt Evergreen Terrace Gospel Chapel. The Longview assembly  continues today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Questionnaire Responses

Recollections Concerning the History of Tieton Drive Bible Chapel, 1996

History of the Arlington Assembly, undated but probably late 1980s

A History of the Okanogan, Washington Assembly from 1927- 1995, by Jean Hinde Klein and J.W. Klein

Letters of Interest, August 1953, p. 19; January 1954, p. 7; June 1959, p. 11

 


Alaska

 

Alaskan assemblies, in the order of their establishment, were formed in Cordova, Chitina, Wasilla (Palmer), and Fairbanks. The efforts in Cordova and Chitina were Gospel works for the most part, the stable believers in both places being imports to the community for the express purpose of evangelizing and teaching the Word to the local people.

 

There were five or six open assemblies in Alaska in 1975, with fewer than 150 Christians in fellowship. Five assemblies are listed in recent address books, three in Anchorage and two in Fairbanks.

 

The work in Alaska in the beginning, and to a great extent now, was a missionary effort among the native peoples who lived and died by the shaman taboos and oracles. Most natives were dualistic in their attitude toward the new Christianity – it was just another and new phase for religious practice. Many of the white inhabitants were immigrants who had come for adventure and quick wealth and did not want to hear the Word or think about eternity. However, there are many compelling stories of genuine conversions among the native peoples, including Henry Bell and his wife Etta who have solid testimonies among their people and are leaders in the work in the Copper River region near Cordova.

 

The summer season in Alaska is relatively short and many of the Christians must work during this time. Thus it is difficult for even the gifted among the local believ­ers to reach the scattered population during the mild summer weather.

 

The Ernest Crabb and Harold Richards families were pioneers who served God faithfully amid rejection and persecution. They would often team up and cover many miles to reach the unreached.

 

Ernest and Helen Crabb spent 10 years in the Chitina area. Several others followed in the work in the Chitina Assembly and environs after the Crabbs moved to Fairbanks. May McKeller of Alberta, Ethel Zinn of Michigan, the Robert Fentys from New Jersey, and Ray and Mabel Heaton were among the faithfuls.

 

In 1937, Harold and Mabel Richards, commended to the Lord’s work by six Los Angeles area assemblies, arrived in Cordova, on the Gulf of Alaska and 150 air miles east of Anchorage. There they were able to establish a small native Indian assembly. By 1939 they were operating a children’s home. The Richards moved to near Wasilla to begin the Valley Christian Home for Children after World War II. This home was a ministry to welfare children of Alaska. In 1945, the Lord sent Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fenty from New Jersey to replace them in the Cordova Assembly work.

 

When the orphanage system was ended in Alaska and placement of welfare children was done to private homes, the Richards began North Star Bible Camp on the Hatcher Pass Road out of willow.

* * * * * * *

 

Bible Truth Gospel Chapel in Anchorage, the largest city, was established in 1964 in the following manner. Richard Stevens, one of the Indian converts of Harold Richards, had moved to Seattle. Richard Stevens’ brother, William J. Stevens lived in Anchorage, and encouraged his brother to come there to establish a Sunday School work. The 1964 earthquake had destroyed so many properties that no rental property could be found for the Sunday School. So William and Elinor Stevens opened their large home for a Daily Vacation Bible School, conducted by Elinor and Richard’s wife Marjory, filling it with 50 to 60 children. That encouraged them to begin the Sunday School, and soon they had nearly 100 people in the house.

 

An assembly was established that year, meeting in the William Stevens’ home. From there the Christians rented a basement room in the Carpenter’s Hall, where they met until 1971, when they moved into a second floor room of a dairy plant in the Spenard area of Anchorage. Clara Eccles, a missionary at Chitina, came and helped until she went to be with the Lord. During that period, the children’s work diminished and the number in regular fellowship dwindled to just a few believers.

