West Plains Breaks Ground
West Plains Community Seventh-day Adventist Church held a groundbreaking ceremony July 20 on their property at 815 Craig Road in Airway Heights, Wash. Attendees wrote their names on rocks that will be placed in the church foundation.
During the ceremony the police chief, Lee Bennett, welcomed the new church to the area. With a prison, a casino and a new casino likely going in across the street, Lee said, “We need your help because there are folks who are lost and in crisis, and I’ve only got 28 sets of eyes to take care of this town, so the more people we have to help us, who are God-fearing and upright, it makes our job easier. We want to say thank you."
Paul Hoover, Upper Columbia Conference president, had a prayer of support for the church and commended members for their vision to start a church and for their commitment to build the church. The ceremony was held where the sanctuary will be and there were orange cones labeled to show where the fellowship hall and children’s divisions will be located.
Don Bryan, San Juan Islands (Wash.) District pastor, shared some history. He was riding his bike through Airway Heights while he was the principal of Spokane Junior Academy (now Palisades Christian Academy) and was impressed there should be an Adventist church there. “I argued with God saying, ‘I don’t have time for a church. I’m a school principal, and I don’t have time for one more thing.” In spite this, Bryan heeded God’s call and started a Bible-study group.
Ready to begin the building process, the oldest and the youngest members of the church held three shovels and gave the first toss. The church still has a lot of funds to raise, but in faith they have asked Maranatha Volunteers to come and help build the church in September.
What began with a $1 donation from Michelle Stanfill has grown to purchase the land, and now the church will be built in God's timing. Roger Martin, head elder, gave a closing prayer that ended with a release of white helium balloons, symbolic of the Holy Spirit flowing through church members to the community.