Ellisforde Church
(1916-   )

Started 1928 completed 1936




  Mountain View Memorial Cemetery

Ellisforde Church  History
(Lommis, Okanogan Valley)

        The Ellisforde Church of the Brethren stems from the congregation established in Loomis in 1916, but Brethren had been moving into the Okanogan Highlands beginning about 1902.  The Meyers Creek Church was organized in 1903 in the Kipling area, but as the climate changed and the Highlands became difficult to farm, folks moved to the valleys to be near the irrigation systems that were being constructed.
        Since Loomis was the largest town in the area, a core of Brethren moved there while waiting for the irrigated land to become available, others moved into the areas around Tonasket, Oroville and Omak.   By 1919, the Loomis church had divided into two groups.  One met at the Enterprise School and became the existing Whitestone Community Church of the Brethren and the other underwent a name change to the Okanogan Valley Church of the Brethren and met in various groups and places between Tonasket and Oroville. One such place was  in the Ellisforde school building which still exists across the railroad from the present church.  The main body located between Ellisforde and Oroville for a time at the present site of the Mountain View Cemetery on O'Neil Road and a house of worship was built there.
        However, partly due to tensions between strong personalities, by 1928 another building was started at the current Ellisforde location.  This became the official home of the congregation and it was finished by about 1936 (first photo).  An expansion of that building was underway when it burned to the ground in January of 1949.  The present building was then constructed in stages and completed in 1959 (second picture).
        An on-going project over the decades has been the construction and maintenance of the largest pipe organ north of Wenatchee.

By  Ernie Bolz 2002

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