History

What began as a small group of men and women seeking to follow and glorify their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has grown into ministries locally and around the globe.

In 1969, six families began meeting on Sunday evenings for worship, singing and Bible study at the home of Walt and Elinor Butcher. The small assembly grew and moved to the Whelan Grange Hall, north of Pullman, to accommodate their increased numbers. When they began meeting regularly on Sunday mornings, with Elmer Hiebert serving as the pastor, they had an attendance of 25.  This small group grew rapidly and soon talked about organizing officially as a church. Following a suggestion to contact the Free Church, they contacted Dave Enarson, the District Superintendent for the Northwest area of the Evangelical Free Church.  Soon thereafter, in 1971, they formalized their fellowship as the Community Evangelical Free Church of Pullman, Washington.

The church’s early pastors were involved in other ministries. Pastor Hiebert founded the Inland Christian Laymen (ICL) in the 1960s to increase an evangelical witness in the university communities on the Palouse.  In the early 1970s, Jim Wilson moved to Moscow to help start a Christian literature ministry under the sponsorship of ICL.  They opened One Way Books in Pullman and Crossroads Bookstore in Moscow, from which they ministered to students  When Pastor Hiebert  moved to Tempe, Arizona, to start a bookstore and campus ministry, Jim became  principal pastor of the E Free church. In 1976, Doug Busby moved to Moscow to start the School of Practical Christianity for ICL and he also helped teach at the E Free church.

The church divided into multiple fellowships to minister to different constituent groups.  When Pastor Wilson started the E Free Campus Fellowship, Doug Busby became the lead pastor for the main fellowship.  After the main fellowship moved to Gladish School, Dennis Rigstad pastored the fellowship that returned to the Grange and ministered to international students.  In October 1989, the church leased and remodeled a facility at 1234 Grand Ave., in which it ministered for over 20 years. The growing vision for ministry to the universities and communities on the Palouse pushed the church to seek larger facilities from which to minister. In the last half of 2007, the church purchased 10 acres on Airport Road to build the current facility with the new name of the Evangelical Free Church of the Palouse.

Over the years our congregation’s staff and leadership has grown as has our vision for ministries.  We are a body of believers made alive in Christ. We can testify to the goodness and providence of our God. Whether you are already a member of our church or are looking for a home church, don’t hesitate to call or email church@efreepalouse.org if we can answer your questions or serve you in any way.