Chehalis Spanish Company Formed
Chester Schurch, Chehalis Church pastor, along with dedicated church members envisioned a Spanish-speaking church in the Chehalis and Centralia area. The Chehalis Church owned a second church building with a parsonage that they were willing to donate to a group willing to start working among the Spanish people in the region.
Schurch contacted Gregorio Toruno, pastor of the Spanish churches in Tacoma and Federal Way, and offered the church and house to them to be used for planting a new Spanish church. Toruno accepted the challenge in February 2001, and soon work was started to clean and repair the church. By May, a group of people began visiting in Chehalis and Centralia to determine where the Hispanics lived and worked. Many of the Hispanics in that region are temporary workers, while others have difficulty finding work in the region.
Many prayers were offered. Soon Victor Infante, who served as a Bible worker/colporteur, agreed to move to the area to begin Bible work, visitation and evangelism. In February 2002, the first evangelistic campaign was held, and 11 people were baptized. At the end of the campaign, regular Sabbath services were started. That fall, another nine baptisms resulted from another series of meetings.
Since that miraculous beginning, the group has grown to 53 members with 60 people in regular attendance. The group was formed into an official Washington Conference company on June 11, 2005.