Renton Celebrates 50 Years

December 13, 2019 | Church | Paul Tutyko, Randy Maxwell

Renton (Wash.) Church commemorated its 50th anniversary on Nov. 16, 2019, with a theme of “This Far by Faith.”

Though the church was founded in the 1930s, the first worship service held in the current church sanctuary took place on Nov. 15, 1969.

The anniversary planning committee included Randy Maxwell, pastor; Jane Martin, church secretary; Ethel Acosta, treasurer; and Paul Tutyko, church historian. The team worked hard to contact former pastors and members from around the country. Four former pastors and more than 300 came to the homecoming services.

Maxwell gave the Friday night message about anticipating the great homecoming when Jesus returns to take us home. Former pastor Tim Madding (2001–2006) sent greetings by video and recalled some great memories during his five-year tenure.

One of the many highlights of the weekend was a discussion panel at Sabbath School facilitated by Sabbath School superintendent, Brian Xavier, and featuring five pastors: Ellsworth Wellman (1968–1972), a 95-year-old World War II veteran; David Glenn (1980–1984); Adrian Petreaca (2005–2015); Maxwell (2016–present); and Mike Barnett (1981–1997), who was an elder at Renton Church before he was called into pastoral ministry and now pastors the Walla Walla (Wash.) City Church.

At the divine worship hour, Wellman shared memories of building the current sanctuary and the challenges that came with building a 40-foot-tall church. Roger Ferris (1985–1995) was also on hand to share memories about the church renovations that took place under his leadership, including the lobby, entrance, kitchen, fellowship hall storage and pastor’s study.

Glenn gave the worship talk for the church service. He talked about a “Wonderful Jesus” who is at the center of our church and is the “Champion” we are waiting for.

Head deaconess Dee Fritz and her team served food to more than 300 guests. The Renton Warriors Pathfinder club marched into the sanctuary and posted the colors to begin a Sabbath afternoon music program. The Renton Stars Adventurer Club stole the show by charming everyone with two adorable songs. Musicians past and present, including the Orion Chorale of Washington state, added to the celebratory spirit of the afternoon.

Interspersed with the music were five videos documenting the key players who were the movers and shakers driving the congregation to build such a beautiful church. David Henry helped the church history department make the videos, which will be archived for the future.

Maxwell closed the program by talking about what it means to call Renton home and cast a vision to expand the social hall. “Our membership and ministries are growing, and we must provide more space to accommodate that growth," he said.

Many family and friends came from all over to help celebrate the Homecoming 50th Anniversary weekend. The church is thankful to everyone who participated in the weekend and all the hard work that went into making this a Sabbath for the ages.