140 Years of Jesus in Idaho Falls, 1882-2022
1882 - Jesus sent a 48-year old divorced woman with a 13-year old daughter to the bleak desert town of Eagle Rock to pray, share the gospel with every person in the community, organize and raise funds to build the first church building, organize and teach a Sunday school, start the first school and the first library, and work for justice and morality in the community.
1883 - Jesus expanded His church in Idaho Falls through the organization of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church.
1884 - Jesus provided a place for His people to meet through the completion of the first church building in Idaho Falls.
1885 - Jesus continued to instruct the youth of the city through the opening of the Eagle Rock Academy, led by the pastor of First Baptist Church, who wrote to the people of Eagle Rock, “I have come to Eagle Rock to give my time, my talent and my energies to the advancement of the religious and educational interest of the town and county.”
1886 - Jesus protected workers and Eagle Rock residents when a storm totally demolished the round-house of the Utah and Northern Railroad, which was the primary place of employment in the community at that time.
1887 - Jesus provided a witness to the LDS community through a 344-page book published by a former Idaho Falls pastor entitled, The Golden Bible or the Book of Mormon - Is It From God?
1888 - Jesus opened up access to the wonders of His creation in Yellowstone when a road from Eagle Rock to the Park was constructed.
1889 - Jesus used a Christian couple who travelled over 2,000 miles from New York to Eagle Rock to spearhead starting a new church here.
1890 - Our Idaho territory went from being a territory to an actual state within America; this process made polygamy illegal, and we were grateful in Eagle Rock for our culture to recognize Jesus' beautiful design and claim that marriage is between a man and a woman.
1891 - On the same year that the community of Eagle Rock had its name changed to Idaho Falls to feature the life-giving water, Jesus birthed the beginning of First Presbyterian Church in the historic downtown area.
1892 - Jesus opened the door for a young Idaho Falls Baptist pastor to preach at the First Ward meeting house in Rexburg.
1893 - In the Economic Panic of 1893, Jesus reminded Idaho Falls that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God, and also reminded them to pray for all in authority, including government and business leaders.
1894 - Jesus called a Presbyterian minister to Idaho Falls who had grown up in Letterkenny Township, Pennsylvania with the Eagle Rock and Idaho Falls pioneer W. W. Keefer.
1895 - Jesus brought pastors of all the churches in town, which at the time consisted of the Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopal and Swedish Mission churches, together in a ceremony on September 9th to lay the cornerstone of Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church.
1896 - Jesus honored Christian women in their push for justice and opened up the way for them to cast together with men their political vote; men and women are one and equal in Christ.
1897 - Jesus called a pastor to the Methodist Episcopal Church of Idaho Falls, who the following year volunteered and served as chaplain to the Idaho Regiment serving in Cuba.
1898 - Jesus brought a number of Christian women together to start the Village Improvement Society.
1899 - Jesus added to His church in Idaho Falls when a small group of Swedes organized The Swedish Evangelical Mission.
1900 - Jesus enabled engineers to harness the movement of the Snake River and construct a hydroelectric power plant that would supply public power to the people of Idaho Falls.
1901 - Jesus brought the evangelical churches of Idaho Falls together to join in the rededication of the Baptist church.
1902 - Jesus burdened a student missionary living in Squirrel, Idaho to begin an outreach in Idaho Falls and the surrounding area, which after several years led to the formation of what later became St. John Lutheran Church.
1903 - Jesus added another living stone in His church in Idaho Falls when a Brethren Church was formed.
1904 - Jesus used the women of the Village Improvement Society to purchase what is now Sportsman's Park and transform it from a red light district slum into a park.
1905 - In January, Jesus added at least 21 people to His body in Idaho Falls through three weeks of revival meetings at the Methodist Church.
1906 - Jesus brought three pastors to Idaho Falls, to lead the Methodist, Presbyterian and Swedish Mission churches.
1907 - Jesus joined in matrimony a Nez Perce Indian man with a Lapwai Indian woman on October 23 at the Idaho Falls Presbyterian Church and they moved to Fort Hall to lead the Indian Mission.
1908 - Jesus took home the founder of the first church in Idaho Falls, who also was an advocate for Jesus' kingdom in Eagle Rock, Idaho Falls and the state of Idaho from the day she arrived in Eagle Rock in 1882 to the day she died in 1908.
1909 - Jesus saved many Idaho Falls residents through nightly preaching in March and April at the Broadway Hall.
1910 - Jesus provided for the poor through the first thrift store (then called a "relief store") in Idaho Falls.
1911 - Jesus strategically situated Idaho Falls as the center hub of future ministry in the newly established Bonneville County.
1912 - Jesus led a Christian doctor to build the first hospital in Idaho Falls.
1913 - Jesus moved on the hearts of His followers in Idaho Falls to respond to an appeal for help from the governors of Indiana and Ohio, states that experienced flooding that caused great destruction.
1914 - Jesus called His people to gather together to worship Him and others to come to Him on March 29, 1914, designated "Church-Going Day," and the people of Idaho Falls responded.
1915 - Jesus expanded His care for the sick in Idaho Falls when the General Hospital was completed.
1916 - Following a week of prayer meetings held throughout the city the last week of December, 1915, Jesus brought large crowds, some nights over a thousand people, throughout the month of January to meetings put on by the Taylor Evangelistic Company; at least 284 people responded to the invitation to receive Christ.
1917 - Jesus stirred the hearts of Christians to pray as young soldiers were sent to the battlefield in World War I.
1918 - Jesus ushered in joy and thanksgiving to the city before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays as they heard the news of the First World War coming to an end.
1919 - Jesus sent a young man who excelled in Idaho Falls schools and later worked for several years as a reporter for the predecessor to the Post Register, along with his young bride, to Persia, at which time military forces of five nations were fighting for control, to evangelize Nestorians, Armenians, Muslims, Jews and Zoroastrians.
1920 - In Idaho Falls and throughout the nation, Jesus brought His people together to discuss cooperation in evangelism and missions, education of church members in practical Christianity and issues common to many churches such as underpaid pastors.
1921 - Jesus gave courage to a 28-year old out-of-work Navy veteran in a daring rescue of a man from the Snake River after his boat was swept over the spillway in town.
1922 - Jesus displayed wonders of His creation to the people of Idaho Falls and the nation when Craters of the Moon was made available to tourists.
1923 - Following the depression of 1920-21, Jesus brought a young Princeton Seminary graduate to Idaho Falls to build up a church that was deep in debt and whose membership had fallen from 366 to 155, and he stayed as their pastor for the next 36 years.
1924 - Jesus brought a number of people into His kingdom through two weeks of evangelistic meetings at the Baptist Church.
1925 - Jesus created a hunger for righteousness in the city prior to a series of evangelistic meetings sponsored by an association of churches of Idaho Falls.