 

Then in the mid 1970s, Jim and Janet McCormick arrived in the area as managers of North Star Bible Camp when Harold and Mabel Richards left for health reasons. They brought John Walden tapes and got instruction classes going. Fred Steenmeyer came into the assembly and started a Christian witnessing course. People were being saved, and the assembly began looking for land. In 1977, the assembly purchased and moved into an attractive church building at 7206 Lake Otis Parkway, where they are now located. Their new location encouraged the believers to work more energetically for growth. An aggressive program was begun, combining visitation, extensive newspaper advertising, and an evening Bible school. The school was staffed by men from the assembly, and moved into its own building, bearing the name Anchorage School of Bible Doctrine.

 

Stuart and Linda Steenmeyer came in 1977 to help at the assembly and Bible School, and assisted at North Star Bible Camp. Dale and Lois Brooks were commended by the Bible Truth Gospel Chapel to work full time there. Dale Brooks became the President of the Bible School in 1979. The assembly congregation experienced a surge from its earlier handful to 116 in 1979.

 

Elders have included the Stevens brothers, James McCormick, Fred Steenmeyer, and Robert Fenty. Others active in the assembly have included Larry and JoAn Davis, Spencer and Carol Steenmeyer, and Larry and Cindy Kitchen.

* * * * * * *

 

The Anchorage Bible Fellowship was begun in the mid 1980s by some members of the Steenmeyer family.

* * * * * * *

 

The first effort to begin a work in the Fairbanks area was in 1948 when Ernest and Helen Crabb moved to Esther. This gold mining community was the first location of a youth work, and was the site of a summer Bible camp in 1949. The Crabbs moved to a location nearer Fairbanks in 1950 and lived there for the next 17 years. Don and Ruth Sauer of Buffalo, New York moved to Fairbanks in the early 1950s. Don was a good minister of the Word, and talented in music and youth work. The camp work was turned over to him. For several years, the camp work was held at Harding Lake. When Leonard Platt donated 40 acres of land for the use of a Bible Camp ministry, Camp LiWa was begun.

 

Denali Bible Chapel in Fairbanks was established in about 1950. Dwight Mattix and family played a significant role in the development of the assembly. Besides the Crabb, Sauer, and Mattix families, John and Doris Miller were important in the early work at Denali Bible Chapel and have provided a stabilizing force. Others leaders over the years include Greg Johnson and Winston Burbank. Denali Bible Chapel has some 200 in attendance on a Sunday morning. Denali Bible Chapel has commended several to the work of the Lord out of the state.

* * * * * * *

 

In the early 1960s, the Crabb family developed a work on the north side of Fairbanks. The assembly – Country Bible Chapel – that formed from this work is considered a hive-off of Denali Bible Chapel. Located on Old Chema Hot Springs Road, it was first called Chema Bible Chapel.  The assembly was started in 1970 by Doug Crabb, William Herning, and Guy Herning. Doug Crabb and his family served the Lord there for three years. Bill Herning has taken basic leadership of Country Bible Chapel since 1973. Its Sunday attendance is now about 45.

* * * * * * *

 

Everett Bachelder was a faithful itinerant witness of the Gospel in Alaska beginning in the middle 1940s. He and his family moved to Nome in the late 1950s and began a Gospel work in that community of 1500 souls on the edge of the Bering Sea. Many were saved in his various ministries. His family and perhaps others Remembered the Lord in his home for a time, and the gathering was listed in the Address Books of the time as Gospel Home. Mr. Bachelder had a literature ministry in which he placed Gospel floats on the sea ice during the winter. These floats were literally found around the world and even into the Mediterranean Sea.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Questionnaire Responses

Letters of Interest, May 1953, p. 11; April 1954, p. 3; July/August 1975, p. 8; Nov 1977, p. 20; Nov 1979, p. 5

 


Hawaii

 

Though not a part of North America geographically, Hawaii is nevertheless the 50th of the United States and belongs in this volume. Older Address Books have listed two or three assemblies, while recent editions list four. All have been on the island of Oahu. Neither the ‘Big Island’ – Hawaii, nor the smaller islands have had a brethren assembly to our knowledge.

