Rev. Mark Kohls delivers his sermon Sunday morning at North Creek Country Church on January 21, 2018. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)

Rev. Mark Kohls delivers his sermon Sunday morning at North Creek Country Church on January 21, 2018. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)

Standing the tests of time

A tight-knit congregation fills the pews of North Creek Country Church.

BOTHELL — A little country church has survived a change in times.

A dirt path out front became a four-lane highway connecting Bothell and Mill Creek. Businesses were built where trees once stood.

Inside, a tight-knit congregation sings traditional hymns from books. A pianist follows along.

Members tell stories about a Swedish immigrant who homesteaded the land where they worship, and how neighbors worked together to construct the building.

A new pastor hopes to honor the congregation’s 100-year history and make sure it has a long future.

The Rev. Mark Kohls officially joined North Creek Country Church last month.

He is not a preacher by trade.

He shuttles kids in the Northshore School District to class every day. In between morning and afternoon bus routes, he provides technology support to Microsoft’s human resources department.

The church’s former pastor, Jerry Back, recruited Kohls. Back joined the church as an interim pastor in 2011. His temporary stint turned into six years. He wanted to find the right person to lead the congregation before stepping down.

Kohls began attending Sunday services last year. He got to know the church’s 15 members.

“It’s a little bit like dating,” Kohls said. “You want to find out if they like you, and if you like them.”

There is something special about the friendly congregation.

A young man who lives locally is a frequent visitor. Sometimes he needs to get out of the house, Kohls said. He comes to the church and sits on the front stoop.

Members have invited him inside to join their potlucks.

It’s a place where people can “just be,” Kohls said.

Years ago, a quilting club met there. Boxing matches were held in the basement Saturday nights. Children would fill the room the next morning for Sunday school.

Kohls led his first Christmas Eve service in December. About 40 people filled the pews.

“This little church isn’t done,” he said.

Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192;

Talk to us

More in Local News

Photo by Kira Erickson/South Whidbey Record
Freeland resident Kevin Lungren has been commuting to the office using his paddleboard. It's a commute he can do in all seasons and just about any type of weather, except wind.
Whidbey commuter paddleboards his way to work in all seasons

The financial advisor says he’s only fallen off his board twice in the past five years.

Photo by Heather Mayhugh
Stuart Peeples demonstrates how to enter Heather Mayhugh's wheelchair van. In recent months, while navigating the new Mukilteo ferry terminal, Mayhugh has struggled to unload her clients who need access to the restroom.
For some, Mukilteo’s new ferry terminal aggravates challenges

Many disabled folks say not enough thought went into improving the facility’s accessibility problems.

Parts of Snohomish County under weekend heat advisory

Monroe and areas of the county near the Cascades were expected to see highs in the 90s.

Marysville man wins $100,000 in military vaccine lottery

Carmen S., who served in the Vietnam War, claimed his $100,000 cash prize this week.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
State AG says it can’t investigate Lynnwood Jail death

Tirhas Tesfatsion’s family pushed Lynnwood leaders for an independent inquiry. Her death was ruled a suicide.

The growing business district along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, looking west toward I-5. At lower left is the construction site of the new Amazon fulfillment center. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald)
Marysville-Arlington road improvements won’t happen at once

Traffic improvement projects near the Cascade Industrial Center will take shape over the next decade.

2 men get prison time for stabbing stranger at Everett motel

The pair both pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the stabbing in 2019.

3 Monroe teachers awarded $185 million for chemical exposure

Chemical giant Monsanto was ordered to pay Sky Valley Education Center teachers in the first of many lawsuits.

Terry Boese, owner of Wicked Teuton Brewing Company, says he wishes his beard was longer so he could dress up as a wizard for a Harry Potter trivia night happening later this month. The brewer and the library are teaming up to offer two Booktoberfest trivia events, starting Thursday. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor’s big-bearded Wicked Teuton brewer killed in crash

Terry Boese, a self-proclaimed “proud zymurgist,” was well-known in the North Whidbey beer scene.

Most Read