1926 - Jesus brought pastors, Sunday school teachers and other church leaders from throughout southeastern Idaho to Idaho Falls to better equip them for ministry.
1927 - In honor of Jesus' birth, churches and civic groups came together in December to coordinate meeting the needs of all in the community.
1928 - Jesus displayed the unity of His body when the Women's Missionary Societies of the various churches in town formed United Church Women and began holding an annual Day of Prayer for World Missions.
1929 - The apostle Paul would have loved how Jesus gave to Idaho Falls an airport so that God's people might now hop on planes to travel swiftly as heralds of the gospel.
1930 - Jesus sent a husband and wife team to Idaho Falls to hold an evangelistic revival, which resulted in the formation of Bethel Whole Gospel Church.
1931 - Jesus brought a Native American evangelist to lead a 2-week series of meetings at the First Baptist Church; one night attendance was so large that the meeting was moved to Trinity Methodist Church.
1932 - At the height of the Great Depression, Jesus sent a young Assembly of God pastor to Idaho Falls.
1933 - Jesus took home a 73-year old black preacher, born a slave in Tennessee, who had served the Lord the last decade of his life in Idaho Falls leading the first black church here.
1934 - In the year after the Great Depression, Jesus called for a spiritual awakening through a local pastor in Idaho Falls.
1935 - Jesus took home a pastor who had been born in Sweden, came to New Sweden in 1909 and pastored the Swedish Mission church in New Sweden for the next 20 years.
1936 - Jesus appointed the governor of Idaho (confirmed by the people of the state of Idaho in a statewide election) an Idaho Falls engineer, who had served on the Idaho Falls city council and had been mayor of Idaho Falls, and who was a staunch member of the Methodist Church.
1937 - Jesus empowered a pastor with a thick Swedish accent to elevate God's Word above historical traditions and lead a local church family in strong growth.
1938 - Jesus brought joy to Idaho Falls as they celebrated the U. S. Constitution Sesquicentennial, thankful for God's hand in the founding of this nation.
1939 - On a chilly November day before Thanksgiving 1939, Jesus gave great courage to 14 believers to start a drive to raise $12,599 to pay off their church building debt by their church's 50th anniversary, 17 months away.
1940 - Jesus brought back a young pastor to Idaho Falls who had grown up on farms just north of town to pastor the Gospel Truth Tabernacle, which he did, there and in successor churches, for fifty years.
1941 - Jesus brought a missionary who had served in India to Idaho Falls to teach high school students Biblical literature and Bible history.
1942 - Jesus continued building His church in Idaho Falls when two congregations of Japanese, the Issei and the Nisei, worshipped at the facilities of Trinity Methodist Church.
1943 - Jesus blessed Eastern Idaho with a record potato crop, which was used to bless the nation in a time of war.
1944 - Jesus brought His body together through the activities throughout the year of the Idaho Falls Ministerial Association.
1945 - Jesus brought bittersweet celebration to believing and unbelieving families alike throughout the city on V-E and V-J Day.
1946 - Jesus sent two single woman who had spent four years sharing the gospel with Japanese in Eastern Idaho back to Japan to continue their missionary work there.
1947 - Jesus brought a young scholar and theologian back to Idaho to pastor a church in Idaho Falls.
1948 - Jesus sent 200-some of His people to every home in Idaho Falls to speak with them about their religious beliefs.
1949 - Jesus gave the vision and equipped those within the Atomic Energy Commission to open up the National Reactor Testing Station west of town.
1950 - Jesus called pastors of six Idaho Falls church to pray together daily for citywide revival for seven weeks.
1951 - Consisting mainly of a group of Christians who withdrew their membership from First Baptist Church which was established almost 70 years prior in Idaho Falls, Jesus created a new congregation named Calvary Baptist Church in association with the Southern Baptist Convention.
1952 - Jesus strengthened an Idaho Falls pastor to oversee the start of a church plant in Gooding, Idaho; while Jesus gave vision to another local pastor to help spearhead a Christian camp for youth on an 11-acre Forest Service plot.
1953 - Jesus used a church in Idaho Falls, the church itself only started in 1951, to initiate missions in Pocatello, Soda Springs, Preston, Mountain Home, and Glenns Ferry.
1954 - Jesus led a man to the city who pastored the beginnings of the black congregation, Community Church of God in Christ, and who also later ministered with Cornerstone Pentecostal Church.
1955 - Jesus blessed a mother to give birth to a little baby boy in the city of Idaho Falls, who would become a Christian and grow up to be a key fighter for racial fairness, justice and equality in the community and region.
1956 - Jesus blessed a church family to start building a wonderful education wing at the cost of $65,000.00 and with the Johnson Brothers as the contractor.
1957 - Jesus inspired the city of Idaho Falls to transform the city dump into a park, which has been used, besides for recreational purposes, for worship services, community sunrise services on Easter, Christian concerts and prayer gatherings.
1958 - Jesus opened the door for three Idaho Falls pastors to speak in the high school, junior high and an intermediate school on the World Day of Prayer.
1959 - While the Rock Creek Campground that was buried by the landslide caused by the Hebgen Lake Earthquake the night of August 17, 1959 is about 100 miles Idaho Falls, five of the 28 fatalities from the earthquake were an Idaho Falls family that was camping there. Though tragic for that family and their friends and relatives, in this event Jesus reminds us that at any time, without warning, "it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment."
1960 - Jesus expanded His church in Idaho Falls when St. Paul's United Methodist Church was chartered and began meeting, the first deliberate church plant in Idaho Falls by another Idaho Falls church.
1961 - Jesus gave courage to a nurse working for the National Reactor Testing Station to drive at night out to the Site to meet the ambulance carrying badly injured Jack Byrnes, then enter the ambulance and try to revive him, though his body was highly radioactive from doses received in the SL-1 accident.
1962 - Jesus confirmed His call of a young man when he was ordained in the First Baptist Church of Idaho Falls; he gave his life to service as a pastor and staff member of the American Baptist Home Missionary Society.
1963 - Jesus sent an Idaho Falls pastor on a mission to Norway.
1964 - From Idaho Falls and other places, Jesus brought together intermountain regional messengers to Salt Lake City to constitute a new pioneering partnership of fifty plus churches called the Utah Idaho Southern Baptist Convention (UISBC).
1965 - Jesus's word went out to thousands at the Eastern Idaho State Fair.
1966 - Jesus sent a missionary pastor who had served in Japan for 25 years, then the Omaha Indians in Nebraska and then pastored churches in Pennsylvania, Iowa and Michigan to pastor an Idaho Falls church.