 

In 1946, there were two assemblies in Hawaii. At Palolo Chapel in Honolulu, at 3462 Kaau Street, a work had been carried on since before World War II, led by Mr. and Mrs. Ephraim Field, formerly of Bethany Gospel Hall in Oakland, CA. The Honolulu Assembly was in the home of Mr. O.A. Larson, 1132 19th Avenue, Honolulu. In 1962, Joe Spacek mentioned that the believers at Friendly Bible Center meeting at Radford High School, were seeking a lot in the Honolulu area on which to build a chapel.

* * * * * * *

 

Oceanview Bible Chapel in Pearl City, adjacent to Honolulu, may be the outgrowth of one of these. It and Waialae Kahala Chapel in Honolulu are the oldest of the assemblies existing in Hawaii today. Haleiwa Gospel Hall on the north shore of Oahu, existed for many years but disbanded in the early 1990s. Today the Waianae Gospel Hall is on the western shore of Oahu and may have a connection with Haleiwa Gospel Hall; information about them was not made available to us.

* * * * * * *

 

Believers Bible Fellowship in Pearl City began in 1996. Dennis Medeiros, Louis Tory Sr., Richard Chaves, and LouisTory Jr. were among those who started the new assembly. Most of those in Believers Bible Fellowship were at one time in fellowship at Oceanview Bible Chapel. Louis Tory Sr. was at one time an elder there. Dennis Medeiros has been commended to local pastoral and teaching ministry. About 50 adults and youngsters were in the assembly at one point. When Louis Tory St. and his Louis Tory Jr. left the fellowship in 1999, the continuance of the assembly came into question. The remaining dozen Christians now meet in the garage of one of the believers.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Questionnaire Responses

Letters of Interest, November 1946, p. 30; April 1962, p. 10

 


Index

87th Avenue Bible Chapel in Portland, OR........................................................................................................................... 14, 17

Alameda Gospel Chapel, CA......................................................................................................................................................... 10

Anchorage Bible Fellowship, AK................................................................................................................................................ 32

Antelope Valley Bible Chapel in Lancaster, CA.......................................................................................................................... 8

Arlington Gospel Hall, WA............................................................................................................................................... 22, 23, 25

Atascadero Gospel Chapel, CA...................................................................................................................................................... 8

Avenue 54 Bible Chapel in Los Angeles...................................................................................................................................... 5

Avenue 54 Korean Assembly in Los Angeles............................................................................................................................. 5

Bainbridge Bible Chapel, WA....................................................................................................................................................... 21

Believers Bible Fellowship in Pearl City, HI................................................................................................................................ 34

Bethany Gospel Chapel in Oakland, CA................................................................................................................................. 9, 12

Bethany Gospel Hall in Oakland, CA....................................................................................................................................... 9, 34

Bethel Chapel in Riverside, CA...................................................................................................................................................... 7

Bethel Gospel Hall in Los Angeles................................................................................................................................................ 6

Bible Truth Gospel Chapel in Anchorage, AK........................................................................................................................... 31

Bible Truth Hall in San Diego......................................................................................................................................................... 1

Bonita Gospel Hall, OR.................................................................................................................................................................. 15

Cascade Community Church in Gresham, OR............................................................................................................................ 17

Castlemont Bible Chapel in Oakland, CA...................................................................................................................................... 9

Centralia Bible Chapel in Centralia, WA..................................................................................................................................... 28

Chema Bible Chapel in Fairbanks, AK......................................................................................................................................... 32

Chitina Assembly, AK................................................................................................................................................................... 30

Claremont Gospel Chapel, CA........................................................................................................................................................ 6

Clinton Street Bible Chapel in Gresham, OR............................................................................................................................... 17

Clinton Street Chapel in Gresham, OR......................................................................................................................................... 17

Colton Gospel Chapel, CA.............................................................................................................................................................. 7

Community Bible Chapel in Hayward, CA............................................................................................................................ 10, 11

Cordova Assembly, AK................................................................................................................................................................ 30

