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FOLLOWUP: Admiral Church chooses a path for its property

(Looking northwest toward Admiral Church. WSB photo from February)

Back in February, we covered a community meeting at which Admiral Church leaders explained three paths they were considering to avoid an eventual financial crisis. At an all-church meeting earlier this month, the church has decided which path to take. As summarized by pastor Rev. Andrew Conley-Holcom, “We have decided to start the process of drafting an MOU with Homestead Community Land Trust to gift them the total of our real estate for the development of permanently affordable, ownership-focused housing. The development will include a flexible use space exclusively for Admiral Church’s ministries to continue in the North Admiral neighborhood.” He offered context in a message to the congregation, published in the church newsletter this past Sunday – here’s an excerpt:

Those who gathered and those who voted by proxy [on April 3] decided that Admiral Church would no longer be a wealthy landowner in North Admiral. The congregation has consented to begin a process by which we discern who we are and the problems we want to solve in cooperation with Homestead Community Land Trust, who themselves are focused on solving the problem of generational poverty. This discernment is not new, but is part of a legacy of renewal here at Admiral Church. We are called to honor our ancestors, learn our history, and meet the current moment with the same fierce Love and welcoming Spirit that kept this church relevant and impactful for generations. So many institutions in our society are living off of their wealth rather than living into their purpose. Admiral Church has always been a church of purpose, a gathering place and a sending space for faithful people in North Admiral. We are choosing to trust God even more, extending Christ’s footsteps into the world.

The church sits on a half-acre of land at 4320 SW Hill in North Admiral, zoned for lowrise multifamily residential development. Its building is 60 years old. Church leaders have been considering some form of redevelopment for three years. They’re promising more information soon about their chosen path.

Admiral Church considering three paths to its future, to avert ‘financial crisis’

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

More than three years ago, Admiral Church told community members that “big changes” were in its future.

Planning for those changes was subsequently shelved. But now it’s actively happening again, as the church has flatly declared that a “looming financial crisis” makes the status quo unsustainable.

So, church leaders told a community meeting this afternoon, they’re pursuing three potential paths for the future of the church (4320 SW Hill) and its 27,000-square-feet site:

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Admiral Church community meeting

Admiral Church is facing a financial crisis which will almost certainly mandate administrative and physical changes to our property as soon as 2023.

We realize that our decision-making process does not occur in a vacuum, that our choices/necessities impact our neighborhood as well as Admiral Church.

All are invited to this informational meeting.

FOLLOWUP: Plan scrapped for small shelter at Admiral Church

Last fall, we reported on Admiral Church‘s plan to partner with Operation Nightwatch to host an overnight shelter for 10 men. After meetings in October and November to answer neighborhood questions, last we heard was that the shelter wouldn’t start up before December. Two more months have passed, and now the church has publicly announced that the plan is scrapped, via a “community announcement” on its website:

The hoped-for partnership between Admiral Church and Operation Nightwatch to offer overnight shelter to ten men living on the streets of Seattle is unfortunately not going to be possible. After further study, Nightwatch decided that several building issues, including having only two bathrooms and no openable windows in the sanctuary, make Admiral non-ideal for their purposes.

Admiral Church says Operation Nightwatch is pursuing partnerships with other local churches; we’ll be following up on that.

Meantime, separate from that, the church also has announced that it’s again considering “repurposing of at least part of our property” because of a “looming financial crisis,” and it’s having a community meeting at 2 pm February 20th for everyone interested. Pre-pandemic, the church was pursuing potential site redevelopment, but that’s been on the shelf for 2+ years.

FOLLOWUP: Admiral Church overnight-shelter program not expected to start for at least a month

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“We’re all going to be OK.”

So said a neighbor toward the end of the second community meeting about Admiral Church‘s planned partnership with Operation Nightwatch to give 10 men a safe, warm, dry place to sleep each night. That neighbor was trying to reassure others who continued to voice concerns about the overnight-shelter plan.