1967 - As mighty Creator (Colossians 1:16-17) of all magnificent creatures in Eastern Idaho, one of Jesus' most powerful creatures, the Behemoth, was highlighted in the very first high school year book of Skyline High School; the publishers quote the words of God in Job 40:16,18, 20, 23, 24, and apply it to the grizzly bear, the king within our mountain timberland. But who thinks the Lord's pet behemoth is even bigger than the bear?
1968 - Jesus called His church in Idaho Falls together for a week of prayer and a seven-week course in worship.
1969 - At the height of the Vietnam war and in the early stages of the Jesus people movement, Jesus provided a way for young men and women in Idaho Falls to be trained in practical ways when the Eastern Idaho Vocational Technical School was founded.
1970 - Jesus sent a pastor who had planted three churches in Colorado and Kansas to assume the pulpit of Hope Lutheran Church.
1971- Jesus transformed lives of young men, who had been addicted to drugs, in the Shiloh home of Idaho Falls, which was part of the Jesus movement network of Shiloh Youth Revival Centers.
1972- Jesus brought a Vietnam War veteran, a marine for 20 years, to Idaho Falls to win souls for Christ, to serve as pastor in Idaho Falls for 36 years and to become a leader in the community.
1973 - Jesus gave courage to one faithful couple to pioneer a new Christian school that would exist for almost 25 years in training hundreds upon hundreds of young people in Biblical values and academic excellence; while on the other side of the river, Jesus blessed and filled with the Spirit a couple to joyfully touch so many lives through the Sonshine Inn Coffee House Band.
1974 - Jesus brought His people together for a day of prayer and fasting.
1975 - Jesus provided the idea and means to a lady for the start of Agape Christian Book Center that blessed Christian families in Idaho Falls for around two decades.
1976 – Jesus sent a retired Lockheed aircraft inspector in California back to his childhood roots in Idaho and here he formed an evangelism team that visited hundreds of homes, sharing the gospel and discipling those who received Christ.
1977 - The National Reactor Testing Station west of town became the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) and a business which would employ Christians from around the country, as well as bring people in need of Jesus' salvation to Idaho Falls to hear the gospel.
1978 - Jesus forgave a little first grade boy of his sins at a Christian school, later called him to preach at Red Cliff Bible Camp, used him in city-wide evangelistic services in the late 90's, placed him as a gospel preacher for over a decade in Pocatello, and then took him home to heaven at Red Cliff Bible Camp in 2014.
1979 - Jesus gifted a young Skyline high school graduate to continue on to earn his PhD in Engineering, to eventually become the current Head of the Department of Physics and Engineering at a Christian college, and to lead summer cross-cultural mission trips to South Korea.
1980 - Jesus saved a humbled, seeking, repentant man on the banks of the Snake River next to the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. And this same year, a local preacher water baptized him as a public declaration of his desiring to be a new disciple of Jesus Christ. This completely changed the course of his personal life and his family tree.
1981 - Jesus brought to the city, “Mister Gospel Guitar,” the first Contemporary Christian Music artist from out of state to sing here and as a nationally known evangelist to preach the gospel.
1982 - Jesus joined a New York City bestselling author and Boston marathon runner in union to an Eastern Idaho farmer for a seemingly storybook marriage, and she published the story in the book, I Gave God Time; but later she writes of great trials, adoption blessings, and yet more trials to come while Jesus was faithful through it all.
1983 - As this little girl trusted in Jesus to be her Savior In Idaho Falls, he then called her later to be an ambassador of Christ’s love in Rexburg where she has served for the past 20 years.
1984 - In the year when the Grand Teton Mall opened up with fanfare in town, a book came out of Idaho Falls that shared the story of a man’s journey with Jesus and Mormonism that began to circulate all around the country.
1985 - Jesus, the Bread of Life, began to provide food for the hungry in Idaho Falls through the Soup Kitchen.
1986 - Jesus would equip a young lady who was her high school junior class historian in 1986 with the gift of mercy to eventually become an RN in the EIRMC Women's Center, to regularly assist moms and their babies for 25 years since 1997 with no soon prospect of retiring, and to also radiate Christ's love as a pastor's wife in multiple church congregations.
1987 - Jesus enabled Calvary Baptist Church to take on the sponsorship of a Hispanic mission that would also lay the foundation for a men's shelter and meal distribution center in downtown Idaho Falls for those who are hungry and homeless.
1988 - Surrounded by a loving church family, Jesus called a young 18-year-old boy to preach his first Bible message which ended up being a catalyst for life-long ministry in Idaho Falls.
1989 – Jesus nudged the hearts of some high school graduates in Idaho Falls to join their musical gifts and form a Christian band that would take the gospel of grace and forgiveness into the bars and night scenes all around the area over the span of several years.
1990 - Jesus sent a young pastor to Idaho Falls to plant a church, and about six years later after it was well established sent him to law school.
1991 - In answer to much prayer, Jesus sent rain to break a severe drought in Eastern Idaho.
1992 – Jesus gave a man who was born and grew up 8,600 miles away from Idaho Falls a heart for serving the underappreciated, and brought him to Idaho Falls to counsel troubled teens, found the Family Care Counseling Center, open his home to homeless men, foster dozens of children and serve as an interim pastor of several Idaho Falls churches.
1993 – Jesus brought a former hard-partying cowboy whose life He had transformed to Idaho Falls to plant what became the fastest growing evangelical church in Idaho Falls for the next 25 years or so.
1994 - Jesus brought 14 churches together and a speaker from Texas to hold a tent revival in Idaho Falls that focused on spiritual renewal, Christian unity and missions.
1995 - Jesus began the Berean Baptist Church of Idaho Falls; also, Jesus led a woman who had worked for 13 years in street ministries in the inner city of Chicago to start a church in Idaho Falls that combines Catholic sacramental worship, evangelical preaching, Pentecostal power and Orthodox teaching.
1996 – Jesus gathered his people for a “Jesus is Lord” Crusade at the Civic Center Auditorium for the purpose of renewing the church’s calling to worship Him, edify one another, and evangelize the city.
1997 - Jesus gave a member of New Life Assembly of God a dream in which people of different backgrounds and churches were singing each other's songs of praise together and learning from one another, resulting in the formation of a choir that did just that for several years.
1998 - Jesus sent 600 Southern Baptists to Idaho Falls to go door to door sharing His gospel, prior to their annual conference in Salt Lake City.
1999 - Considering the earlier ministry of Mission Bautista and receiving encouragement from other local churches, Jesus made it clear to two men to begin a new men's homeless shelter in downtown Idaho Falls that would provide beds, showers, food, clothing, Bible study, prayer, and Christian accountability to men coming out of jail or off the streets.
2000 - Jesus had prepared Idaho Falls, the nation and the world to enter into the year without the upheaval and havoc predicted by many because of what was called the Y2K bug.
