The origin of Knox Presbyterian Church started with the formation of Centenary Presbyterian Church in 1888. It was organized by the pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Spokane and had 19 members. It was at Centenary Presbyterian Church, at the suggestion of Sonora Smart Dodd, that the national holiday "Father's Day" originated on June 10, 1910. (Link 3.) "The Centenary Church at Sinto Avenue and Wall Street was partially destroyed by fire on March 2, 1917. " (Link 2.)
"Ground was broken May 17th (1917) for a new edifice at Knox Avenue and Post Street with the name changed to Knox Presbyterian Church in honor of John Knox, the founder of Presbyterianism. The first service was held in the new building on November 11, 1917, less than six months from the time of groundbreaking. On December 1, 1918 the Reverend W. S. Middlemass of Red Wing, Minnesota was called at a salary of $1800 and free use of the manse. At the end of 1918 church membership was 338 and the outstanding indebtedness was $12,000... After Mr. Middlemass left, the Reverend Charles F. Koehler served from 1923 until 1946. His ministry was notable for 34 young people who went into various forms of full-time service for Christ. (Link 2.)
"On February 17, 1957 a remodeled church was dedicated. The structure included new east and west entrances , extensive alterations to the sanctuary and educational units, and electrical and heating improvements. (Link 2.)
The old 1917 church building was nestled in the center of the new surrounding 1957 red brick. A new entrance on the corner of Post St.and Knox St. was added to the sanctuary and downstairs fellowship hall. Another addition was built on to the original 1917 building at the alley corner off Post St. The large educational wing was added to the far end of the original 1917 building. However, the 1917 sanctuary retained many of original elements: the dark wood beams of the ceiling, the stained glass windows, and the dormers in the roof. At intervals its 1917 stained glass windows peek through the 1957 red brick.
"The Reverend Leigh P. Taylor began the second longest pastorate at Knox Church on August 1, 1967. His coming inaugurated one change in the relationship between church and pastor. He was offered the choice of the use of the manse or a manse allowance. He accepted the allowance and served the church for 23 years. He became very involved in the establishment and progress of “Operation Nightwalk” which began in October 1970. Spokane ministers took turns walking the streets of downtown Spokane at night to be available to individuals with problems of homelessness and despair. In 1980 the Reverend Joel Crosby began his ministry at Knox. His tenure included the formation of a “Trainee” ministry to conduct an active ministry with children, youth and adults during summer times. The program was supplemented by an “Enabler” ministry in which employed young people were encouraged to give spare time to church service.
Photos: Taken in April 2012 by SW.
Link 1: http://www.spokaneknoxpc.org/
Link 2: http://nwda-db.wsulibs.wsu.edu/ark:/80444/xv71480
Link 3: http://fathersdaybirthplace.com/includes/media/documents/FathersDayPressRelease_srcvb0110.pdf
Link 4: http://www.sos.wa.gov/history/cities_detail.aspx?i=18