Since the Sunday afternoon meeting, which included a chance for neighbors to question Nightwatch executive director Rev. Rick Reynolds, the church’s council has met to further discuss the plan. The church’s pastor, Rev. Andrew Conley-Holcom, says the only update from the meeting is that the program won’t start this month after all – “it’ll probably take around a month or more before everything’s ready on Nightwatch’s end.”

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FOLLOWUP: What’s next for Admiral Church’s overnight-shelter plan, after meeting with neighbors

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Admiral Church‘s two-thirds-of-an-acre campus hosts more than a congregation. It’s also home to a preschool, recovery groups, anti-racism classes, bystander-intervention training, rental space for local arts organizations, and a rest stop for Metro bus drivers.

The church’s congregation has decided to open it to another use: An overnight shelter where up to 10 men can sleep.

One week after the congregation made that decision in what pastor Rev. Andrew Conley-Holcom called a “near-unanimous” vote, it opened the sanctuary Sunday afternoon to neighbors who came bearing questions.

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Admiral Church shelter plan community meetings

Update: Second meeting added, noon 11/7.

Admiral Church has voted overwhelmingly to partner with Operation Nightwatch, a long-standing street ministry in Seattle, to provide shelter for up to ten men who otherwise would be sleeping outside this winter. The church is inviting neighbors and interested parties to attend an info session this Sunday, October 24th from 12-12:30 pm to learn more. The meeting will take place at 4320 SW Hill St in North Admiral, in the sanctuary where the men will be sheltered from 9:45 pm to 6:00 am. This ministry program will hopefully begin in mid-November.

UPDATE: Admiral Church community meeting Sunday to discuss plan for overnight shelter

6:20 PM: Aside from the Camp Second Chance tiny-house village, West Seattle does not have a dedicated shelter for people who need one. Local churches have tried to pick up a little of that slack over the years. The next one to try to help is Admiral Church, which sent us this announcement:

Admiral Church has voted overwhelmingly to partner with Operation Nightwatch, a long-standing street ministry in Seattle, to provide shelter for up to ten men who otherwise would be sleeping outside this winter. The church is inviting neighbors and interested parties to attend an info session this Sunday, October 24th from 12-12:30 to learn more. The meeting will take place at 4320 SW Hill St in North Admiral, in the sanctuary where the men will be sheltered from 9:45 pm to 6:00 am. This ministry program will hopefully begin in mid-November.

You can read more about Operation Nightwatch here.

ADDED FRIDAY AFTERNOON: We asked Admiral Church’s Pastor Andrew Conley-Holcom a few followup questions after receiving this announcement on Thursday, and today we received the answers. The shelter guests would be brought by bus from downtown after Operation Nightwatch’s nightly dinner there. Operation Nightwatch will cover all expenses (staff, transportation, utilities, consumables) – what the church is contributing is the space, for “no more than 10 beds, spread out in Admiral’s sanctuary.” It would be “lights out” – or, “last cigarette” – by 11 pm. Everyone has to be up by 6 am and “out of the area by 6:30 am”; the plan for “busing the guys back downtown in the morning” is not yet finalized. An Operation Nightwatch staff person would “do half-hour sweeps and logging throughout the stay” and would stay to clean until 7 am.

As for who the men would be, “Guests will be folks already seeking help from Nightwatch but who otherwise would be turned away for lack of beds.” We asked about opportunities for community contributions; that won’t be clear until “after the ‘cohort’ gets established,” but “donations to the program are always welcome.”

Admiral Church Music Fund benefit concert

Lovers and Supporters of Music: Please Join Us for Our Annual Friends of Admiral Concert October 10, 2021 at 12:00 In the Admiral Church Sanctuary 4320 SW Hill Street

This is a benefit concert for the Admiral Church Music Fund. We are excited to feature the following artists, who have graciously donated their time and talents as true “Friends of Admiral”:

