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 
Spokane Church of the Brethren, WA   Located in Spokane and Whitman Cos. Since A. N. Huffman moved to Tekoa in 1877, he and later Brethren settlers in Eastern Washington appealed to the denomination for ministerial leadership.  Visiting ministers attempted to fill this need.  By 1888 some thirty Brethren were counted as residents in a larger area. An attempted organization in 1890 was thwarted by bad weather.  It was not until Oct. 21, 1899, that Spokane congregation was organized with thirty-three members at the home of Huffman, fifty miles from Spokane.  Jacob N. Gwin of Idaho was chosen as elder and D. M. Click and J. Harmon Stover called as ministers.  Spokane developed three meeting places for worship: Wayside, Waverly, and Tekoa, the last named was the first to build a meetinghouse (1903) and became a separate congregation in 1909.  Members living near Chewelah had already been separately organized in 1906 at Mount Hope.  When the (Spokane, WA) North Spokane body was organized in 1920, the Spokane congregation (First Spokane) gradually dwindled.  It was last listed on the denominational rolls in 1924 with forty-six members.   Those serving as pastors and elders were:
  Click, J Jordan, J G Miller, H C Longanecker, Charles M Yearout, Stephen Johnson, Erwin Weaver, W H and W C Lehman.


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

Garvin, Ida

Huffman, Esther

Huffman, Abraham  Nathen  & Wife Amanda  (Nee West)

Huffman, Jesses

Huffman, Daniel B  & Wife Sarah

Huffman, Abran N

Huffman, Hubert

Huffman, David

Huffman, Isaac

Huffman, Jacob

Huffman, Etta May

Strange, Mary A

Luper, Simeon  B

Eads, Minerva J

White, Ora  & Wife Ettta

Enyeart, Elizabeth

Enyeart, Dan’l D  & Wife Mary C

Whitesell, Martha E   Nee Enyeart



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