KENNEWICK -- The old stone church at the corner of Auburn Street and Second Avenue in Kennewick turned 100 years old last fall, but it's still going strong.
During the past century, Presbyterians, Lutherans and now Pentecostals have praised the Lord within its walls. In all, at least eight congregations of various denominations have worshiped within its sturdy walls.
"It is a building that is a part of the earliest years of the city of Kennewick," said Dana Clemetson. She's the wife of Pastor Wayne Clemetson, who leads the Kennewick Apostolic Tabernacle United Pentecostal congregation who have been gathering in the old stone church to pray and sing since 1962.
To mark the centennial of the church, she and her husband have been gathering as much history about the church and the congregations it's sheltered as they could find.
"We wanted to have it done last fall, but we just couldn't get everything to come together in time," she said. The Presbyterians dedicated the church Sept. 25, 1910.
The Kennewick Pentecostal congregation has also been giving the historical building a much needed facelift. It has new paint, new carpeting and several past remodels -- like the dark stone added to the sacristy wall in the 1960s or 1970s -- have been removed.
On May 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., they are inviting the community to tour the building, admire the original stained glass windows and read the informational story boards giving the history of the church through photos, newsclippings and other memorabilia. There's no admission charge, though they gladly will accept any freewill offerings, especially for the windows, which need to be releaded.
"When the wind blows hard, you can actually see the glass moving in and out," Dana Clemetson said. "We've already had one of the smaller ones done, that cost us $700."
To help protect the large window on the west side, they've put a protective sheet of Plexiglas over it on the outside.
The Pentecostals have no plans to move or build new.
"We love our old church," Wayne Clemetson said. "I hate to see buildings, historical buildings like this, torn down. You lose a piece of history. If you have the money and the time it's well worth the effort to save it."
"If we built new, we would not get the beauty of this old building, just the big mortgage," Dana Clemetson said. "Everything was built to last when this was built. The beams are huge, it could go through an earthquake and survive."
The church at 201 S. Auburn St., Kennewick, is not wheelchair accessible, but there are electric lifts on the stairs.