Sam Peters and Tom Peters “Cradle Song” by Frank Bridge “I’ll Bid My Heart Be Still” by Rebecca Clark “Viola Concerto in G, Movement IV: Presto” by George Phillip Telemann Will Stewart Works for Piano and Organ TBA Spring Melt Septet directed by Tobi Stone “Spring Melt” by Paul Mori and Tobi Stone The Happy Accidentals Saxophone Quartet directed by Tobi Stone “Turkish March” by Ludwig Van Beethoven “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck Tobi and the Sass Sisters Jazz Trio Three Jazz Pieces TBA The Admiral Choir/Chimes and Percussion Ensemble directed by Pamela Gerke “Spirit of Life” by Carolyn McDade Tom Peters on piano Tobi Stone on flute Sam Peters on viola

Food Drive at Admiral Church

Saturday Food Drive. August 28th
North Admiral Food Drive.

Help feed the hungry in our neighborhood. Please drop off donations of canned foods, rice, pasta, cereal, seasonings, bottled juice, coffee, peanut butter, food bars, juice boxes for kids – anything that is non-perishable. Baby food and Pet food is also needed, too! Checks made out to Admiral Church subject: food drive also appreciated. Let’s help those who are struggling and hungry to survive in our neighborhood. Your support is very much appreciated!

Saturday from 11:00 to 3:00. Every little bit helps. Thank you for your support.

Admiral Church movie-night discussion

Admiral Congregational Church hosts monthly movie nights on Zoom. On Monday, October 12, Pastor Andrew will host a discussion of “Suppressed 2020: The Right to Vote”, a wrenching documentary about efforts to suppress voting, especially voting by African Americans, in the 2018 Alabama governor’s race.

Watch the movie free on YouTube, or find it on the Admiral Church website (admiralchurch.org). Then join us on Monday, October 12 from 8 to 9 pm on Zoom for the discussion of this moving documentary.

Admiral Church presents online documentary viewing, discussion

Monday, August 3, 8 pm, Telling The Truth About Race, an online discussion of “Ferguson: A Report From Occupied Territory”. Documentary and discussion link found at admiralchurch.org. Co-sponsored by West Seattle Meaningful Movies.

YOU CAN HELP: Donation drives at Admiral Church today, Alki UCC tomorrow

May 23, 2020 1:03 pm
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 |   Coronavirus | How to help | West Seattle news

If you can donate food (and/or other staples), you have two opportunities this weekend:

OUTSIDE ADMIRAL CHURCH: Just under way, the first of six food-donation drives outside Admiral UCC Church (4320 SW Hill), 1-4 pm. As previewed here, they’re collecting “non-perishable and canned food, pet food and cat litter, baking supplies, seasonings and herbs, and bagged fresh produce or home-grown organic vegetables.”

OUTSIDE ALKI UCC: Happening tomorrow at 6115 SW Hinds:

Thanks to our community’s continuing generosity, Alki United Church of Christ is once again accepting donations outside our building for an In-Person, Socially-Distanced Food Drive at 6115 SW Hinds this Sunday, May 24 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Contributions of non-perishable food and other items are distributed via the White Center Food Bank; top requests include Canned Meat/Soup/Fruit (pop‐top cans preferred), Rice, Noodles, Peanut Butter, Oats, Toilet Paper, Diapers, Similac Formula, Cleaning Supplies, Hand Sanitizer, and Baby Wipes.

The drive benefits our vulnerable neighbors in need, those who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The food drives continue every other Sunday until further notice.

YOU CAN HELP: Saturday food drives outside Admiral Church

May 20, 2020 11:52 am
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 |   Coronavirus | How to help | West Seattle news

Another way to help people who need food during the COVID-19 economic crunch: A new recurring food drive outside Admiral UCC Church (4320 SW Hill):

Food Drive Saturdays from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm beginning May 23rd. 2020:

There will be a Food Bank barrel to collect food under a canopy at Admiral Church with attendants to assist with the collection of food: non-perishable and canned food, pet food and cat litter, baking supplies, seasonings and herbs, and bagged fresh produce or home-grown organic vegetables.  

The food drives will be from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Saturdays, May 23 and 30, June 13 and 27, July 11 and 25. Your food donations are needed as the number of people needing food has increased greatly due to the pandemic.

Here’s a map.

