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Umapine Church History

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The church is located in Umapine, a small town in northeastern Oregon surrounded by farmlands.

 

Although the church was incorporated as a Presbyterian church late in the first decade of the 1900s, some believe that it may have been built as early as the 1880s. It began as a one-story building with a high cathedral-like ceiling. Later a false ceiling was installed to keep the building heated more efficiently. In the 1930s a basement was dug out to accommodate the needs of the church. Members of the church at that time recall having to dig out the dirt by hand and carting it out in wheelbarrows. Later, as the church dwindled in membership, the doors were closed and the remaining worshippers joined the Grace Presbyterian church in Milton-Freewater, OR.

 

In the 1960s and 1970s some Seventh-day Adventists began conducting Vacation Bible School and story hour programs in the Umapine community which were met with enthusiasm. Others began sharing Bible studies. In 1976 forty people gathered together from the Stateline, Milton, and Blue Mountain Valley churches, expressing an interest in starting a church in Umapine. One of the men, who had a business relationship with an elder from the Presbyterian church, approached the Presbyterians with the  request to rent the Umapine church building. Although the  Presbyterians had been hesitant in the past, they agreed. The first Seventh-day Adventist church service was held on April 2, 1977 with around ninety people present.
 

As community service projects increased, the need for more space also increased. In March 1982, the church purchased the United Brethren church on the northwest corner of Umapine’s four-way stop. Today it is called the Friendship Center and serves as a meeting place for fellowship meals, social activities, and the church’s youth club called Pathfinders.

 

In April 1997, the church building was condemned and a committee was put together to decide what to do with the building. Since the Presbyterians wanted the building to remain a church, they offered to sell it to the Adventists. In March 1998, the  Adventists purchased the church and  immediately began the process of extensively remodeling the building.

 

With the help of many volunteers, some experienced and some just learning construction, the old roof was taken off and replaced, all the siding was replaced, handicap facilities were built, and the false ceiling was removed to reveal the beautiful cathedral-like ceiling and trinity windows. Another Adventist church which had just closed its doors donated its newer pews and other furniture (including an organ) to their Adventist friends in Umapine.

 

 



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