About Us

The United Christian Church, Yakima WA is the result of a merger between two local congregations; the First Christian Church and the Congregational Christian Church.

The First Christian Church was affiliated with the Disciples of Christ.

The Congregational Christian Church was affiliated with the United Church of Christ.

The United Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ formed an official Ecumenical Partnership in 1989.

To this day, we still have both denominational symbols on our signage.

Our History is a Work in Progress

We are working towards a comprehensive history of our congregation. As we get more information, we will update this page accordingly.

The Congregational Christian Church

Congregational Christian Church History

In the fall of 1872, an informal Sunday School was organized by a group of friends in Yakima City, Washington Territory (now known as Union Gap). On October 12th, 1873 a more formal organization was consummated with rules and by-laws for the selection of officers. For the next six years the church school continued and flourished. Informal services were held in the church school rooms whenever a preacher was available.

On April 26th, 1879 a meeting was called by interested parties to propose the organization of a Congregational Church. Back then, Isaac Ingalls Stevens was the territorial governor, Ulysses S. Grant was President, and the population of Yakima City was 267 (1880 Census).

The church was formally organized on April 27th, 1879 (the Sabbath):

The Covenant was then read and adopted after which prayer was offered by Deacon E. S. Tanner, and right hand of fellowship extended by Rev. G. H. Atkinson in behalf of the Congregational Churches of Oregon and Washington Territories.

Shortly after the church was organized, Reverend William Capps was called as the first minister of the church with an annual salary of $300.

The first church services were held in a building known as Centennial Hall. This had been the meeting place of the previously organized school church. The congregation decided a more suitable place of worship was needed and a new church was built on lots just north of the Territorial Land Office Building.

Church growth was slow in those early days. The constant movement of people made stable growth of the church impossible. In 1885, the Northern Pacific Railroad, which was relocating its facilities about three and one half miles north of Yakima City in North Yakima (now Yakima), offered to move public buildings from the old town to the new one. Because of this offer and the greater potential which would lay in the new city for more members, the church on May 16th, 1885 passed the following resolution:

Whereas, the Northern Pacific R.R. Company has offered to donate to this church two lots in North Yakima as a site for the church edifice of the First Congregational Church of Yakima City and to move the same to and place it upon said lots in as good condition as it is now and free of expense to said church –then resolved– that the church accept the proposition thus made and instruct its trustees to inform said company of this action.

The First Congregational Church of Yakima City thus came to North Yakima. It was first located on a site, west of the railroad tracks, on what is now Second Avenue. The church was literally out in the sagebrush. This site was not a suitable one, since the development of the city was east of the tracks. In order to best serve the community the church once moved in 1897 to a new building on South Third Street, the site of the present Capitol Theatre. This building housed the church until May 1st, 1919. The congregation met in the YMCA until the present (225 N 2nd St) structure was built. The first services were held on January 13th, 1921.

Source: Our First Hundred Years

The First Christian Church

First Christian Church History

The Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, was established in the pioneer settlement of Yakima City, Washington Territory, in 1880. It erected its church edifice in 1882, which was the only church structure in the fledgling community at that time. When the Northern Pacific Railroad decided to establish its depot at the new townsite of North Yakima, many of the building owners, including the congregation of the Christian Church, with the help of log rollers, joined the exodus to the new location. It took three weeks to move the church building to North Yakima. Services were held regularly in the structure during the entire moving operation. Thus, the Christian Church became the first church building in the new town. Today the congregations of the First Christian Church, Broadway Christian Church, Englewood Christian Church and the Congregational Christian Church are the result of the determination of those 1885 pioneers.

Source: Commemorative Plate

The United Christian Church

(Our Church)

The United Christian Church of Yakima History

On March 7th, 1999, the congregations of the First Christian Church and the Congregational Christian Church voted to “form a single congregation with the intention to relocate and build a new facility”.

Joint worship began in May 1999. On September 19th, 1999 the group had a new name – the United Christian Church of Yakima. The new congregation adopted their Articles of Incorporation and By Laws on December 5th of that same year.

On January 10th, 2000, the United Christian Church of Yakima became a legal entity within the state of Washington.

The Congregational Christian Church building was sold shortly thereafter on January 23rd. On August 6th, 2000, the First Christian Church building was acquired by the Vineyard Christian Fellowship by way of a lease option agreement.

Source: Merger Timeline

For a short period of time, the flock worshipped at various locations in Terrace Heights, which included the chapel of a funeral home, and the Terrace Heights Lutheran Church.

Source: Yakima Herald-Republic

Our Current Home