The congregation in 1917 (left to right): (back row) William Hoffman, Mrs. Kate Kelly Chapman, Mrs. Andrew Jacobsen, Mrs. Nettie Sales Calkins, Mrs. Helen Kelly Parsons, Mrs. James Hargus, Mrs. Alice Hoffman, and Jim Turner; (third row) Andrew Hinch, Mrs. Charles Turner, Charles Turner, Mrs. George Hughes and daughter, Gladys, Mrs. B. W. Rhinehart, Mrs. Steve Collicutt, unidentified, Mrs. Carrie Barker, and Mr. and Mrs. Roy Barker, Jr.; (second row) Mrs. William Hoffman, the Rev. B.W. Rhinehart, Mrs. Jim Turner, Mrs. Etta Ewing, Mrs. Abigail Collicutt, Mrs. John Armour, Mrs. Andrew Hinch, Mrs. Emma Hutchinson, and Grandma Kelly; (front row) Mr. Neff, Steve Collicutt, John Armour, John Calkins, and unidentified.
The Woodinville Community United Methodist Church today.
Flora Ellen Brown, the oldest living member of the church.
This Sunday, the Woodinville Community United Methodist Church will celebrate its 125th Anniversary, and the community is invited to share the day.
Reverend Don Steeb, who served as minister from 1969 to 1981, will deliver a celebration sermon at 10 a.m. A chicken dinner, with apple pie, will follow the service from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. "Music and Memories," a program that will feature the history of the church and honor longtime members, will be held at 2 p.m.
Woodinville's first church, and only church until the 1950s, was built through the dedicated involvement and contributions of local people, and has served many families.
Today, with 366 members, the 35,000-square-foot church is located on four acres at the intersection of 140th NE and NE 171st, and has two services on Sunday, a Sunday school program, a youth program, Bible study outreach, food bank, senior citizen program, prayer groups, mission program, and other activities.
Worship services began in the late 1800s in Susan and Ira Woodin's home shortly after they settled on the Sammamish Slough. As more people attended, services moved to Mrs. Andrew Hansen's home, and Miss Clara Jacobsen joined Susan Woodin as a Sunday school teacher.
In 1892, services moved to the new Woodinville school. It was many years before there were funds for a full-time pastor. Rev. Alfred Crumley walked to Woodinville to preach after giving his sermon at a Bothell church.
A Japanese family named Yomoko donated a section of their 160 acres across from the Woodinville Cemetery about 1902 to be used for a church. Money was raised for the construction of a two-room building. The little white church faced the cemetery and had a sanctuary and a Sunday school room. It was heated by two wood stoves.
Flora Ellen Brown, the oldest living member of the church, began attending the church in 1909. Her grandparents and parents, the Collicotts, had just moved to Woodinville from Montana, and all became active in the church. Mrs. Anna Thomas, 99, is another longtime member.
In 1910, the community church became a Methodist church. The building was later remodeled, with a kitchen added and the entrance of the church changed to face the school across the street.
Francis Gasslander, a longtime member, remembers her parents, John and Ellen DeYoung, being very active in the church and its development after they moved to Woodinville in 1925.
"My father became Superintendent of the Sunday School in 1930 and served for 25 years," Francis said, remembering dusting on Saturdays and her father lighting the stove before services. Her mother made sure the minister got $10 a month during the Depression.
Francis played the piano for the services and Flora played for the Sunday school. The early members remember serving lunches. The Ladies Aid Society made dinners that sold for 25 cents.
"It's been a wonderful church," Marilyn Nicholas said. She started Sunday school in 1939 and was voted in as church treasurer in 1957-58, serving for 25 years.
In 1957, the church moved to its new location more quickly than planned after the original church building was severely damaged when hit by a speeding car.
Marilyn recalled Dr. Newton Moats, who came out of retirement to be the pastor and help raise money for the church expansion.
When John DeYoung passed away in 1966, people made donations in his memory, which helped build a 1967 addition that includes a memorial hall and education wing. In 1980, the new sanctuary was built, and more Sunday school rooms were added.
"The loyalty of the church families and deep friendships have supported us all through our lives. I can't imagine living without the church and the church family," said Ida Mae Brown, an early member.
John Schmelzer is the Senior Pastor today. Others in the ministry team are Steve Parson, Pastor to Youth; Della Haug, Director of Christian Education; Vicki Baker, Children's Pastor; Lynn Hall, Choir Director; Dave Wells, Worship Leader; and Connie Simms, Pianist. The support staff includes Evelyn Gose, Office Manager; Sarah Mackle, Treasurer/Receptionist; Tony Meyers, Custodian; and Anatoliy Polyanskiy, Weekend Custodian.