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Community invited to join work party in restoring a classic

Tours, cleanup Saturday at landmark North Side church

The multiracial congregation of the Holy Temple Church of God in Christ is seeking the community’s help in maintaining its neoclassical landmark on the North Side.

Church members will be teaming up with Spokane Preservation Advocates for a work party on Saturday at the church at the northwest corner of Indiana Avenue and Post Street from 9 a.m. to noon.

The event is being held under SPA’s monthly “Doing It” program in which SPA members volunteer for historic projects locally.

Members of the public are invited to join the party, which will include painting and cleaning as well as tours of the building.

Congregation member Jesse Austin said the church is eager to accept the SPA help.

“We were made aware we have friends in the community,” Austin said. “They really helped pique our interest in what we’ve got.”

Gary Lauerman, past president of SPA, said the church would likely qualify for SPA’s matching grant program for heritage projects.

The façade of the light-colored brick church has a classical pediment, columns and portico that are reminiscent of a Greek temple, but with curved corners on the outer walls. Inside, its spacious worship hall on the second floor has arched ceilings and recessed lighting.

Caramel-colored stained glass windows ring the upper floor and allow natural light to flood into the worship area.

The church was designed by Portland architect George Foote Dunham and built by P.L. Peterson, who also built the Hutton Settlement on Upriver Drive and Empire State Building in downtown Spokane.

News articles at the time said the church cost $114,000, which included $14,000 for its organ.

Needed improvements include a new furnace, part of a new roof, new hot water heater, new carpet, new landscaping and step repairs.

The church is headed by the Rev. Ezra Kinlow, who has been active in the Spokane community for years. The Church of God in Christ is the largest African-American Pentecostal denomination in the U.S.

Austin said the church is seeking diversity in its congregation, which totaled more than 300 members and visitors on Easter Sunday.

A larger congregation would help in raising money for long-term maintenance and repairs, Austin said.

For information about the work party, contact Lauerman at (509) 456-3237. At the church, the contact persons are Austin or Emma Sumler at (509) 625-0522.

Donations for church repairs can be made to the historic building renovation fund of the church at 806 W. Indiana Ave., 99205.



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