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Sunnyside church invites communityto 100-year anniversary observance

Sunnyside's First Christian Church will observe its 100th anniversary on Sunday, June 10.

All community residents are being invited to share in the celebration, which will take place at the Eighth Street and Decatur Avenue church from 3 to 6 p.m. that day. Light refreshments will be served and all are invited to preview a special slide show presentation that details some of the church's history.

"Please join us to share many good memories. Come celebrate with us," Pastor Dan Hotchkiss said in encouraging Sunnyside area folks to attend the June 10 gathering.

"Milestones are always important in people's lives, and so it is in the life of a church," said Hotchkiss. "We invite you to share this milestone with us."

First Christian Church was established at its present location in 1907. There were 18 original members, who combined their efforts to build the church. The congregation constructed a larger church at the site in 1920. Another major change took place in 1950, when the present sanctuary replaced the old church, and a multi-purpose section, Sprong Hall, was added. A two-story educational wing was built on to the church in 1972.

For more than 30 years Sunnyside's First Christian Church has had the opportunity to house and offer leadership to the Sunnyside Ministerial Association food bank.

Church members have also been active during the 100-year history of the church in mission work, through the Disciples of Christ and with the Yakama Indian Christian Mission located near White Swan. Other groups in which the church members have been affiliated include Northwest Christian College in Eugene, Ore., the Gideon's International Ministry and Operation Christmas Guild with Samaritan's Purse.

"God's provision has been gracious and many people have contributed over the years to help continue the church's ministry," said Hotchkiss.

"We are grateful for the opportunity of sharing the church facility. At present, two other churches share its use with us," Hotchkiss continued.

In the Sunnyside church's 100-year history, there have been 19 ministers invited to serve as pastor. Hotchkiss and his wife, Jo, arrived to pastor the church in January 2006.

"We are grateful to God for His many blessings and wonderful faithfulness during these past 100 years, and we know God will continue that in the future," Hotchkiss said.

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