Breaking Ground in Airway Heights

by Kathy Marson

The ceremony was held right where the church sanctuary will be with markers out beyond for other parts of the building. Paul Hoover is speaking to the members.
Part of the foundation for the new church
Patrick Rushing, mayor of Airway Heights. 
Front row from left, Carol Matlock, Wyatt Wells, and Isaac Spivey get ready to toss the first shovels of dirt.
Back row from left. Roger Martin, head elder; Lee Bennett, police cheif; Darrel Nice, architect; Patrick Rushing, mayor of Airway heights; Paul Hoover and Randy Terry,  president and treasurer of the Adventist Church in eastern Washington; and Wayne Kablanow pastor of the West Plains Community Adventist Church.
Balloons released by Jody Sams (Left) over Airway Heights to symbolize the Holy Spirit flowing out over the city.

Airway Heights, Wash., July 21, 2014  -  West Plains Community Seventh-day Adventist Church held a ground breaking ceremony July 20, 2014 on their property at 815 Craig Road in Airway Heights, Washington. Attendees were given rocks to put their name on which will be placed in the church foundation. 

During the ceremony the police chief, Lee Bennett, welcomed the new church. With a prison, a casino and a new casino likely going in across the street, Lee said, “We need your help because there are folks who are lost and in crisis and I’ve only got 28 sets of eyes to take care of this town, so the more people we have to help us, who are God-fearing and upright, it makes our job easier. We want to say thank you!

Paul Hoover, president of the Adventist church in Eastern Washington, had a prayer of support for the church and commended members for their vision to begin and commitment to build the church. The ceremony was held where the sanctuary will be. Orange traffic cones were labeled to show where the fellowship hall and children’s divisions will be located.

Don Bryan, pastor of the Adventist church on San Juan Island shared some history. He was riding his bike through Airway Heights while he was the principal of Spokane Junior Academy (now PCA) and was impressed there should be an Adventist Church. “I argued with God saying, ‘I don’t have time for a church, I’m a school principal and I don’t have time for one more thing.” In spite this, Don heeded God’s call and started a weekly Bible study group in Airway Heights.

Ready to begin the building process, the oldest and the youngest members of the church held the three shovels and gave the first toss. The church still has large amounts to raise, but in faith they have asked Maranatha Volunteers to come and help build the church in September.

What began with a one dollar donation from Michelle Stanfill, has grown to ownership of the land and now the church will be built in Gods timing as He blesses. Roger Martin, head elder, gave a closing prayer which ended with a release of white helium balloons, symbolic of the Holy Spirit flowing through church members to the community.

Photos by Kathy Marson.