2001 - Jesus blessed a small handful of Christian believers by fully enabling them to pay cash every step of the way in buying a piece of property, building a 7,200 square foot church building, and celebrating God's miraculous provision with an open house and dedication service.
2002 - Jesus stretched and blessed the faith of a small, handful of Christians to acquire a trailer park and operate it as “A Refuge Ministries” for the span of ten years—a place of housing, prayer, and ministry to those out in the margins.
2003 - Jesus sent an Idaho Falls pastor to pray with and minister to U.S. Marines near the Iraq border.
2004 - Jesus was present with an Idaho Falls pastor as he wrote his annual report, encouraging his church to welcome and follow the movement of the Holy Spirit (see additional information).
2005 - Jesus provided support and resources for pregnant women in Idaho Falls when the Shepherds Inn, a faith-based pregnancy crisis center, moved here from Roberts.
2006 - Jesus suddenly took home a member of His body in Idaho Falls who had been a witness to His love and salvation to diverse segments of the city's population.
2007 - Jesus gave an Idaho Falls foster parent, pastor, counselor and clinical assistant professor a vision to build a shelter for abused and neglected children.
2008 - Jesus took home a servant who had blessed Idaho Falls with community service for more than 50 years.
2009 - Jesus led an American man and his beautiful bride from India to what was to them an otherwise unknown location called Idaho Falls, and open up their home as a small home fellowship that would later became a satellite church within the Vineyard movement. As the love for their new city has grown within their hearts, it has been their desire to share the light and love of Jesus to everyone they encounter, especially to those who may feel they have been left out in the darkness and let them know that they too are included.
2010 - Jesus sent an Idaho Falls pastor to Pakistan to evangelize, pray and encourage the saints.
2011 - Jesus gave an Idaho Falls pastor the desire to write a book called "Jesus in Idaho Falls," for a witness of His deeds in the past to the next generation, to express the unity of the body of Christ in the city and to cause His people in Idaho Falls to better know and rejoice in Him for the ways He has worked in the city and region.
2012 - Jesus spoke to the people of the city of Idaho Falls through a guest column in the Post Register written by the chief of the IF police department, addressing the root cause of a national issue.
2013 - Jesus brought to Idaho Falls the music composer of the famous Christmas song, "Mary, Did You Know?" He and a fellow musician sang in a rustic, lighted barn--a wonderful setting for the audience to contemplate the incarnation of Christ.
2014 - Jesus redeemed a young man who grew up in Eastern Idaho, blessed him as a prior camp director of Old Faithful Christian Ranch, and moved his young family to Idaho Falls where he currently preaches God's specific revelation every Sunday and displays God's general revelation through photography.
2015 - Jesus moved the heart of a young man to quit his day job, set up a new office, and began writing Christian literature full time at the beginning of the year, becoming one of the most prolific Christian writers in Idaho Falls history.
2016 - Jesus enlarged the hearts of a Christian family with a wonderful business dream; and after extensive planning, prayer, and a blessing from their local pastor, this family opened up a downtown bagel shop that became a warm place for ministry groups to gather from all over the city, to discuss, to pray, to read, to study, to fellowship, and to listen to Jesus music.
2017 - Jesus displayed the glory of His creation to the residents of Idaho Falls and visitors from out of town when they watched the total solar eclipse on August 21.
2018 - Jesus instigated the beginnings of Providence Downtown Church.
2019 - In building upon past evangelical ministerial associations, on the National Day of Prayer, Jesus birthed the new name, Eastern Idaho Pastors Coalition, among a group of pastors where the mission statement is as follows: “Connect pastors to one another and Eastern Idaho to Jesus.”
2020 - In answer to much prayer, Jesus restored an Idaho Falls pastor’s life and health after multiple open heart surgeries and 3 months in a coma, and also restored the voice of another Idaho Falls pastor who lost it after thyroid surgery, confirming His word to each of them that they had more work to do.
2021 - Jesus expanded the church in Idaho Falls by starting four new churches: Westernsprings Cowboy Church, The Gathering, Reach Church of Idaho Falls and UR His Church; and also by sending a man to start Young Life in town.
2022 - In answer to many prayers, Jesus healed a young man who had severe Crohn's disease for twelve years, serious enough that doctors told him that he would probably die soon from it.
1882 - Jesus brought His word to Eagle Rock when the first "official" sermon was preached here.
1883 - Jesus brought the first resident pastor to Eagle Rock; some years later after leaving Eagle Rock he founded a seminary.
1884 (#1) - Jesus made His word available to the residents of Eagle Rock when a reading room was opened in the basement of the Baptist church and stocked with Bibles, books and magazines sent from the East.
1884 (#2)- Jesus raised to new life the first two converts in Eagle Rock as they underwent baptism.
1890 (#1) - Jesus called a young farmer into the ministry; within six months of his baptism in an Eagle Rock church he was ordained in that same church and appointed as their pastor, and six years later Jesus sent him to pastor churches and minister in communities, both large and small, in Montana, Idaho, Washington, and finally Los Angeles, California.
1890 (#2) - Jesus brought a young preacher from Ireland to Eagle Rock who initially held worship services above a saloon, but because of the rowdiness of saloon patrons he convinced all the saloon owners in town to close their establishments during Sunday services; he then pastored the church he started for the next 5 years.
1897 - Jesus provided a place for the Episcopal church in Idaho Falls to hold services.
1899 - Idaho Falls rejoiced and celebrated when Jesus brought home the volunteer soldiers who had fought in the Spanish American war the previous 14 months.
1900 (#1) - Jesus brought His church in Idaho Falls together along with other townspeople to celebrate His resurrection.
1900 (#2) - Jesus brought evangelists to Idaho Falls in July, October and November to share the gospel with the community.
1903 - Jesus took home a 53-year old woman who had lived a life of good works, the last eleven in Idaho Falls.
1908 - Jesus' word preached at the Methodist church by two evangelists in late November resulted in 78 conversions.
1909 - Jesus equipped His church for the work of evangelism in Eastern Idaho at a conference held in Idaho Falls.
1916 (#1) - Jesus joined many new believers together in His church and displayed the unity of His body when their new chapel was dedicated.
1916 (#2) - Jesus brought the residents of Idaho Falls together to celebrate His birth.
1916 (#3) - At the American Theater the evening of January 16, Jesus had those who attended think about what He would do if He were a citizen of Idaho Falls.
1918 - Jesus brought two nationally known evangelists to conduct a campaign at the Methodist Church in Idaho Falls.
1922 - Jesus laid the groundwork for later radio stations to broadcast the gospel and Biblical truth to Idaho Falls.
1925 - Jesus provided funds to help support ten ministries in Idaho Falls when a local business turned over their management and sales positions to women from these ministries for 13 days, contributing a substantial percentage of total sales during this period to these groups.
