Spokane Church History
The following was written by Jennie K Hale. (1909)
About the year 1879, A. N. Huffman and several of his brothers from Page County, Virginia settled in the Palouse Country, near Tekoa, in Whitman County, Washington. The country being new and no conveniences of travel or mail facilities, they struggled with the new condition for years with out church privileges. During all these years of isolation but few Brethren found their way into the Palouse, though this is one of the Garden Spots of the Northwest.
The nearest towns were Spokane 50 miles to the north, or Walla Walla 200 miles to the South. A little later Colfax and still later Farmington came to be the near posts for trade.
In 1889, Brethren Teeter and Price from Illinois, made an attempt to organize the scattered Brethren into a congregation. This effort failed because of the unusually deep snows that blocked the railroads and prevented the gathering of the Brethren.
Previous to this attempt to organized, Eld David Brower from the State of Oregon had held some meetings and baptized some.
In the spring of 1890 or 91, Elders M. M. Bashor and Deeter of Oregon partially organized the congregation in Spokane, something of the details being incomplete. All records of this organization were lost, it is supposed were consumed in the fire that completely destroyed brother A. N. Huffman’s house a year or two later.
It was not until October 31, 1899, that a congregation was permanently organized. On this date, 31 members gathered at Brother A. N. Huffman’s and were organized into what at that time was know as the Spokane Church. At this meeting D. M. Glick and J. Harman Stover were elected to the ministry and B. F. Glick and A. N. Huffman to the deacon’s office.
Elders S. H. Miller of Sunnyside, Washington and J. N. Gwinn of Lewiston, Idaho, were the elders that officiated at this meeting
Elder J. N. Gwinn was given the care of the church. Thus the first Bishop lived more than 150 miles away.
The territory embraced Spokane and Whitman counties. Since this, even in this year of 1909, this congregation has been divided and now forms the Spokane congregation, and the Tekoa congregation, making Spokane county lines the boundary lines of the Spokane church, and Whitman county lines the boundary of the Tekoa church.
The first Love Feast held was in the evening of October 20, 1899, in the Christian Church in the town of Tekoa. Thirty-two members communed.
The first attempt at preaching the Word of the newly elected speakers was in A. N. Huffman’s house on the following Christmas day. The subject was, "The Gift of God." The text, Rom. 6: 23, last clause.
In the following spring a Sunday School was started with B. F. Glick superintendent, which has continued with varying growths and depressions up to the present time.
Interest seemed to grow around the two points. – Tekoa and Spokane. In 1903 a church house costing $2250 was built at Tekoa and in 1906 in the city of Spokane. In the year 1901, D. M. Glick was chosen elder and has had the oversight of the church till the present, excepting the year he was absent of take the trip around the world. J. Harman Stover had the oversight in his absence.
Notwithstanding the unsettled condition of some of the members, the church steadily grew till it numbered more than 80 members. The Chewelah church was organized from this body, taking 12 members. Emigration to different parts of the country depleted the ranks some, but the increased by confession and baptism nearly equaled this loss. Now the division of the congregation into the Spokane and Tekoa church brings our number to less than 40 members.
In the year 1902 J. G. Miller was called to the ministry, and in1904, C. D. Aschenbremmer and B. F. Zimmerman were called to the deacon’s office. In 1907 G. S. Hale was also called to the deacon’s office and R. F. Hiner to the ministry. At the present the official body consists of D. M. Glick, J. Harman Stover and R. F. Hiner, ministers, and A. N. Huffman, B. F. Zimmerman and C. M. Holdern, deacons.
The Tekoa church is located at Tekoa, Whitman county, in one of the richest grain and fruit districts in the state. It is in the natural rain district, on the O. R. & N., a part of the Union Pacific and is on the main line of the Pacific Coast Extension of the C. M. & St. P. R. R.
The church maintains an Evergreen Sunday School, and Christian Workers Meeting. Trusting we have been called to fill a place in the Lord’s Vineyard, we humbly submit this short chapter for record.
Jennie K Hale. (1909)
The Brethren Encyclopedia (1983) Vol. 2 page 1212
Charter Members of Spokane Church: Oct. 21, 1899
West, Nathen & Wife Mary
Stover, J Harman & Wife Mary
Beachly, Sam’l D & Wife Malinda
Click, Benjamn F
Click, Lazarus Edgar
Huffman, Abraham Nathen & Wife Amanda (Nee West)
Huffman, Daniel B & Wife Sarah
Huffman, Abran N
Huffman, Etta May
Strange, Mary A
Luper, Simeon B
Eads, Minerva J
White, Ora & Wife Ettta
Enyeart, Dan’l D & Wife Mary C
Whitesell, Martha E Nee Enyeart