Sunday, June 24, 2012

                                                                                                          June 24, 2012

St. John's Episcopal Cathedral
127 Twelfth Avenue

St. John's Episcopal Cathedral
Spokane, Washington

St. John's Episcopal Cathedral at 127 Twelfth Avenue commands the escarpment south of the downtown area of Spokane.  Its spires and carillon bells are  beacons to the Christian community throughout the city.

"Notice the large rose window over the west entrance as it changes colors with the varying light of day."(See photo below.) (Reference.)

West entrance

"Often called the finest cathedral in the North west because of its beauty and authenticity, this Gothic-style cathedral was constructed between the years 1926 and 1954. Architect Harold C. Whitehouse adhered strictly to the principles of Gothic design in construction in this "labor of love".  Mr. Whitehouse worshipped here every Sunday until his death.  The solid masonry tower, which houses a carillon, stands 166 feet above the cathedral floor.  The interior is well worth a  tour." (Reference.)


"The Cathedral organ is an instrument of generous size and genuine majesty representative of the finest period of cathedral organ design in America. It consists of three divisions and pedals plus a gallery division, over 4,000 pipes. It is installed in two chambers high above the entrance from the crossing to the chancel, with four ranks and the state trumpets mounted above the balcony at the west end of the Cathedral. The organ was designed, built and installed by the Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company of Boston, builders of the most notable pipe organs in America. In 2000, the console underwent major renovation and received new keyboards, draw knobs, digital combination action and digital control for all the pipework, performed by Marceau and Associates Pipe Organ Builders of Portland, Oregon.

"It is rare indeed for a city the size of Spokane to have a carillon at all, much less one as fine as this. The carillon in the tower of Washington National Cathedral, also cast and installed by Taylor and Sons, has only four more bells, 53 instead of 49." (See Link.)

One of a pair of front doors

Reference: Spokane's Historic Architecture, 1977.
Photos: Taken in October 2010 by SW.


God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen (SW.)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

                                                                                                                         June 17, 2012

806 West Knox Avenue
Corner of Knox and Post

Knox Presbyterian Church
Spokane, Washington

The origin of Knox Presbyterian Church started with the formation of Centenary Presbyterian Church in 1888.  It was organized by the pastor of First Presbyterian Church,  Spokane and had 19 members.  It was at Centenary Presbyterian Church, at the suggestion of Sonora Smart Dodd,  that the national  holiday "Father's Day" originated on June 10, 1910. (Link 3.)  "The Centenary Church at Sinto Avenue and Wall Street was partially destroyed by fire on March 2, 1917. " (Link  2.)    

                                       Centenary Presbyterian Church (Link 4.)

"Ground was broken May 17th  (1917) for a new edifice at Knox Avenue and Post Street with the name changed to Knox Presbyterian Church in honor of John Knox, the founder of Presbyterianism. The first service was held in the new building on November 11, 1917, less than six months from the time of groundbreaking. On December 1, 1918 the Reverend W. S. Middlemass of Red Wing, Minnesota was called at a salary of $1800 and free use of the manse. At the end of 1918 church membership was 338 and the outstanding indebtedness was $12,000... After Mr. Middlemass left, the Reverend Charles F. Koehler served from 1923 until 1946. His ministry was notable for 34 young people who went into various forms of full-time service for Christ. (Link 2.)


Stained Glass Windows
Knox Street side of Sanctuary

Dormers in Roof of Sanctuary

"On February 17, 1957 a remodeled church was dedicated. The structure included new east and west entrances , extensive alterations to the sanctuary and educational units, and electrical and heating improvements. (Link 2.)

The old 1917 church building was nestled in the center of the new surrounding 1957 red brick.  A new entrance on the corner of Post St.and Knox St. was added to the sanctuary and downstairs fellowship hall.  Another addition was built on to the original 1917 building at the alley corner off Post St. The  large educational wing was added to the far end of the original 1917 building.  However, the 1917 sanctuary retained many of original elements: the dark wood beams of the ceiling, the stained glass windows, and the dormers in the roof.  At intervals its 1917 stained glass windows peek through the 1957 red brick.

Rear View from Post Street

"The Reverend Leigh P. Taylor began the second longest pastorate at Knox Church on August 1, 1967. His coming inaugurated one change in the relationship between church and pastor. He was offered the choice of the use of the manse or a manse allowance. He accepted the allowance and served the church for 23 years. He became very involved in the establishment and progress of “Operation Nightwalk” which began in October 1970. Spokane ministers took turns walking the streets of downtown Spokane at night to be available to individuals with problems of homelessness and despair. In 1980 the Reverend Joel Crosby began his ministry at Knox. His tenure included the formation of a “Trainee” ministry to conduct an active ministry with children, youth and adults during summer times. The program was supplemented by an “Enabler” ministry in which employed young people were encouraged to give spare time to church service. 

