4320 SW HILL STREET
SEATTLE, WA 98116

206-932-2928

Timeline of Admiral Congregational United Church of Christ

 

1899 – 1969         West Seattle Congregational Church

 

 

 

 

 

1908 – 1969         Fairmount Church
(under various names:
Fairmont Congregational Church; Fairmount Church, Christian-Congregational, Federated; Fairmount Community Congregational Church)

 

 

Sept. 1969           West Seattle Congregational and Fairmount Congregational Churches merge to become West Seattle Fairmount UCC

 

West Seattle Congregational Church

 

West Seattle Congregational Church (WSCC) was founded on August 25 in 1899. At this time West Seattle’s population was about 1,000 people and hadn’t yet been incorporated into Seattle. One reached the community by cable car up Ferry Avenue from the boat landing; the commute cost less than a nickel!

 

The original church building was erected and dedicated in October 1901, the first church structure in West Seattle (located at the same spot where Admiral UCC is today, 4320 SW Hill Street). The residents of the small community of Spring Hill farther west toward Alki Point reached the church on a path through the woods. In December of 1906, the church purchased a cemetery; the additional revenue it generated went towards a fund to modernize the church.

 

After repeated expansions and renovations over the following 50 years, plans were drawn up for a completely new sanctuary to be built. The space was specially designed to amplify the new pipe organ which was ordered, and ground was broken June 4, 1961. WSCC’s first worship service in the new building was held February 28th, 1962.

Fairmount Community Congregational Church

Thirteen people met on August 8, 1908, in the home of John C. Walling (5612 42nd Ave Southwest) to discuss formation of a Congregational Church in the Fairmount neighborhood of West Seattle. Informally organized, the thirteen chartered members erected a large tent at California Ave and Juneau, which served as their church until the completion of a small chapel on July 18, 1909 at Juneau and 41st Street.  For the next ten years, the church grew and prospered, and a larger building was completed on April 4, 1920 at 4203 Juneau Avenue.

 

The Great Depression, however, caused a significant loss of members and income for Fairmont CCC. Meanwhile, the Bethany Christian Church had recently moved into the neighborhood and was looking for a church building for their 76-member congregation. On January 16, 1938, the merger between the two churches was finalized and the “Federated Church” came into being, with the Rev. Kenneth Helm as its first pastor. In 1969, following a number of lean years, Fairmont CCC began merger conversations with WSCC, and the two churches merged in 1969.

Admiral Congregational United Church of Christ

The original Fairmont CCC building was sold to the Church of the Nazarene after the merger, and the newly formed "West Seattle Fairmont United Church of Christ" worshipped in the recently constructed sanctuary on Hill Street. The name was a mouthful, and soon the church became known as the West Seattle Fairmont Church.

 

This name preserved the names of both preceeding congregations, but did not fully honor the new Body of Christ which was being formed in community together. In February of 1985, after much discernment, the congregation voted to rename itself the Admiral Congregational United Church of Christ, paying homage both to the neighborhood in which the church was located, as well as the denomination to which both preceeding congregations had belonged. Additions and renovations have been completed over the years, but the iconic sanctuary has remained relatively unchanged, allowing the natural light and simple interior to shine.