1926 (#1) -Jesus brought a Church of the Nazarene evangelist to Idaho Falls, who had helped form the church here the previous year, for two weeks of evangelistic meetings in a tent on the Central School grounds.
1926 (#2) - Jesus provided funds for a fast-growing church in Idaho Falls to pay off the mortgage on their building.
1926 (#3) Jesus brought a converted infamous criminal to speak in Idaho Falls venues on crime and sin.
1927 - Jesus brought His people together to pray, rejoice and give thanks for His blessings on Thanksgiving Day.
1928 - Jesus gave courage and strength to a 15-year old boy to rescue a 6-year old boy who fell in the river near the railroad bridge.
1931 (#1) - Jesus healed a member of the newly formed Full Gospel Church.
1931 (#2) - In order to fulfill goals set by a church in Idaho Falls, Jesus called them to make that year, which happened to be their 40th anniversary year, a year of prayer.
1932 - Jesus called His church to pray for the lost and the nation.
1934 - Jesus caused sufficient growth of the Baptist Church in Idaho Falls that their building needed to be enlarged.
1937 – Jesus spread His gospel throughout Southeast Idaho through a coordinated campaign of Baptist churches.
1938 - Jesus used a young pastor to start a Christian Day School that along with providing a quality education aimed at "character development of all pupils according to Christian principles."
1941 - Jesus awakened the churches to prayer upon the reports of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the declaration of war.
1944 - Jesus gave His word to visitors to Idaho Falls through Bibles placed in the Rogers Hotel by the Gideons.
1946 - Jesus brought a prominent Native American evangelist to speak at meetings of the Baptist Church in Idaho Falls.
1950 - Jesus answered prayer to save the life of an Idaho Falls metallurgical engineer who was in a tragic traffic accident.
1951 - Jesus enlightened the understanding of scientists and utilized a nuclear reactor at the National Reactor Testing Station to produce useful nuclear energy for the first time in history.
1954 - Jesus warned the people of Idaho Falls and the surrounding area to repent and put their faith in Him when a violent storm went through the area on July 15, dropping over an inch of rain in 15 minutes, flooding basements and downing trees, power lines and telephone poles.
1957 (#1) - Jesus added to His church when a second Missouri Synod Lutheran congregation began meeting in Idaho Falls.
1957 (#2) - Jesus sent a young Idaho Falls family to Japan to work with the Lutheran Church there, and not quite three years later took the father home to heaven.
1958 - Jesus sent a church planter and later evangelist and missionary to Idaho Falls to pastor the Assembly of God church.
1962 - Jesus blessed engineers and construction workers to open Interstate 15 from Bassett north of Idaho Falls to Blackfoot, making travel efficient and unencumbered.
1963 - Jesus united churches in Idaho Falls to hold the Eastern Idaho Crusade for Christ, starting with 10 nightly meetings at the O. E. Bell Jr. High Auditorium.
1966 - Jesus smiled upon the fun-loving, athletic high schoolers and all their families and friends in the first, competitive Emotion Bowl between Idaho Falls High School and Skyline High School.
1971 - Jesus sent a former missionary to West Africa, and 22-year trouble shooter and chaplain for the Department of Defense to pastor the First Christian Church of Idaho Falls.
1973 -Jesus' compassion caused 24 Idaho Falls churches to form an organization that would be available 24 hours a day for emergency help of those in need.
1974 - Jesus brought diverse members of His body in Idaho Falls together for a benefit dinner to raise funds to support the Sonshine Inn of Idaho Falls, the Good News television program and Tarahamara Indians of Mexico.
1975 - Jesus sent an Australian couple to Idaho Falls to plant a church; the couple ministered in more than 60 countries, bringing thousands of people to the Lord and planting many churches.
1976 - Jesus used his church in Idaho Falls to show His love to many who suffered loss in the flooding from the Teton Dam collapse.
1977- Jesus brought different parts of His body together in Idaho Falls for the third annual Idaho Charismatic Conference.
1985 - Jesus began to give His word to the blind throughout the world by materials produced at the Lutheran Braille Workers' Center in Idaho Falls.
1989 - Jesus sent a pastor to Idaho Falls who loved to share the gospel with everyone he met.
1991 - Jesus brought a man whom He had saved from a life of drug addition, gangs, violence and promiscuity to speak to the youth of Idaho Falls at school assemblies and at the Civic Auditorium; almost 200 youth responded to his altar call.
1992 - Jesus called His people to a season of repentance for personal, regional and national sins.
1993 (#1) - At dawn on September 15, Jesus brought 33 students of Skyline High School together at the flag pole to pray.
1993 (#2) - Jesus gave His word to Idaho Falls when the entire Bible is read from the steps of the Bonneville County Courthouse.
1994 (#1) - Jesus focused his love upon a small group of Koreans in Idaho Falls with the establishment of the Idaho Falls Korean Mission Church.
1994 (#2) - Traveling from Idaho Falls, Jesus called a man and his wife to minister to brothers and sisters in a small, historical church in rural Dubois, Idaho.
1995 - Jesus led an Idaho Falls pastor to bring three top recording artists to Idaho Falls for an evangelistic crusade.
1996 (#1) - Jesus confirmed His calling of an Idaho Falls' woman to write Christian novels when a leading Christian publishing company gave her a contract for her first two books.
1996 (#2) - Jesus began calling a engineering student at the University of Idaho, a resident of Idaho Falls who had attended Hope Lutheran Church and School growing up, into the ministry.
1997 (#1) - Jesus led two young men to start Freedom Ministries in Idaho Falls, a citywide youth outreach that focused on using music and the arts to reach and equip young people for Christ.
1997 (#2) - Jesus brought parish nursing to Idaho Falls.
1997 (#3) - Jesus answered prayer of a small group of believers when churches of southern Idaho and western Wyoming started Old Faithful Christian Ranch in Island Park.
1998 (#1) - Jesus sent a former INL manager and his wife to an Asian Country to teach English for two years and then after three and a half years back in the states obtaining theology and TESOL degrees, sent them back to that same country to evangelize and disciple young people.
1998 (#2) - Jesus burdened a member of First Christian Church with the need for housing for low income senior residents, resulting in the construction of a 51-apartment building complex.
1999 - Jesus sent a fishermen to Idaho Falls to teach the body of Christ how to share the gospel with members of the LDS community.
2002 - Jesus gave perseverance to a woman who served as secretary for an Idaho Falls church for 25 years.
2003 (#1) - Jesus provided opportunities for Idaho Falls High School students to learn His word through a fellowship led by a by a local pastor.
