Sunday, May 26, 2013

                                                                                                                   May 26, 2013
885 4th Street

United Church of Christ (Congregational)
Blaine, Washington

The congregation of the Congregational Church in Blaine, Washington has built three churches.  The first was a log cabin, the second a brick building, and the present church in the craftsman style faced with wooden shingles.

The first "Congregational Church was built in 1876 on California Creek, close to the corner of Loomis Trail Road near Blaine. This was the first church built in Whatcom County. (Washington) In his 80th year, the Reverend W.M. Stewart visited his son in Whatcom County and quickly decided to move here and build a church. He had led an active life. From 1914 to 1955, the Tom Snow family lived in the Church. It was moved to Pioneer Park in 1968 under the sponsorship of Elmer and Edna Pike. Meetings are still held in the church from spring to fall and it is growing as a popular location for small weddings." (Link 6.)  Each July during  "Old Settlers Week" the congregation  from today's United Church of Christ in Blaine holds their Sunday service at the log cabin.

The Church

    Congregation Church, Pioneer Village, Ferndale, Washington (Link 6.)

The second Congregational Church was built of brick in Blaine.  However, it was found that the bricks were faulty and after about 10 years the church was torn down.-Alma Wegener

The third and today's church was built at 885 4th Street in Blaine.
Sanctuary Entrance on 4th Street

       "Our church building, located on a corner property, was built in 
         1910 and still uses the bell from the original church of 1878. 
         The facility consists of the sanctuary, narthex, two offices, a 
         meeting room, and a music room upstairs. The downstairs (Dug
         after the church was built, possibly 1913, with access through 
         the door in the small addition on the Clark side of the 
          building.-Alma Wegener.)  includes a large fellowship hall,
         a kitchen, two classrooms, a nursery, and a playroom. 
         We also have a loft and additional room above the narthex. 
         We have an elevator providing handicap access to the main 
         level and downstairs. (In addition on Clark side of the 
         building-Alma Wegener.) The sanctuary is in a thrust stage 
         format (pews around three sides of the altar) and 
         the elevated,  formal altar is now the fourth wall 
         up two steps from the main floor." (Link 5.)

  Altar, 2014 (Link 1.)

The rectangular windows of the Sanctuary are of colored opaque glass in banks of two and three.  The banks of two feature center white bows. 
"Colorful ribbons and bows remind us of the bond of perfection which is love. They show us that all people are to be bound together in brotherhood and peace." (Link 2.) 

Sanctuary Stained Glass Windows

The two center banks of three windows each feature  the cross in the middle with a spray of lilies on each side window.   The cross and crown " is often interpreted as symbolizing the reward in heaven (the crown) coming after the trials in this life (the cross) (James 1:12)." (Link 3.) "The white lily symbolizes purity and innocence and is the traditional flower of Easter.  The three petaled lily is also representative of the Blessed Trinity." (Link 4.)  

Sanctuary Stained Glass Windows

The church has a square steeple. The entrance to left of the steeple leads to the narthex with the three windows. (See top photo.) The altar of the sanctuary is at the opposite  end, toward Steen Street. (The roof dormers are original to the 1910 church.) The exterior of the church is surfaced in wooden shake shingles. 
 1950's or 1960's Addition,  Facing Steen Street

The 1950's or 1960's  addition facing Steen Street was built for Sunday school rooms, meeting rooms, and the music library.

Modern  Crafted Cross in Window  1950's or 1960's Addition

The modern crafted cross at the top of the steps at the entrance to the 1950's or 1960's addition was made by an interim minister who was also a metal artist.  It was bought by a member of the congregation and donated to the church.

Thank you: To congregation members Sandy Wolf and Alma Wegener for
            information on the church history.

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