"The history of Knox Church would not be complete without mention of the unique ministry of Albert Arend. He was born June 5, 1900 and joined Knox Church in 1910. At age 22 he became an elder of Knox Church. During the years that followed he spearheaded the Christian Endeavor movement at the church. Of special interest also is the correspondence relating to the rescue of the Reverend Leon I. Rosenberg from Nazi persecution in Lodz, Poland just before WWII." (Link 2.)
"Knox Presbyterian Church has embarked on a fascinating new journey called Shared Ministry. Shared Ministry represents a return to how the early Christian churches practiced and lived their faith. It is congregation-centric, not leader-centric as in the true spirit of Presbyterianism. Under the Shared Ministry model adopted by Knox Presbyterian Church, the Session (elders) provides the vision and leadership for the church, and the congregants—by organizing and actively participating in one of three shared ministry  “teams” (Administration; Worship experience; Outreach/mission)—run the church. In fact, Knox and its shared ministry ‘experiment’ will be one of the daily featured devotionals in the 2012 Presbyterian Yearbook For Prayer." (Link 1.)
The Korean congregation of Spokane Hope Christian Reformed Church also meets at Knox Presbyterian Church.  
Note: For more on the origin of Father's Day see Blog Post 1/17/2012 on Central United Methodist Church, Spokane, Washington.
Photos: Taken in April 2012 by SW.
Link 1:
Link 2:
Link 3:
Link 4:


God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen (SW.)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

                                                                                                                June 10, 2012

First Presbyterian Church
1910 Church
Fourth and Cedar

First Presbyterian Church
Spokane, Washington

"The Rev. Thomas G. Watson, a Presbyterian missionary from Waukesha, Wisc., stepped off the train in Spokane Falls, as Spokane was then known, in 1883 to start a new church in the dusty frontier town of 1,500... meeting in various downtown buildings..." (REF 2.)

One of these was the Bank of Spokane Falls.  In 1884 they moved because the  bank needed the office space.  (REF 1.)

Bank of Spokane Falls (REF 1.)

"... a new First Presbyterian Church was dedicated in December 1886 at the corner of Riverside Avenue and Monroe Street.  The cost: $3,200.  Amid a real estate boom, the church was sold in 1889 for $21,000..." (REF 2.)

1886 Church (REF 1,)

"The congregation's first edifice of its own, erected 1886, where the Spokesman- Review building now stands, served the members until early 1889 when it was sold for $21,000 in a booming real estate market.

1890 Church (REF 1.)

"The second building, dedicated Dec. 21, 1890, was located at the south-east corner of Second and Jefferson Streets.  Church officers considered it a temporary place of worship since they envisioned a "magnificent stone church" to be built on an eligible site.

1890 Interior (REF 1.)

"Interior of Second and Jefferson church.  It was fitted out with 535 opera chairs.  The congregation worshipped here until 1910. (REF 1.)

The  new stately stone church that is used today was built  at Fourth and Cedar and  dedicated June 12, 1910. (REF 1.)  

The sanctuary arches around the distinctive exposed organ pipes at the back of the chancel.  Below the pipes are the chairs for the choir.   A large stained glass window is on the wall to the right of the pipes and a decorative screen on the wall to the left. The red draped area of the chancel in the photo below held the bells for the bell ringing choir that was playing to celebrate Easter.  The curved communion rail is below that.  The pews are banked with side aisles.  Large stained glass windowa also are on the east wall on the main floor and the south wall of the balcony. (See bottom photo.) Adjacent to the sanctuary on the west, below the wooden screen, is a room that can be opened for additional seating.

Sanctuary Easter Sunday 2012

East Wall of Sanctuary 2012

East Wall of Sanctuary 2012
(Center Detail)

Balcony 2012

In 1995 an education wing was added that includes a gym. A section of the exterior wall of the 1912 building was left exposed near the entrance to the new wing.   Today the First Presbyterian Church of Spokane serves a congregation of 2000.

Note: In Canada in the year 1925 The United Church of Canada was formed.  All the Methodist and Congregational Churches joined and most of the Presbyterian Churches.  Today there are still a few Presbyterian Churches in Canada, but only one in North Vancouver, St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church.  Suzanne Wilson attended this church for a short period of time and two of her children took piano lessons from the pastor's wife, Mildred Allison.

Thank you: To the ushers and women in the church library for their help.
Photos: Taken on Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012 by SW. 
                 Also from Reference 1. below.
REFERENCE 1: Many Lamps, One Light, A Centennial  History  1883-1983 
                       First Presbyterian Church, Spokane, Washington.
REFERENCE 2: The Spokasman-Review, February 20, 2012, page 5, 'Review Tower, Newspaper's home replaced Presbyterian church'.


God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen (SW.)
orld. Amen

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
1023 East Russell Avenue

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

1023 Russell Ave. Entrance to church prior to 1959
(Published on Bay View Heritage Facebook)

According to the "1970 Photo Directory" of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, it was founded and dedicated in 1870.  The "1970 Photo Directory" which included the history of the church was published to commemorate its 100th anniversary.  The original entrance to the church was at 1023 Russell Avenue in the heart of the Bay View area on the south side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The high vaulted ceiling of the sanctuary gave it the look of a cathedral.
Sanctuary Stained Glass Window

Later additions to the church included the stained glass windows.  The primary window faces east and the church's school building.  The other five major windows depict the "Mysteries of the Rosary".  A new entrance, in the photo above,  on Kinnickinnic Avenue the main commercial street of Bay View, was built in 1959.  It features four Greek columns.  Sometime after 1959 the most spectacular feature of the church building was added.  This was the 2 1/2 storey high mosaic mural behind the front altar of the sanctuary.  It depicts the family tree of Jesus from Adam and Eve to Mary and Joseph.

Mosaic Mural behind the Front Altar

Today 500 families  are registered as member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.  The Pastor is Rev. Ronald E. Kotecki. 

Thank You: To Immaculate Conception Catholic Church Youth Minister Bob Boehm for the information references from the "1970 Photo Directory" regarding the history of the church.  .
Photos: Exterior photo taken in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2006  by SW. Interior photos taken by Myron Thomsen 2012.
Note: Suzanne Wilson grew up on Logan Avenue (See Blog Post August 4, 2010.) two blocks from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, (or "IC" as the neighbors called it).