2003 (#2) - Jesus brought a nationally known singer, song writer, record producer and minister to Idaho Falls to hold a concert at a local church
2010 - Jesus used an INL employee to complete a 14-year initiative removing from Kazakhstan enough material to make 775 nuclear weapons and to also create an all-volunteer organization named New Gospel Frontiers.
2014 - In August a networking engineer and his wife were visiting cousins when on the last night of their stay God spoke to him saying, “Move here, Education, Dialogue!” Immediately he knew they were to move to Idaho Falls and talk about His Son. On September 11th of the following year they moved into their new home in Bonneville County and have not looked back since!
2015 - (#1) Jesus healed a young boy who could not walk and also a woman of epilepsy.
2015 - (#2) Jesus was worshipped by a crowd of almost 2000 at Freeman Park, led by I Am They and Buster Brown
2016 - Jesus led an Idaho Falls pastor, a former police officer, to start a ministry called The Strong Blue Line Ministries to reach law enforcement officers with the gospel, and the following year to plant Cop Church in Idaho Falls.
2017 (#1) - Jesus healed an Idaho Falls pastor of cancer, and during his treatment at the Huntsman Cancer Institute he met and had conversations with an 18-year old girl who was also being treated for an aggressive cancer; Jesus used these conversations plus interactions with other individuals and children with special needs to start a ministry to children of limited abilities, veterans of war and their families called Champs Heart.
2017 (#2) - Jesus took home an Idaho Falls pastor surrounded by family singing songs of glory; this man was born in Idaho Falls, went to Idaho Falls schools, and the last 24 years of his life pastored the church he grew up in.
2019 - Jesus provided justice for an Idaho Falls man who spent 11 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit and also led the Idaho Falls police department to solve a 12-year old murder case and arrest the suspect.
2021 - Jesus sent a young linguist from Idaho Falls to SE Asia to begin language learning that will lead to translating the Bible into a minority language in a closed country; Jesus sent a young lady first with a team from an Idaho Falls church on a summer mission project in Mexico and then on a longer term mission in Eastern Europe; and late in the year Jesus sent an Idaho Falls pastor, his wife and daughter to El Salvador for a two-week mission trip to show His love to four ministries by providing means for these ministries to support themselves.
2022 (#1) - Jesus provided the $87,008.74 Victory Assembly of God needed to pay an unexpected bill from the City of Idaho Falls for road improvements in front of the church.
2022 (#2) - Jesus brought a woman to Idaho Falls who had made numerous trips into North Korea to share the gospel and who has a ministry to North Korean refugees to encourage the faith of the saints in Idaho Falls.
2022 (#3) - Jesus brought 26 pastors and at least 124 other members of His body together on Election Day, November 8, to repent, pray for unity in the church, a burden for evangelism and open doors for the gospel in Idaho Falls and the surrounding region.
Names, sources, & supplemental information
1882: Rebecca Brown Mitchell; see section 5.3.1 of https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/jesus-church-called-and-sent and also https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/rebecca-mitchell-supplemental-mater; Rebecca Mitchell arrived in Eagle Rock on June 6, 1882, and immediately got to work. She held Sunday school on June 11, and her day school began June 12. [While some sources give credit to Rebecca Mitchell for starting the first Sunday school, the Blackfoot Register of Oct. 22, 1881 reported that a Sunday school had been started in Eagle Rock in the home of Mr. J. C. Anderson. A follow up report on Dec.17 notes that the weekly Sunday afternoon class is led by Miss Emma Muckly and has 39 scholars.] cmb
1882 [additional statement]: According to the Post Register, September 10, 1934, p. 5, the first "official" sermon in Eagle Rock was given by F. A. Riggin (sometimes spelled "Riggins"), Methodist circuit riding preacher and superintendent of the Montana mission, of which Idaho Territory was apart, in 1882.
1883: Circuit riding preacher Francis Asbury Riggin was instrumental in the organization and early services of the Methodist church, as well as later securing subscriptions to fund its building. See the Idaho Register April 24, 1886 & May 1 & 7, 1886. Also see also “History of Trinity” by W. L. Shattuck, http://www.tumcif.org/history-at-trinity/history-of-trinity-by-w-l.html, that mentions that F. A. “Riggins,” superintendent of the Montana Methodist Mission, preached at the first official Methodist service in Eagle Rock in 1882, and in the sidebar documents that the church was initially organized in 1883. http://tumcif.org/history-at-trinity/cook-book/1890s.html has a list of the eight founding members of the church. See also Appendix 3 of https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/references-appendices, "Early Methodist Circuit Riding Preachers Who Came to Eagle Rock" and Idaho Falls Times, "History of Trinity M. E. Church, Dec. 12, 1895. cmb
1883 [Additional statement]: Rev. Eleazar Elder, came to Eagle Rock in the fall of 1883 to organize a Methodist church in the community. Born in Illinois, Rev. E. B. L. Elder had pastored in Wisconsin before coming west to lead the Methodist church in Dillon, Montana. Following his time in Eagle Rock, he pastored churches in Kansas for a number of years before founding a seminary in Boaz, Alabama in his home in 1898, which in the first year taught 70 students. cmb
1884: The First Baptist Church building was completed and was used by all Christian groups in Eagle Rock until additional church buildings were constructed. See Marlys Whitman, The First Baptist Church of Idaho Falls, May 31, 1946, a 3-page document which is in the files of the Idaho Falls Public Library. cmb
1884 [Additional statement #1]: Rebecca Mitchell's daughter, Bessie, had collected donations from Eagle Rock residents the previous year to pay for freight on a shipment of Bibles and other reading material that were supplied by friends of her mother. [From article "E. Idaho Enriched by Philanthropists," Post Register, July 31, 2005, p. G4] cmb
1884 [Additional statement #2] When the Baptist Church in Eagle Rock applied for membership in the Idaho Baptist Association of churches, Rev. C. H. Matoon visited the church and made this comment, "The Eagle Rock church, organized in 1884, really commenced in June 1882 when Mrs. R. Mitchell arrived there from Illinois, commenced and kept up a S.S. and Prayer meeting unaided for two years, and at the organization she had two converts ready for baptism... " [From Spriggs, W.T.S., A History of Baptists in Southern Idaho, p. 129]. There may well have been earlier conversions and baptisms in Eagle Rock, but these are the first documented ones I've come across. When the Baptist church building was dedicated later in 1884, there were three candidates for baptism. [from The Baptist Home Mission Monthly, Vol 6, December 1884, p. 301] cmb
1885: Rev. T. M. Stewart, quoted in “Eagle Rock Academy – A Card to the People of Eagle Rock and Vicinity,” published in the Idaho Register, August 22, 1885. cmb
