New Church on the Hill
See the progress of the new building in the churches current location atop the hill on Gilbert Road in West Valley Yakima.
Church On The Hill - Groundbreaking Service
This is a special Sunday for us as a congregation as we break ground for our new church building. Those who will share in the ground breaking, act on behalf of the congregation will be: Marvin Anderson - Church Chairman, Ed Worman - Building Committee Chairman, August Sellin - Honorary Building Committee, Purdy Crosno - Trustee Chairman, George Anderson - Deacon Chairman, Kermit Gothberg - Sunday School Superintendent, Oluf Lawrie - Past Sunday School Superintendent, Mrs. Ed Worman - Covenant Women's Auxiliary Chairman, Mrs. Donald Nieuwsma - Christian Ed Board Chairman, Miss Margaret Gothberg - in honor of her father - Rev. Nathaniel Gothberg - first pastor of the Wiley Heights Covenant Church. This is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Sunday, October 29, 1961
Construction of the church went from the groundbreaking in October 1961, until completion of the finished building in April 1963.
Laying The Cornerstone
Built upon the Living Stone, Jesus Christ, chosen and precious in God's sight. 1 Peter 2
In this day, we have reached another milestone in our building program. As we lay this cornerstone today let us be aware of the significance of this day, the meaning of the inscription for our church and our lives, and most of all that God has led us to today.
The Finished Building
The first Sunday service was held in the new building on Palm Sunday. The date was April 7, 1963 and the was led by Vernon Anderson.
Dedication Service - May 26, 1963
Built upon 'the Living Stone' of Jesus Christ, chosen and precious in His sight. So reads the inscription on the cornerstone of the new Wiley Heights Covenant Church, Yakima, Washington - "The church on the knoll" overlooking Ahtanum Valley.
Dedication services held in May called attention to that foundation.
"The most effective use of this building will be seen when we as a congregation realize more and more that the Lord Jesus Christ is the motivating force behind all the efforts emanating from this building," said the Rev. Vernon A. Anderson, Pastor.
"We began building by considering the statement, 'Kneel when you build a church'. this privilege having been realized, let us also in the same daily spirit and attitude 'kneel as we use this church," he stated. "Humbly we become increasingly aware that God has brought us to this day with a purpose for this church and in this community."
One of the guest speakers, Dr. Clarence A. Nelson, President of the Evangelical Covenant Church of America, challenged the congregation to "carry on that faith you have received into the future ministry of the church".
He preached at a banquet Saturday, May 25th and at the morning and afternoon services the next day, Dedication Sunday. Also, sharing in the festivities were the Rev. Carl H. Peterson, North Pacific Conference Superintendent, and the Rev. J. Irving Erickson, of North Park Seminary, a former pastor.
At the dedication service, attention again was focused on the church's foundation through the choir anthem "Built on the Rock the church doth stand".
And in the dedication litany, the congregation read, "We now... consecrate ourselves anew to the worship of God in spirit and truth, and to the service of our fellow men in the spirit of Christ, and we dedicate this building ... in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
Occupied since Palm Sunday, the new Wiley Heights church replaces a building one half mile away, used since 1919.
Focal point in the sanctuary is a cross suspended below a skylight and above the communion table. The pulpit is on one side of the chancel, the baptismal font on the other. The nave seats 180, the choir 35, the balcony 50, and the overflow area 50. The hilltop setting of the church allows for a daylight basement throughout. The fellowship hall and kitchen are below the sanctuary while rooms for Christian education and administration are in another wing.
Cost was approximately $115,000 which means "sacrifice and increased stewardship" by the 115 members, according to Pastor Anderson.
The work was handled by a building supervisor, Mr. Heb Grant of Tacoma. The architect was Mr. Gordon Nickel of Grandview.
"Faith of our Fathers, earnest prayer, years of planning, hours of toil, and the sacrificial giving have been joined together to bring this church building into being," says Pastor Anderson. "Even now we join our hearts in Thanksgiving to God."