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100 years and still going strong

The past few months have been an ongoing history lesson at Lincoln Avenue Bible Church. The church is celebrating its 100th anniversary in Bremerton by studying its past and looking to its future.

Each month this year has been used as a comprehensive look at a particular decade in the church’s history and that will continue until the actual centennial celebration from Sept. 5-11, said Pastor Ken Hegtvedt.

The church was founded in 1911 and shared a facility until its own building was built.

In the next few decades, Bremerton’s population rapidly expanded as laborers were drawn to the shipyard because of the role the shipyard played in the war efforts during the world wars. The church’s congregation grew right alongside the city’s.

By 1947, the congregation had outgrown its facility and a new building was needed. In 1948, the church moved to its current home on at 1250 Lincoln Ave. By then, the congregation was about 500-600 strong.

The congregation has decreased in size since then — again, fluctuating alongside the population of Bremerton — and stands at about 200-300 today.

Through the changing times, some of the names and faces have stayed the same Hegtvedt said.

Earlier this year, the congregation opened a time capsule that was buried in the mid-1940s. The time capsule had newspapers, some personal letters and a few mementos from the church, such as rosters of Bible studies.

Some of the church elders who were at the church when the time capsule was sealed also were there for the unveiling.

While the church celebrates its centennial by learning about its past, now Hegtvedt wants to look to the future, as well.

“We are looking forward,” he said. “How do we meet the spiritual need in Bremerton? How can we be a lighthouse for the community?”

The church is trying to reach out to those who have been a part of the history of the church.

For more information on the church’s centennial celebration, call the church office at (360) 373-5075 or e-mail the church at office@labchurch.org. More information also is available on the church’s Web site at www.labchurch.org.

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