by Jay Wintermeyer
August 14, 2010 marked a high Sabbath for the West Central Multi-Cultural Seventh-day Adventist Church. Members and visitors gathered to celebrate the official opening of their new church building.
The celebration included music from visiting artists and special guest speakers including Elder Alphonso McCarthy, NPUC vice president of multicultural affairs. A highlight of the service featured a recounting of 25 divine blessings that made the new church facility a reality.
The journey to the new church home began more than a year ago. On April 6, 2009, Dr. Colin Dunbar, pastor of the Spokane East Central Adventist Church, received a letter from the City of Spokane. The church land had been slated to become part of the new North Spokane corridor freeway. They were given one year to relocate.
Finding a new place to worship was a daunting prospect for Dunbar and his small church family. They looked at numerous existing buildings and even considered rebuilding. Then in January, 2010, Dunbar received an unexpected visit from Pastor Vince Schutt of All Nations Christian Center in Spokane. His church had outgrown their current facility and were in the process of relocating.
“Pastor Schutt told me he was convinced God wanted us to have their church,” says Dunbar. He was rather surprised by the visit and didn’t take immediate action on the offer until a few days later when Pastor Schutt paid him a second visit. “He told me he was so sure we were supposed to have their church, their board was willing to reduce the asking price by $120,000 and donate all their chairs and audio-visual equipment,” says Dunbar.
Much prayer and discussion ensued among Dunbar’s church leadership. They eventually decided to purchase Schutt’s church in March 2010. Shortly thereafter, they began updating and adding some needed additions to make the church accessible for those with disabilities.
Even though the move was unexpected and challenging, Dr. Dunbar emphasizes how God’s hand was evident throughout the process. To begin with, the city of Spokane was very accommodating. “The city was overly gracious and considerate,” says Dunbar. In addition to purchasing the old church, “they paid for our total moving expenses which included installing an audio-visual system. God would be robbed of His glory if we didn’t give Him all the credit for giving us this beautiful facility with room to grow.”
Today, visitors to the new church find a welcoming sign out front, displaying the new name and slogan for the church family, “West Central Multi-Cultural Seventh-day Adventist Church, a warm and friendly place for every race.”