Our History

 

The first settlers to this area realized their dependence on God, and led by Dr. J. Pogue, they persuaded a Presbyterian minister to make a preaching circuit in this area in 1894. Sunday School began in 1905, held in the home of Mrs. J. Stoddard on Lake Bide-A-Wee, now called Duck Lake. As Sunday School grew in size, it was moved to the school house on the Miller homestead on Pogue Flat.

On August 22, 1907, the Presbyterian Community Church was officially organized with twenty charter members. Dr. George Hageman, D. D., preached the first sermon. The Reverend James Thomson became the first minister, preaching his first sermon in September, 1907. The first services were held in the annex of the Keller & Knosher store, amid bales of hay, sacks of grain, and hardware of all kinds. The group then moved to the Coleman-Stoddard Building, located on the lot where the present post office now stands. Arrangements for sharing the hall with the school and other groups became unsatisfactory, so the community decided to erect its own 20 by 40 foot building, which is remembered as "the Church built in a day", in December of 1908."The church built in a day"

The group was pleased to celebrate Christmas in its very own church, located on the lots facing Central Avenue, east of the present City Hall. These lots were a gift from Ben Ross, who platted the town site of Omak. A 10 foot annex was added the following spring to accommodate the Sunday School, which had grown to 176 members.

With the rapid growth of the community, it was necessary to increase the capacity of the center of worship. The property owned by the church was traded in 1910 for the lots on Central and Birch, and a frame structure was completed and dedicated on November 28, 1910. Sixteen denominations were represented in the community church. Also, in 1910, the church was incorporated as The First Presbyterian Church of Omak. An addition was added to the building in December, 1919. It served as a center for worship until 1949, when a brick building was begun and built in two stages on the same property. The sanctuary was completed first, then the old church was torn down, and the education wing and Memorial Parlor were dedicated June 24, 1956. The church began a live broadcast of the Sunday morning worship service over KOMW Radio in 1949, which continues as an outreach to the community. In 2010 the church expanded its outreach by streaming worship service audio live on the church website.

All that is left of the church after the fireIn February 1988, an arsonist burned the First Presbyterian Church, the Free Methodist Church (now the Cornerstone Church), and the North Omak Elementary School.

The church was a complete loss, except for books containing historic church membership. Lost was the church's historic pipe organ, Opus 6637 built in 1938 by the M. P. Moller Organ Company.

Our congregation rallied to the challenge and planning for a new structure began. During the planning and building phases, the congregation used space provided by Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, the Omak Seventh Day Adventist Church, and the Okanogan Presbyterian Church. The first official use of the new building, erected on the site of the old building, was for the annual Congregational Meeting held on January 21, 1990. The March 18, 1990 open house attracted over 250 visitors. In April, 1990 the Central Washington Presbytery met in the new church for its quarterly meeting. On May 6, 1990, the new building was officially dedicated by a former pastor, the Reverend Alexander M. Campbell, D.D.

Sunday School was an integral part of the church from its inception, and the driving force for the need for more space. The program took on different forms to meet the needs at different times. Vacation Bible School was usually a part of the education program. The first fifteen passenger van to help with the youth outreach was purchased in 1978, and named the "Blue Angel". Since then a new mini bus, called "Blue Angel II" has kept this ministry alive. A summer youth minister was hired in 1975, and a full time youth minister was hired in 1991. The position name and job description changed to Director of Christian Education in 2001.

Our church todayIn 2012, we began the process of leaving the Presbyterian Church USA and joining the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. On June 22, 2013, we were dismissed from the PCUSA and became a full member of the EPC. Read more about the EPC here.