1886: See the report of the storm in the Idaho Register, May 22, 1886. When the storm hit at 2:20 pm on May 19, 1886, there were 53 men working in the roundhouse and the only one injured was John McMillan whose ankle was sprained and slightly fractured. The article reported, “Had it not been that every stall in the round-house was occupied by an engine, a terrible slaughter of men would have been the result. As the circumstances were it is almost a miracle that all escaped so safely, for the heavy timbers came crashing down with sufficient force to demolish cabs, bells, whistles and hand-rails of the engines…” Debris from the house of Mr. D. A. Taylor fell on his wife and two young children but they too escaped without injury. cmb
1887: Rev. M. T. Lamb, the first pastor of the Baptist Church of Eagle Rock, published "The Golden Bible..."; see The Golden Bible - Google Books. In the preface Rev. Lamb writes, "Why this Book? Two reasons. First, it is new. There is no other book like it in existence. Second, it is needed. The proof of this we will leave to the careful reader, and to the unfailing logic of results. But the book strikes, it is believed, a deadly blow at the "tap root" of Mormonism - by undermining the foundation upon which the whole system is builded...." Rev. Martin Lamb served as a Baptist Home Missionary, coming to Eagle Rock in early July, 1885, overseeing the construction of the Baptist church building, starting a church in Blackfoot while living in Eagle Rock, and then after the completion of construction of the church building in Eagle Rock, taking a position with a Baptist church in Salt Lake and for several years travelling from coast to coast giving lectures on Mormonism. cmb
1888: "Eagle Rock Letter," Idaho News (Blackfoot newspaper), March 17, 1888, p. 1. cmb
1889: Charles and Martha Ramsay - see https://www.fpcidahofalls.org/history/. etw
1890: The United States government became the sovereign over the Oregon Territory, which included all the land of present Idaho, through a treaty with Great Britain in 1846.The Idaho Territory was established in 1863. Idaho held a Constitutional Convention on July 4, 1889, which was ratified in November 1889. President Benjamin Harrison signed this bill into law on July 3, 1890 granting Idaho statehood. The Idaho Admission bill can be read at https://codes.findlaw.com/id/idaho-admission-bill/id-const-idaho-admission-bill.html. While there was political intrigue in Idaho becoming a state, Acts 17:26 implies the Lord has a hand in setting boundaries: He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation. etw/cmb
1890 [Additional statement #1] - see https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/henry-van-engelen, or for a very condensed version, see 1892 below. cmb
1890 [Additional statement #2] - The same year that Reverend John Dawson came to the United States from his native Ireland, he came to Eagle Rock and started holding services in a room above a saloon. All the saloons at that time were open 7 days/week, 24 hours/day and their noise interfered with his services, so he convinced all the saloon owners to close during Sunday services. When the cowboys and ranch hands objected and sought out the man who caused the saloons to close, he was happy to meet with them and talk to them, and invite them to come to his "Divine services." In later years he used the Baptist and Methodist church buildings for services and also started a church in Blackfoot. Leaving Idaho Falls in 1895, he went to Nevada, then Roseburg, Oregon and then had a long career as a pastor in Portland, from 1904 to 1937. Portland honored him in 1921 by naming a city park after him for his advocacy for child welfare and civic improvements. [Taken mostly from the Times Register, Aug. 13, 1928, ""Resident of 40 Years Ago Visits City Again;" the Post Register, July 3 & 7, 1940, the Oregonian, July 23, 1956 and the Oregon Journal, May 39, 1942.] cmb
1891: This assembly began under the leadership of the Reverend Samuel Wishard - see Section 5.3.1 of https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/jesus-church-called-and-sent or https://www.fpcidahofalls.org/history/. etw
When Eagle Rock was renamed Idaho Falls in 1891 the official name of the city was, "Idaho Falls, The City of Destiny," and for many years The City of Destiny was commonly used as its name in The Idaho Falls Times. While those responsible for the name change may have had various motives and purposes for the name change, "The City of Destiny" has eternal, spiritual overtones, as, for example, when a much later ministry in Idaho was named "New Destiny". cmb
1892: Rev. Henry Van Engelen, pastor of the Baptist Church in Idaho Falls, preached to the LDS in Rexburg on July 19, 1892 (from Idaho Falls Times, July 14, 1892, p. 5). Henry Engelen, born as "Hendrick" in Michigan in 1868 to Dutch parents in a small Dutch community on the Michigan frontier, was baptized, licensed to preach, and ordained in the First Baptist Church in Eagle Rock within a span of six months in 1890. Converted as a child, his parents encouraged his faith and study of Scripture. Married in Michigan in 1888, he brought his young bride and infant daughter to Eagle Rock. After his ordination in the Baptist Church here, the Baptist Home Mission Society appointed him to become the church's pastor. After serving for two years, he was granted leave to study at the University of Chicago Divinity School. The united congregations of the Baptist and Presbyterian churches assembled to hear his farewell sermon. Though initially intending to complete a three-year course of study, after a year he returned to Idaho Falls to pastor the Baptist church for another two and a half years. A popular speaker, he was often invited to address civic groups and community celebrations, and travelled to St. Anthony, Rexburg and Jarnigan to hold services as well, often in school houses. In 1896 he accepted a call to the First Baptist Church in Great Falls, Montana, but returned to Idaho after three and a half years to simultaneous pastor churches in Pocatello and Blackfoot. His career also included periods of pastoring churches in Missoula, Coeur d'Alene, Payette, Hoquiam and Centralia, Washington, back to Missoula and finally the First Baptist Church in Los Angeles. He retired in the 1930's and lived much of the rest of his life in Twin Falls. [Sources for the above include a bio accompanying an article, "The Great Epoch of History," which he wrote at the turn of the century, accessible at The American Baptist Pulpit at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century - Google Books, references citied in his FamilySearch profile, Henry Van Engelen (1868–1951) | Person | Family Tree | FamilySearch, and numerous articles in period Idaho, Montana and Washington newspapers.] cmb
1893: The Economic Panic of 1893 began in early spring and lasted four years. In Idaho Falls as well as the rest of the nation, businesses collapsed. By September the price of grain dropped by more than 40%, the price of apples dropped to 2 cents per pound, potatoes to 1.75 cents per pound and eggs 10 cents per dozen. cmb
1894: Samuel Boyd McClelland was called by the Presbyterian Church in Idaho Falls in the summer of 1894 to preach for one year, and a year later his call was extended indefinitely. Rev. McClelland grew up on a farm in the same Pennsylvania community as William W. Keefer, who came to Eagle Rock in 1879 and as a contractor built the railroad shops, the first steel bridge, the dam below the Broadway Bridge that a previous contractor failed at and declared was impossible, numerous buildings on Broadway, the Riverside school and many homes in Idaho Falls. Rev. McClelland was two years older than William. He went to Western Theological Seminary in Michigan and was ordained in 1882 in Wooster, Ohio. In his 32 years as a pastor, he served in 10 towns, most in the mid-west, plus Idaho Falls; Marshville, Oregon; and Boulder, Montana. He stayed the longest in Idaho Falls and Onslow, Iowa, six years in each. Rarely sick, in 1914 on a single day he became sick and in his delirium spoke as if preaching a sermon to his congregation. After saying the benediction of II Corinthians 13:14, The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all, he died. cmb
