70 Years of Ministry Celebrated

November 01, 2015 | Heidi Baumgartner

Fred and Minnie Hurd opened up their home one summer day in 1944 for a group of fellow church members from Seattle Central Church (and beyond) to discuss their noninvolvement in church other than attending services each Sabbath, Wednesday night prayer meeting, returning tithe and giving offering.

Twenty-eight individuals from Seattle, Tacoma and Bremerton prayed together and asked God for guidance and direction. They felt called to start a church company and worked with Washington Conference over a two-year period to establish the new congregation and purchase their first building on the corner of 23rd Avenue and East Spruce Street.

From this early beginning at Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Church sprang 70 years of ministry to African-American blacks in Seattle.

“For seven decades, the church has been known as the mother church that has fostered the development and growth of three other churches: Maranatha Church, Breath of Life Church and Mount Tahoma,” says EuGene Lewis, Emerald City senior pastor. “We’ve been a beacon in the greater Seattle area and pray to continue building on our heritage and history.”

Ministry in Seattle

Through the years, the Shiloh congregation stayed in a similar vicinity but transitioned their facility location and name to Spruce Street in the 1950s and then to Emerald City Community Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1986 — each time with great effort and sacrifice of church members as they followed God’s leading in ministering to their developing community.

Early on, the congregation established themselves as a hospitable church where visitors were always welcome. Members take care of guests through a weekly breakfast for the homeless, community services activities, Vacation Bible School, youth ministry, prophecy and Revelation seminars (with membership growing to 605 in the late 1980s), and music ministry.

Spruce Street Church operated an elementary school for 49 students from 1956 to 1966 under the leadership of Grace Bushnell, John and Enid Hunter, and Florence Jacobsen.

The pastoral roster includes: William Cleveland (1945–1952); J.H. Lawrence (1952–1963); Donald Crowder (1963–1968); Ned A. Lindsay (1968–1972); David G. Rand (1972–1976); Emerson Miller (1976–1978); Perry Jennings (1979–1980); Roscoe Howard III (1979–1980 and 1988–1991), Robert L. Whitaker and Arther R. Leatores (1980–1988); Hector Mouzon and Marlon Perkins (1992–1994); and EuGene Lewis (1994–present), with several associate pastors throughout the years.

Heritage Celebration

To mark the 70-year milestone, Emerald City members organized an anniversary weekend celebration from Sept. 18–20.

The weekend began at the old Shiloh Church facility (still in use by another denomination) for a preach-out on Friday night.

The Sabbath services featured praise, music, learning, preaching and outreach to capture the essence of the church’s ministry in the past 70 years. Afternoon workshops covered reclamation, multicultural outreach, forgiveness and social media outreach. An anniversary concert on Saturday night and a picnic on Sunday afternoon completed the celebration.

Roscoe Howard, who previously pastored at Emerald City, provided the keynote sermon on Sabbath.

“God’s kept you for a purpose,” Howard says. “Listen when God talks to you. He will protect you. Hold on for heaven.”

Read Emerald City’s full history.