FOLLOWUP: Admiral Church announces Town Hall to discuss redevelopment plan

September 26, 2019 12:15 pm
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 |   Development | West Seattle news | West Seattle religion

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

Last December, Admiral Congregational Church‘s pastor told the Admiral Neighborhood Association that the church (4320 SW Hill) was mulling redevelopment. Then in July, the church wrote this “open letter” to the community, mentioning they had hired an architect and design firm for a feasibility study. Now – they’re ready to talk with you about the future. Just announced:

Town Hall: The Future of Admiral Neighborhood’s Church
October 8, 7:00 pm

After much deep thinking about how to serve the North Admiral community, Admiral Congregational UCC has discerned a preliminary plan for redevelopment. We are at the initial stages of surveying the site and connecting with potential development partners, and we want to keep the neighborhood as “in the know” as possible, with opportunities to share hopes, hesitations, and help as folks feel so moved. Please join us in envisioning a vibrant Admiral neighborhood with a sustainable center for justice and mercy at its heart.

Nothing is on file with the city yet, and pastor Rev. Andrew Conley-Holcom tells WSB they’re likely as much as a year away from getting to that stage. As noted in our previous coverage, the church’s 27,000-square-foot site at is zoned Lowrise 3.

BINGO ‘French Picnic’ Benefit for Admiral Church

BINGO “French Picnic”
-for Admiral Church Ministries-
Friday, May 10, 6-9 pm
(Doors open @ 5:30 pm)
Fauntleroy Social Hall,
9140 California Ave SW,

Admiral Church’s new pastor Andrew Conley-Holcom to be ordained just after New Year’s

Admiral Congregational Church is formally introducing its new pastor, who is already leading worship services there, though his ordination is set for just after New Year’s and his formal installation in the spring. Here’s the announcement the church is sharing with the community:

The oldest church in West Seattle has recently called Andrew Conley-Holcom as its new pastor. Admiral Congregational United Church of Christ, located in North Admiral, was founded in 1899 as the West Seattle Congregational Church. Pastor Andrew, in his early thirties and a recent graduate of Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA, is the youngest pastor that Admiral has ever called.

The congregation voted to accept its Search Committee’s unanimous recommendation to call Andrew in mid-October, and he has been leading worship services since October 19th. He will be ordained on January 3, 2015 at his home church, First Congregational Church of Bellingham, and will be formally installed as Admiral’s pastor in the spring.

Andrew and his wife, Leann (church-provided photo, above right), are originally from the Tacoma area and currently reside in the Ravenna neighborhood. Leann is active as a professional singer, directs the Concert Choir of the Tacoma Youth Chorus, and is a doctoral candidate in choral conducting at the University of Washington.

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Admiral Church Organ Fundraiser

Admiral Congregational United Church of Christ has a long history. Founded in 1899 as West Side Congregational Church, when the original church was dedicated in 1901, on the site of what is now the Admiral Church parking lot, it was the first church building in West Seattle. The current building was completed in 1961 and eventually renamed Admiral Church.

A pipe organ for the new sanctuary was commissioned in 1961 from Balcom and Vaughan organ builders. The pipes came from Holland, the blowers from Switzerland. It has 21 ranks consisting of 1,111 pipes. The purchase price was $12,000. The organ is currently valued at $400,000.

The 52-year-old organ has been loved and appreciated by generations of Admiralites. It is now in urgent need of renovation and repair. Admiral Church began “The Year of the Organ” in April of this year, with the goal of raising the needed $50,000 by April, 2015. Over $30,000 has been given and pledged so far.

On Saturday, October 25 at 3 pm, as part of “The Year of the Organ”, Admiral Church is hosting a benefit concert. Among the talented Seattle celebrities who will be supporting Admiral with their performances at this concert are jazz piano legend Overton Berry, gospel matriarch Grace Holden, and Admiral’s own fabulous organist, Keith Terhune. After the concert there will be a champagne reception and a chance to donate to the organ restoration fund.

