New church baptizes members in Jetty Island waters

EVERETT — Grapevine Ecclesia is a tiny church with a big idea.

The Everett congregation, which numbers around 20 people, wanted to do something important for the community, so they planned the church’s first-ever faith festival on Jetty Island last week called Riverside Ecclesia Festival.

Fireside Christian Fellowship also helped organize the event.

The public was invited for an afternoon picnic, worship service with foot washing and a baptism in the cold waters of Port Gardner.

The day ended with s’mores and more worship around a campfire.

The turn out was small, perhaps because of last week’s rainy weather, but lead pastor Sam Kahn hopes this year’s event will be the start of a burgeoning annual tradition.

“We are there to serve whoever shows up,” he said. “We are doing the best we can for God.”

He and his wife, co-pastor Kathy Jo, felt called to start a church two years ago. Unlike many new churches which are “planted” by a larger religious organization, the couple started this one independently. They call Grapevine a pioneer church.

“The hurt and the lost are our mission field,” Kahn said. “We’re trying to give them something good.”

The nondenominational church is now renting space in an old brick building at 2918 Hewitt Ave. Services are held the first and third Sundays of each month at 2 p.m., except holidays.

For more information about the church, go online to or call 425-923-7975.

Reporter Debra Smith: 425-339-3197 or

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