Members from Touchet Church in southeast Washington celebrated their church’s 100th anniversary on Sabbath, April 1, 2017.
In a simple service led by Paul Hoover, Upper Columbia Conference president, the members marked the significant milestone with testimony, Scripture and song.
“Today is bittersweet,” said local elder Greg Zickuhr. “It would be better to be home with Jesus. But if we have to be here on Earth, there’s no place I'd rather worship on Sabbath.”
Another member said, “I praise God for this church. I've really found my home here. I’m so thankful for each of you.”
Hoover said, “Why has this church endured for 100 years? Because we have built on a rock that will not fail.”
One hundred years ago, on the afternoon of March 31, 1917, Adventist believers in the Touchet area met at the J.W. Isaac home to organize a church. A nucleus of 20 members formed the new church. The number quickly grew to 29 before year was out.
The little company of believers had no church building and first worshipped together in the Touchet high school in one of the classrooms. They later met in the Touchet Community Church. A committee of four was chosen to look into the matter of constructing the current church building. It was planned for a church meeting place and a school building.
As the community grew and the school enrollment increased, it was necessary to build a new schoolhouse. The members decided to build on the present site on farmland donated by N.C. Hanson. The funds were very scarce at that time, so all the labor was donated. Building was very slow work.
Construction on the present church and school building began in 1918. The members worked on the church as they could spare time from their farms and work. By the autumn of 1920 it was ready for use, after many long hours of hard work by the men that spring and summer.
Through the years this church has engaged in community visitation projects, the Gift Bible lesson studies, temperance information and the Ingathering program, to name a few.
Many theology students have had their first or early preaching experience in this little country church. Some have joined this church family for extended mentoring and contributing members to the Touchet Church family.
As the Touchet Church members look to the future, they pray God will continue to enable them to reach their community for Jesus, sharing His love and news of His soon return.