Afternoon of games at Admiral Church

Saturday, March 8, 1-4 PM, enjoy an afternoon of board games at Admiral Congregational Church, 4320 SW Hill St. in West Seattle. Refreshments supplied. Bring your friends!

Miss the West Seattle Big Band at Admiral Church? Now hear this!

May 2, 2011 8:37 pm
|    Comments Off on Miss the West Seattle Big Band at Admiral Church? Now hear this!
 |   West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Ready for a music break? Jim Edwards from the West Seattle Big Band (which is now 15 years old and going strong!) shares a sample of last night’s performance during “Jazz Sunday” at Admiral Congregational Church – photos by Michelle Edwards, music with the help of a digital audio recorder. Next chance to catch them: June 3rd during the West Seattle High School All-School Reunion.

Admiral church-turned-events-venue seeks landmark status


View Larger Map

It was once the Sixth Church of Christ Scientist, built in 1929 at the corner of SW Lander and 42nd SW – what you see in the Google Street View image above is the south side, immediately across the street from Hiawatha (more photos in this Vintage Seattle post). Now, it’s an events venue called The Sanctuary at Admiral, and city landmarks coordinator Beth Chave confirms to WSB that the city has just accepted a nomination this week proposing Seattle landmark status, submitted by The Sanctuary’s owner (and months in the making), which means this is one of two West Seattle buildings currently under consideration — the other is the Seaview building at The Kenney (as noted in our coverage of the ongoing Design Review process for its proposed redevelopment). Landmark status can bring some economic benefits, like tax breaks, though it also brings restrictions – if the city Landmarks Board decides to designate the building as a landmark, that means that any changes to it (remodeling, etc.) would require their approval. Chave says neither this nomination nor that of the Seaview is listed on the city’s “current nominations” page because the applications are still being reviewed for completeness; once that’s determined, hearings will be scheduled for the board to review the proposal, and public comment will be part of the process (as explained here). You can find a list of West Seattle sites that already have landmark status by going here; meantime, here’s more on The Sanctuary’s history, from its website. The venue, by the way, hosted an event of worldwide note earlier this month – the International Food Bloggers’ Conference (podcasts available on the IFBC website).

Free jazz at Admiral Church this Sunday

April 16, 2009 1:07 am
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 |   Fun stuff to do | West Seattle religion | WS culture/arts

That’s the only Overton Berry Ensemble, and a taste of what’s in store at Admiral Church this Sunday. Admiral Church (California/Hill; here’s a map) joined the WSB sponsor team this week to get the word out about its annual Jazz Sunday, coming up this weekend; as you can see on the lineup here, it starts with “jazz-flavored worship” at the 10:30 am service, featuring the Admiral Choir, vocalist Grace Holden, flutist Bernie Jacobs, bassist Jeff Davies, all under the leadership of church music director Keith Terhune. Then at 7 pm, it’s a free concert (donations will be accepted) with the Overton Berry Ensemble (and Grace Holden sings again). To get your complimentary ticket(s), call the church at 932-2928.

Choices, crime, church @ Admiral Neighborhood Association

The Admiral Neighborhood Association‘s every-other-month meeting last night at Admiral Congregational Church was one of the best-attended neighborhood-council meetings we’ve seen in a while. Maybe that was because of its marquee topic – the church’s potential redevelopment – but that wasn’t the only interesting part of the agenda. Here’s how it went:

SURVEY-RESULTS SNEAK PEEK: The ANA’s community survey brought in 269 responses and the results are being analyzed. President David Hancock offered a sneak peek: In response to a question about what services/improvements people would like to see in Admiral, “improved transit” topped the list. What would people contribute time/expertise to? Top answer: Greenspace maintenance/improvement. What topics would people like to learn about at a community meeting? Top answer: Local history. What would encourage people to come to a meeting? The chance to speak with local elected officials. Look for the full results early next year.

SOUTHWEST PRECINCT: A four-person delegation was there – Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner, Community Police Team Officers Will Kohn and Nic Plemel, and Seattle University intern Taylor Lowery.

The officers answered questions, including what to do if someone is sleeping in your business’s doorway:

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