The Central Washington Seventh Day Baptist Church previously known as the Ahtanum Community Church, was located in the Ahtanum area in some form for 30 years. Prior to 1972 there was a congregation located on Jerome Avenue in the city of Yakima called :Lifeline Baptist Church". Circumstances led them to seek a new building and they purchased the present building from the Assembly of God. Thus the name of the church became "The Ahtanum Baptist Church", remaining an independent Baptist church. However, in 1978 the church decided to become a non-denominational church and dropped the name "Baptist" and became "The Ahtanum Community Church". During these years up to 1995 Vernon Beggs was senior pastor. After his resignation in 1995, Stanley F Fox was elected as pastor. They had worked together in the church since 1975. January 1997 was another turning point for the church. The pastor started out the year with three challenging messages at the Sunday worship hour: (1.) Evangelism, (2.) Commitment, and (3.) The Biblical Sabbath. The last message to his surprise, provoked enough interest that a Bible study was requested on the subject. This would not be totally new to the pastor, as he had been convicted through such study some years before. After being convicted through the scriptures, he began to dialogue with a few sabbath keepers - mainly the SDB church in Seattle. The Bible Study was to be during the Sunday school hour. It was in depth and challenging to the church. It covered difficult areas, which certainly challenged the traditions of the church. No stone was left un-turned and all avenues were explored. There were certainly some tense moments and minds were tasked to the limit. The end result of this was that indeed the seventh day sabbath was biblical and Sunday was traditional.
A board member recommended that we bring it before the church. The rest of the board agreed that it should be brought before the church to vote as to return to the biblical Sabbath. Not wanting to divide the church the board recommended 100% affirmative vote of those present at the July scheduled business meeting. This meeting appeared weekly in the bulletin with complete details - even of a 100% affirmative vote of those present.It was a tense time until that business meeting. Even some strong supporters began to waver just a little. That July business m,eeting was tense. Sad to say some did not even bother to come out and vote wile others had to be out of town on this special occasion. Enough of the faithful showed up and cast their vote. It was all in the affirmative and the second Sabbath in August would be the first sabbath meeting. They chose to have a sabbath Evening (Friday) also. Naturally there was a great concern for those who were not there to vote. However, once the choice was made they also embraced the sabbath and the church did not loose even one member. In fact there were more visitors and even the membership and attendance increased.
There is no doubt that the Lord had His hand in the change that took place. This easily seen by the fact that one person could have shown up and voted in the negative and the change would not have taken place. This was indeed the work of God. In the following years, the church maintained some association with Seventh Day Baptist. Being of like faith and polity, it supported some SDB missionary projects and had close fellowship with SDB churches.
The year 2006 would be another turning point for the Ahtanum Church. After careful thought, dialog and prayer, it sought admittance into the Seventh day baptist general conference. At the 195th. Session of the Seventh day baptist conference in Newberg, oregon, the Ahtanum Community Church was officially accepted into the SDB Conference. This was one week before the church's 10th. anniversary as a Seventh day Sabbath Church.
Changes were just beginning as in 2009 the church sold its property to the Apple Tree Golf Coarse. The money received, along with donations gave them enough to purchase land at 10200 Summitview Ave. and build a new modest building. This project was done without going into dept and most of the work was done by capable men of the church and volunteers and support of the members in various ways. It took a year from the start of the building project to be able to occupy the building. Although occupied, there was stilll more to do as time and money were available.
" The new Central Washington Seventh Day Baptist Church" was chosen from a vote of 13 possible names. On October 16th. 2010 We held our first sabbath service in our new meeting place at 10200 Summitview Avenue.
The Central Washington Seventh Day Baptist Church stands as a lighthouse, pointing people to the Lord of the Sabbath. The goals of the church are: (1.) Worship, (2.) Edification. and (3.) Evangelization. Church ordinances: Baptism and the Lord;s Supper. Church Government: Congregational
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