The Presbytery of Seattle 1858-2005 is a chronological narrative concerning Seattle Presbytery, its churches and its predecessors, the Presbyteries of Puget Sound and Oregon. The book briefly summarizes the church and Presbyterian history in Europe and in the American Colonies. It describes the history leading to the missionary beginnings of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Old Oregon with Rev. Henry H. Spalding and Dr. Marcus Whitman from 1836-1847. Rev. George F. Whitworth, the next Presbyterian minister who arrived in ...
The Presbytery of Seattle 1858-2005 is a chronological narrative concerning Seattle Presbytery, its churches and its predecessors, the Presbyteries of Puget Sound and Oregon. The book briefly summarizes the church and Presbyterian history in Europe and in the American Colonies. It describes the history leading to the missionary beginnings of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Old Oregon with Rev. Henry H. Spalding and Dr. Marcus Whitman from 1836-1847. Rev. George F. Whitworth, the next Presbyterian minister who arrived in Washington Territory in 1854, planted the first churches and organized the Presbytery of Puget Sound in 1858 with two fellow ministers. Much of the early history of the Presbyterian churches in Washington Territory was related to the Presbyterian church in Oregon and early California. The pioneer ministers of Oregon and Washington are discussed. The earliest Presbyterian churches of Washington Territory were organized near Olympia. As a frontier presbytery only three ministers were necessary for organization, yet even that number could not be sustained and the Presbytery of Puget Sound lapsed in 1865 and was re-organized in 1876. Gradually the presbytery expanded and organized additional churches throughout the whole territory. Currently the Presbytery of Seattle encompasses two counties, King and Kitsap, which surround urban Seattle. In 1883 the Sumner Academy of Sumner, Washington began through the efforts of Rev. Whitworth and became Whitworth College in 1890. For over thirty years, beginning in 1909, the Seattle First Presbyterian Church was the largest Presbyterian Church in the nation. At its peak in 1939 it reported 8,818 members and eleven assistant pastors with 26 branches and a session of 110 elders. From its branches and support 24 Presbyterian churches were organized in the Seattle area. The place and accomplishments of women within the church are explored. The first woman to preach in a Seattle Presbyterian church was evangelist Mrs. Louisa M. Woosley in 1894. Largely because of her efforts the Third Cumberland Presbyterian Church (CPC) was organized in 1895. She was the first woman ordained by the Cumberland Presbyterians in 1889, however in 1894 her ordination was voided by the CPC. She was reordained a minister in 1913. The Third CPC became the Cherry Street Presbyterian Church in 1909 with the Cumberland PCUSA merger. Nine women at the Seattle First Presbyterian Church were the first officially ordained deaconesses in the nation in 1915. The slow acceptance of women as elders after 1930 and subsequently women ordained to Word and Sacrament after 1974 within the presbytery is discussed. Anyone interested in the Presbyterian church in early Oregon, Washington Territory and Washington State will find facts and stories of the 196 historic churches of the Puget Sound and Seattle Presbyteries. All Presbyterian ministers, elders and members will gain new insights into the vision, hopes, successes and failures of the church. The book is unique as it is the first extensive history of the Presbyterian Church in Washington since the publication of The History of the Synod of Washington of the PCUSA in 1908.
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