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About Us

Our History


The Centralia Church of the Nazarene recently celebrated its 90th birthday in the summer of 2013.

In 1920-21, a small group of believers began to meet in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Babb of Galvin. The Church of the Nazarene was first organized in Centralia by Rev. Hunt in 1922. The initial group grew, moving from one rental hall to another, until the congregation built its first permanent worship facility at 811 N. Tower Avenue. The church received its official charter as a Church of the Nazarene in 1923 under the leadership of D. P. Henry, the first official Nazarene pastor of the infant congregation.

In 1944, the church moved to the old Poundstone home on Locust and Silver and, finally, in 1960, they moved to the present location at 1119 W. First Street in Centralia. At the dedication, the members were so thrilled with their new church facilities that they could scarcely imagine that a larger building would ever be necessary.

Church membership continued to grow and in 1980, under the leadership of Rev. Earl Wheeler, the church added 12,000 square feet of educational space. The 'Outreach Center' enabled the church to minister more effectively with a full-sized gymnasium, 14 additional classrooms, a chapel and expanded kitchen.

Beginning in 1998 and continuing through 2002, Centralia Church of the Nazarene began implementing some long range plans for the facility to meet the needs of the growing congregation. Under Rev. Mark Goodwin's leadership, the church received a much needed 'facelift' including new roofs, renovation of the chapel, foyer and office wing, expansion of the lower lot, installation of sidewalks and exterior lighting, and much more. The beautiful Cross Tower, a landmark of Centralia Nazarene, was constructed in 1999; paid in full by individual donors.

Down through its 91 years of ministry, Centralia Church of the Nazarene has been served by a total of 20 pastors. These include D. P. Henry (1923-24, 1927-28), Ralph Gray (1925-26), Guy McShane (1929-31), Samuel Linge (1932), Milo Arnold (1933-36), Hollis Grubb (1936-38), L. Wesley Johnson (1939-42), Newton Kendal (1943), Ira True (1944-47), Paul Thoreen (1948-50), Harold Little (1951-53), Allen Fisher (1954-57), J. C. Pultz (1958-64), Bob Denham (1964-73), Earl Wheeler (1974-85), James Spruce (1986-91), Jeff Baughman (1991-92), Mark Goodwin (1993-2003), Rick Ryding (2003-11), and David Bach (2012-present).

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