This month, West Seattle’s West Side Presbyterian Church is celebrating its centennial – 100 years in the community, though not at the same location for that entire time. From Mark O’Connell at WSPC:
On March 27, 2011, West Side Presbyterian will hold a “Generations of Faithfulness” Centennial Celebration at 9:30 am at 3601 California Avenue SW followed by a light lunch and fellowship. The Rev. Dr. Paul Smith (right), who has served at West Side since 1981, will preside over the service, which will include speakers and members of former staff families, musical selections from children and adult choirs and special ensembles, and video greetings from West Siders around the world. Members of the community, along with former church members and friends, are invited to join us in celebrating our 100th anniversary.
West Side Presbyterian Church was established in March 1911 near the Admiral Junction in West Seattle on 44th SW and Lander. It originated as a mission of Seattle’s First Presbyterian Church under the leadership of Dr. Mark Matthews, a dynamic and colorful community leader in Seattle’s early days. The church grew from 47 charter members to 583 members today. In 1948, the church dedicated its current building on the corner of California Avenue SW and Spokane Street. It has undergone remodels and expansions in the 1950s and 2000s. West Side is a stalwart member of the West Seattle community with many outreach activities and ministries.
After the 1949 earthquake when Lafayette School was damaged beyond usability for students, West Side was one of the locations where classes were held through the end of the year. West Side has sponsored Boy Scout Troop 282 for 63 years. In the 1950s, more than 1000 children attended West Side’s two-week Vacation Bible School, and notable guests have included sports editor Royal Brougham and Seahawks quarterback Sam Adkins. Ministries to lonely and shut-in members of the community have touched many people for more than 50 years, and West Side has served vital roles and support to the homeless and less fortunate in our neighborhoods, including Union Gospel Mission, City Team, and Family Promise. Our doors have been open to community members for meeting spaces, blood drives, special musical presentations and performances, and an annual garage sale that fills the church and raises significant funds for youth projects.
Through the years, West Side has sent out over 75 missionaries to countries around the world, even as we have taken in displaced families and refugees from wars and violent regimes ranging from the World War II refugees from Hungary and Austria, to those fleeing Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge. West Side’s membership is a special and unique melding of people who have lived and contributed to life in West Seattle for 50+ years, including teachers, business owners, service people, musicians and artists, and medical personnel, as well as newcomers to the community.
(Photo credits: Rev. Dr. Smith, courtesy of Carreen Smith; building, courtesy of Tom Hibben)