Cornerstone Bible Church in La Mesa, CA.................................................................................................................................. 2

Cosmopolis Gospel Chapel, WA...................................................................................................................................... 21, 27, 28

Cosmopolis Gospel Hall, WA....................................................................................................................................................... 27

Country Bible Chapel in Fairbanks, AK...................................................................................................................................... 32

Crescent City Christian Chapel, CA............................................................................................................................................. 12

Culver City Gospel Hall, CA............................................................................................................................................................ 4

Denali Bible Chapel in Fairbanks, AK......................................................................................................................................... 32

Des Moines Gospel Chapel, WA................................................................................................................................................. 20

East County Bible Fellowship in El Cajon, CA......................................................................................................................... 2, 3

East Los Angeles Gospel Hall........................................................................................................................................................ 4

Eastgate Bible Chapel in Portland, OR.................................................................................................................................. 14, 18

Elm Avenue Gospel Hall in Long Beach, CA............................................................................................................................... 5

Everett Gospel Hall, WA............................................................................................................................................................... 22

Evergreen Bible Chapel in Federal Way, WA............................................................................................................................ 20

Evergreen Terrace Gospel Chapel in Longview, WA............................................................................................................... 28

Fairhaven Bible Chapel in San Leandro, CA.............................................................................................................................. 10

Forest Grove Gospel Hall, OR................................................................................................................................................. 16, 24

Fresno Gospel Hall, CA................................................................................................................................................................. 12

Friendly Bible Center, HI............................................................................................................................................................... 34

Front Street Gospel Hall in San Diego........................................................................................................................................... 4

Garden Grove Assembly in Los Angeles...................................................................................................................................... 5

Glendale Gospel Chapel, CA........................................................................................................................................................... 7

Goodyear Gospel Hall in Los Angeles.......................................................................................................................................... 6

Gospel Auditorium of Oakland, CA............................................................................................................................................. 11

Gospel Home in Nome, AK........................................................................................................................................................... 32

Grace and Truth Chapel in Portland, OR..................................................................................................................................... 15

Grace and Truth Gospel Hall in Portland, OR............................................................................................................................. 15

Grace Bible Chapel in Fullerton, CA.............................................................................................................................................. 6

Grace Bible Fellowship in Portland, OR....................................................................................................................................... 15

Grants Pass Gospel Hall in Oregon.............................................................................................................................................. 24

Haleiwa Gospel Hall, HI................................................................................................................................................................. 34

Hayward Bible Chapel, CA............................................................................................................................................................ 10

Hayward Home Bible Fellowship, CA......................................................................................................................................... 10

Highline Gospel Assembly in Des Moines, WA....................................................................................................................... 20

Hillview Bible Chapel in Cupertino, CA...................................................................................................................................... 11

Honolulu Assembly....................................................................................................................................................................... 34

Hope Bible Fellowship in Seattle............................................................................................................................................ 19, 20

Hope Gospel Hall in Seattle........................................................................................................................................................... 19

Iglesia Cristiana de Westminster, CA............................................................................................................................................ 5

Iglesia Evangelica de Highland Park in Los Angeles.................................................................................................................. 5

Imperial Avenue Gospel Hall in Logan Heights, CA................................................................................................................... 4

La Brea Gospel Chapel in Los Angeles..................................................................................................................................... 6, 7

Lakeside Bible Camp, WA............................................................................................................................................................. 22

Laurel Bible Chapel in San Diego........................................................................................................................................... 2, 3, 6

Laurel Park Bible Chapel in Portland, OR.................................................................................................................................... 14

Linnton Gospel Chapel, OR........................................................................................................................................................... 17

Loomis Assembly, CA................................................................................................................................................................... 12

Marlborough Gospel Hall in San Diego.................................................................................................................................... 1, 3

Mission Peak Bible Church in Fremont, CA............................................................................................................................... 11

Mission Valley Community Chapel, CA........................................................................................................................................ 3

Montebello Assembly, CA............................................................................................................................................................. 7

