Cascade Bible Church History
It was a clear crisp day in February, 1947, that the Gene Lasaters brought their guest and former pastor from Montana, the Rev. George Hires, Sr., to visit at the Frank Lehman and Edgar Hotchkiss homes. When told of the need of a minister to preach “The Word” in the Methow Valley, he said, “I can’t come but I have a son I’ll send.”
However it took until fall for that son, the Rev. Allen Hires, Jr. to be convinced that it was the Lord’s will. It was the middle of September that he arrived at the Lehman home in Twisp. Hazel Lehman had spearheaded much prayer for such a work.
During the next two weeks, Allen Hires held services in the Lehman home and met with the interested Millard, Watkins and Hotchkiss families. In November, Allen’s wife Freeda, and children, George, Judy, Greg and Betty moved to the Methow Valley.
On Nov. 27, 1947 the first service was held in the old Legion Hall with 24 adults and 11 children present. There was sunshine and no snow for this Thanksgiving Day service and Brother Hires preached on II Cor. 9:15. “Thanks be unto God for His Unspeakable Gift”.
Nov. 25, 1948, found Calvary Independent Church in its own building, now Lehman Hall, in spite of the fact that it was not finished and the 1948 flood had hit the valley so hard the spring before. That was the winter Brother Paul Wapato, Indian evangelist, held special services and packed the house with 109 the night he wore his Indian costume and told the story of his life.
In the spring of 1949, the Hap Schulz funeral was the first held in the building.
In 1950-51 Hegge Ivarson, evangelist, held fruitful services and it was about this time that a basement was dug and the building moved onto it.
In 1962, the Rev. Hires resigned to begin Flying H. Ranch, a home for boys.
In the fall the bell steeple was added and in 1963 Roy Millard spearheaded and did most of the work on the addition of entry and restrooms.
Rev. Eugene Slater, Wesley Mansfield and Rev. Robert Davis were other pastors.
In 1958, a difference in church polity arose and led to two congregations; Calvary Bible Church and First Baptist Church. The First Baptist Church was organized March 28, 1958, with 21 members. Meetings were held in homes until a building was acquired. Pastors who served were; Rev. Robert Baker, Rev. Vern Slater, Mike Totzauer, Gaylord Newby, Jim Pulver and William Bridge. In 1969, when Lanny Barringer came, the two churches were reunited into Calvary Baptist church and joined the General Baptist Conference. (Columbia Baptist Conference) Lanny Barringer arrived in 1969 with his wife, Alice, and children, Lynnette, Bernie, Dan, Sheri, Janelle, and Juanita.
In 1969, the house west of the church and the horse pasture around it were purchased making room for future expansion and playground. Later that year, “Operation Faith”, added a new 50’x20’ front to the building. This consisted of a pastor’s study, foyer and men’s and women’s restrooms and nursery. This was designated to tie in with the long range plans for the new basement and sanctuary.
The First Baptist building was sold and additional property adjacent to the Calvary property was purchased. This gave a parking lot and a residence which was enlarged for a parsonage. The old Calvary parsonage was used as a Sunday School annex and eventually sold to the Craigs.
In June 1973, Lanny Barringer accepted a call to pastor the First Baptist Church in Forest City, Iowa and moved there. In September, the church called Rev. Dale Akker who could not come until the following June, so Rev. Winston Sherwick served as interim pastor.
It was during this time that the building committee of Harrie Adams, Oyvind Gundersen, Carolyn Hotchkiss, Rod Peterson, Edna Schulz, Ethel Yockey, and Chairman, Dave Schulz was organized, plans were accepted and work began on the new sanctuary and basement. Ground breaking was on April 14, 1974.
Because Twisp is situated in the Methow Valley in the foothills of the Cascades, one of the favorite winter sports is snowmobiling. It was on such a trip up Boulder Creek that fire-killed trees tall enough to provide 30’ long timbers were spotted by some of the church men. These timbers were needed to span the large room in the basement. They were not available east of the mountains and cost prohibited their being brought from the coast. Edgar Hotchkiss spearheaded checking these timbers and secured the permits. They were cut by a church crew. A logging crew and equipment of Lloyd Logging and Construction Company loaded and hauled the logs to the churchyard where they formed a huge pile after Crown Zelerback furnished the loader to unload and stack. The Second Mile Saw Mill’s Company set up their mill in the parking area and Rod Parker, with much prayer, did most of the sawing.
Larry Vlasuk of Vlasuk Construction Company was construction contractor who also used volunteer crews of church men. Estes and Yeaple furnished concrete. Methow Valley Lumber and Supply helped with equipment. The plumbing and wiring and installations of the heat pump for heating and air conditioning was done by Edgar Hotchkiss as well as well as designing the light fixtures for the sanctuary. These were made and installed by local men.
Oyvind Gundersend of Sears store installed the carpeting. Gary Turlock, friend of Larry Surface, came from the coast and with the help of local people finished the interior walls of both basement and sanctuary.
One of the aims of the building committee was to keep costs to a minimum. The cost of pews seemed prohibitive. The Lord called attention to an ad in the Oregonian to Karlene (Hotchkiss) Eaton, of Portland, who had grown up in Calvary Baptist Church and remained close to the work. Upon investigation these pews were found to be for sale by a church that preferred they go into another church rather than be sold for the solid oak for which people were clamoring. They were purchased, moved to Twisp, sanded and refinished.
It is impossible to say just how much labor and material was donated by the many men and women who considered it a labor of love. Only the Lord knows and He will reward. “To God be the Glory” was the theme for the dedication held march 27, 1977.
When Dale Akker left in 1977, Rev. Wesley Swedberg served as interim pastor until the Barringers came back in the spring of 1978. He was much involved in the Christian Academy during the eleven years he was Pastor the 2nd time. He resigned in July of 1989.
Rev. Bob Jones, interim pastor, arrived to serve in October of 1989.
The church called Rev. John L. Smith as pastor. He began his ministry May of 1990. In 1995 a playground was added behind the church, supplies and labor furnished by Academy parents. In 1996 the bathrooms and the outer foyer were remodeled. The office had a change in 2005 when the nursery was remodeled to become the office and the office remodeled to become the nursery.
Because of the constant growth of youth in the church a youth pastor was needed so in January of 2009, Matthew Smith was called to be the Youth Pastor.
In June of 2010, Rev. John L Smith retired and a search for a new pastor for Calvary Baptist Church was underway.
CBC youth pastor Matthew Smith filled in as interim pastor.
In May of 2011 the church members passed a vote to change the church name to Cascade Bible Church.
In March 2012, Pastor Harlan Humiston was called to serve as the Senior Pastor at Cascade Bible Church, bringing with him many years of pastoral experience and a specialty in marriage ministries.
Lonnie Good has become head of our Worship team, Josh Thomson is our new Youth Ministries Leader, and Holly Wilmot is our new Director of Children’s Ministries.
The church has undergone several remodeling projects and upgrades over the past couple years. As more history is made, may God bless those that make up the body of believers at CBC.
To be continued…