Sunday, June 17, 2012

                                                                                                                         June 17, 2012

806 West Knox Avenue
Corner of Knox and Post

Knox Presbyterian Church
Spokane, Washington

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.)    

                                       Centenary Presbyterian Church (Link 4.)

"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.)


Stained Glass Windows
Knox Street side of Sanctuary

Dormers in Roof of Sanctuary

"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.

Rear View from Post Street

"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. 

"The history of Knox Church would not be complete without mention of the unique ministry of Albert Arend. He was born June 5, 1900 and joined Knox Church in 1910. At age 22 he became an elder of Knox Church. During the years that followed he spearheaded the Christian Endeavor movement at the church. Of special interest also is the correspondence relating to the rescue of the Reverend Leon I. Rosenberg from Nazi persecution in Lodz, Poland just before WWII." (Link 2.)
"Knox Presbyterian Church has embarked on a fascinating new journey called Shared Ministry. Shared Ministry represents a return to how the early Christian churches practiced and lived their faith. It is congregation-centric, not leader-centric as in the true spirit of Presbyterianism. Under the Shared Ministry model adopted by Knox Presbyterian Church, the Session (elders) provides the vision and leadership for the church, and the congregants—by organizing and actively participating in one of three shared ministry  “teams” (Administration; Worship experience; Outreach/mission)—run the church. In fact, Knox and its shared ministry ‘experiment’ will be one of the daily featured devotionals in the 2012 Presbyterian Yearbook For Prayer." (Link 1.)
The Korean congregation of Spokane Hope Christian Reformed Church also meets at Knox Presbyterian Church.  
Note: For more on the origin of Father's Day see Blog Post 1/17/2012 on Central United Methodist Church, Spokane, Washington.
Photos: Taken in April 2012 by SW.
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God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen (SW.)

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