The First Presbyterian Church of Kennewick, Washington can trace its roots back to May, 1903 when the Clerk of the Home Mission Committee was authorized by Presbytery to enroll the name of the church. A special committee appointed by Presbytery reported “19 members of as good and loyal people as you will find anywhere, with others interested to come in . . . . The congregation has pledged itself to the support of a pastor in the amount of $112 and will make it $150 if possible.” Ten years later, the church united with the Congregational Church of Kennewick.
Unfortunately, the record is unclear during the Depression and War years of the 1930s and 40s, and the church was probably inactive during some of this time. Local Presbyterians met in the Benton County PUD auditorium and in November, 1956, a letter went out indicating that the Rev. Jack Wilson had been called as pastor of the congregation. The first worship service of this church was held on February 10, 1957, in the I.O.O.F. Hall on North Ione Street. On April 28, 1957, KFPC became reorganized officially with 148 members.
On January 1, 1958, the church moved from the I.O.O.F. Hall to the stone church on the corner of Second and Auburn where some of our members had worshipped almost 50 years earlier with the original First Presbyterian Church of Kennewick. Ground was broken in May, 1959, for the building in our present location.
Over the decades our facilities became very crowded and more room was needed. After much prayer and study, March, 1992, the congregation voted to build a new Christian Education Center. In order to maximize our efforts and provide opportunities for individual service, the decision was made to do as much of the construction work as possible ourselves using Craftsmen for Christ, an organization that specializes in helping congregations build their own facilities. “First Presbyterian Center,” was dedicated in September, 1993.
By the time that KFPC began its second century, classroom space, meeting space, and ‘meet and mingle’ space were becoming crowded. In Fall 2004, a building team began to explore alternatives including remodeling/expanding existing space, and building new facilities. It was decided to expand First Pres Center, and build a new sanctuary and narthex/foyer. The official groundbreaking was held in June, 2007. A two-story Christian education facility was added to First Pres Center, the kitchen was relocated and expanded, youth meeting space was redesigned, and a large new narthex/foyer, new choir and bell choir rooms, and a new sanctuary were built. These facilities were dedicated in November, 2008.
As the rest of the second century for The First Presbyterian Church of Kennewick unfolds, we thank God for what He is doing in this corner of His world. We look forward with eagerness and excitement to the future here at KFPC.