North Lynnwood Bible Chapel, WA........................................................................................................................................... 21

Northgate Gospel Chapel in Seattle............................................................................................................................................. 21

Oceanview Bible Chapel in Pearl City, HI................................................................................................................................... 34

Okanogan Gospel Hall, WA.......................................................................................................................................................... 25

Palolo Chapel in Honolulu............................................................................................................................................................. 34

Parkside Bible Chapel in Everett, WA......................................................................................................................................... 22

Parkside Gospel Chapel in San Francisco..................................................................................................................................... 9

Penticton Gospel Hall in British Columbia.................................................................................................................................. 24

Pomona Assembly, CA.................................................................................................................................................................... 4

Pomona Gospel Chapel, CA............................................................................................................................................................ 4

Portland Assembly, OR................................................................................................................................................................. 14

Riverside Gospel Chapel, CA.......................................................................................................................................................... 7

Riverside Gospel Hall, CA............................................................................................................................................................... 7

Sacramento Bible Chapel............................................................................................................................................................... 12

Salem Gospel Hall, OR.................................................................................................................................................................... 16

San Bernardino Gospel Chapel, CA............................................................................................................................................... 7

San Francisco Gospel Hall............................................................................................................................................................... 9

San Jose Bible Chapel, CA............................................................................................................................................................ 11

San Lorenzo Bible Chapel, CA...................................................................................................................................................... 10

Santa Rosa Assembly, CA............................................................................................................................................................ 10

Shoultes Gospel Hall in Marysville, WA.................................................................................................................................... 25

South County Bible Fellowship, WA.......................................................................................................................................... 21

Spring Mountain Bible Church in Clackamas, OR..................................................................................................................... 15

Springdale Bible Chapel, OR......................................................................................................................................................... 17

Springdale Gospel Hall, OR........................................................................................................................................................... 17

Stark Street Gospel Chapel in Portland, OR.................................................................................................................... 14, 16, 18

Stark Street Gospel Hall in Portland, OR............................................................................................................................... 14, 17

Sun Valley Bible Chapel in Lafayette, CA................................................................................................................................... 11

Sunrise Fellowship in Edmonds, WA.......................................................................................................................................... 21

Taylor Avenue Gospel Hall in Seattle......................................................................................................................................... 19

Tieton Drive Bible Chapel in Yakima, WA............................................................................................................................ 25, 27

Twelfth Avenue Gospel Chapel in Sacramento......................................................................................................................... 11

Valley Bible Chapel in Napa, CA.................................................................................................................................................. 12

Valley Bible Church in Pleasanton, CA................................................................................................................................. 10, 11

Valley Gospel Chapel, North Hollywood, CA.............................................................................................................................. 7

Waialae Kahala Chapel in Honolulu............................................................................................................................................ 34

Waianae Gospel Hall, HI................................................................................................................................................................ 34

Wedgewood Bible Fellowship in Seattle.................................................................................................................................... 20

West Jefferson Gospel Hall in Los Angeles................................................................................................................................. 4

West Side Bible Chapel in Beaverton, OR.................................................................................................................................. 15

West Side Bible Fellowship in Portland, OR.............................................................................................................................. 15

West Valley Bible Chapel in Canoga Park, CA............................................................................................................................ 8

West Valley Gospel Chapel in Canoga Park, CA......................................................................................................................... 8

West Valley Gospel Hall in Canoga Park, CA.............................................................................................................................. 8

Westminster Bible Chapel, CA....................................................................................................................................................... 5

White Avenue Gospel Hall in Fresno, CA.................................................................................................................................. 12

Whitman Avenue Gospel Chapel in Seattle............................................................................................................................... 20

Willamette Bible Chapel, OR......................................................................................................................................................... 18

Willamette Gospel Chapel, OR...................................................................................................................................................... 18

Yakima Gospel Chapel, WA.......................................................................................................................................................... 27

Yakima Gospel Hall, WA......................................................................................................................................................... 25, 26

 

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