Edmonds Church of God celebrates 100 years of community

EDMONDS — They are celebrating the past, but they also welcome the future.

The Edmonds Church of God just marked 100 years.

Worship leader Joel Tallman, 53, of Edmonds, was raised in the church. He’s been running the music program for nearly three decades.

His five grown children and two grandchildren attend. His wife, Janine, plays drums and sings. One son works as a sound technician. Another daughter sings.

“Churches go through seasons,” Tallman said. “We’ve lost so many of our senior citizens in the past year or two. We’re starting to see it re-blossom again, and a lot of young families coming in.”

The church draws more than 100 people for Sunday services.

On Wednesday nights, the church hosts free public dinners. Additional volunteers are needed.

They also participate in Operation Night Watch, a program that feeds the homeless in Seattle. The church has weekly youth groups and “FaithSpot” teaching and games for children on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. GriefShare classes start again in September.

The church moved to the current location at 8224 220th St. SW in the mid-1970s, senior pastor Bob McGuire said. Their unofficial historian, Richard Swank, died earlier this year at 94.

When McGuire looks backs at the church’s writings and history, he sees a common theme of being a community center and a gathering place, he said. When people who have moved away came back to visit for the centennial events, it was like a big family reunion.

“It’s an interesting flow of people over the years who feel attracted to a certain church,” McGuire said. “I think a local church has an interesting place in the community — who’s in the community and what they’re looking for. There’s no way to measure what’s in their minds and their hearts, but it changes with the season and the culture of a city.”

Board chairman Mike Shouse, 70, attends the same church his grandparents did.

He likes that the church is known for its friendliness and for helping others.

The emphasis now, Shouse said, is on the next 100 years.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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