1895: Idaho Falls Times, Sept. 5, 1895, Sept. 12, 1895 & Dec. 12, 1895. cmb
1896: https://history.idaho.gov/2020-suffrage-exhibit/ – Rebecca Mitchell was a leading spokesperson for the women’s suffrage movement in Idaho, see https://documents.alexanderstreet.com/d/1009656441. etw
1897: Jesus brought Rev. William Henry Gannaway to Idaho Falls to pastor the Methodist Episcopal Church. The following year Rev. Gannaway volunteered to serve as chaplain to the Idaho Regiment in Cuba and his services were accepted by Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg. (Idaho Falls Times, Sept. 16, 1897 & April 28, 1898] cmb
1897 [Additional statement]: The Idaho Falls Times of May 20, 1897 reported that services were held for the first time on May 19 in the new Episcopal Church, with Rev. P. Murphy of Pocatello presiding. Previously that year they had been meeting in the Presbyterian Church building. Rev. Murphy also organized a boys brigade in Idaho Falls, for boys 12 years and older, who would commit themselves to live exemplary lives. cmb
1898: The Village Improvement Society was the idea of Mrs. Kate Curley, an active member of the Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Curley wrote the constitution and was the first president of the V.I.S. [Idaho Falls Daily Post, March 8, 1931] cmb
1899: The Swedish Evangelical Mission Church was organized on March 10, 1899 and first met in a building on Western Avenue that had previously been an LDS church. They initially shared a pastor with the Swedish Mission Society of New Sweden, west of Idaho Falls, which began meeting in 1895. cmb
1899 [Additional statement] The Idaho Falls Times of August 31, 1899 reported that 445 enlisted men and 28 officers had arrived in San Francisco and were headed home to Idaho after 14 months fighting in the Spanish American War. The welcoming program in Idaho Falls was listed in the article and included a parade of the Idaho Falls Band, followed by the returning volunteers, members of four civic groups, school children and finally citizens. The program then included an innovation, addresses to be given by 8 individuals, interspersed with 7 musical numbers. Rebecca Mitchell was listed for one address and also to present medals to the volunteers. The pastors from the Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian churches also were on the program to give addresses, showing a strong participation of church leaders in this civic event. The Idaho Falls Times of October 5 reported on the event in an article entitled "Our Boys are Welcomed by Nearly the Entire People of the County." A "bowery" had been constructed to seat "several thousand people" and the article reported it was the largest crowd ever to assemble in Idaho Falls. While neither article specifically stated the number of volunteers from Idaho Falls who fought in the war, the October 5th article included names of 8 volunteers who were at the reception and 8 others who enlisted in Idaho Falls but did not return. During the program free lunches were given out, and after the program a baseball game was played between Idaho Falls and Lewisville, Idaho Falls winning by a score of 31 to 10. cmb
1900: In Scripture, water at times symbolizes life, and the life of God's Spirit. Idaho Falls owes its early existence to the water of the Snake River, that when it was channeled into irrigation ditches, provided the means for settlers to produce food for themselves and for market. Addition of the power plant in Idaho Falls adds to this analogy, that Jesus not only gives living water to whoever comes to Him but also gives His Spirit to empower believers to be His witnesses. A brief account of the hydro plant can be read at https://sfcompanion.blogspot.com/2019/10/idaho-falls-gets-hydropower-william.html. etw
1900 [Additional statement #1]: For many years in Idaho Falls, Union services were held on Easter Sunday, and often the whole Passion Week. Reporting on the Union service held on Easter, 1900, the Idaho Falls Times reported that it "was largely attended, the hall being nearly filled. All religious organizations were represented in the congregation present while many who seldom attend church services were noticed. Rev. William Pearce delivered an eloquent and forceful sermon on the crucifixion and was listened to with much interest and attention." cmb
1900 [Additional statement #2]: From the Idaho Falls Times, July 11, 1900, "The Christian Volunteers Advance Brigade have arrived in this city from Butte Mont. They have rented the old Methodist church where salvation meetings will be held every evening, 7:30 pm in open air and 8 pm in the building. All Christians are invited to co-operate with us in our effort in this city toward the uplifting of humanity and the extension of God’s kingdom. The brigade consists of Evangelist Young, Evangelist Patterson, Brother Balkins and Gen. Jacob Buch." The Times reported on October 11, 1900, "Rev. J. C. Burns and wife, Evangelists, are conducting a revival in the Presbyterian Church of Idaho Falls every day at 2:30 and 7:30 pm…Mr. Burns and his wife have been laboring in the evangelistic field among many different denominations and come highly recommended as efficient teachers in divine truths..." And then on November 22, the Times reported, "Evangelist Rozelle is still conducting revival services at the Baptist Church. The meetings will continue another week. Rev. Rozelle is a forceful gospel speaker. The interest is good and decisions to live the Christian life are being made." cmb
1901: Re-dedicatory services of the new Baptist church were held July 28, 1901, with Rev. Henry Van Engelen returning to preach the sermon. According to the Idaho Falls Times, July 25, 1901, "The Protestant Evangelical churches of Idaho Falls will meet with the Baptist brethren next Sunday evening, the occasion being the rededication of the Baptist church." cmb
1902: According to St. John Lutheran Church's history in a booklet published in their 100th anniversary year (2013) and the Post Register 50th Anniversary edition of Sept. 10, 1934, a student missionary, Frederick A. C. Meyer, organized churches in 1902 and 1903 in Squirrel, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls and preached in other places in SE Idaho. Several issues of the Idaho Falls Times [Sept 7 & 21, 1909, Nov 9, 1909, July 19, 1910 and others] document that Edwin Paul Beyer, was installed as pastor in September, 1909, soon after his ordination in Milwaukee, of what was known then as the Idaho Falls German Lutheran Church [also called the Evangelical Lutheran Church] and later became St. John Lutheran Church. See also https://archive.org/details/historyofuplands00garr/page/6/mode/2up which documents Rev. Fredrick A. C. Meyer's work in Squirrel, Idaho, arriving there at age 21. cmb
1903: From The Brethren Along the Snake River by Roger E. Sappington, 1966, and the Idaho Falls Times, September 4, 1903. Rev. O. W. Leavell came to Idaho Falls for the purpose of starting the assembly. They initially met in the Swedish Mission Church but built their own building in 1905. The congregation grew for several years but then saw a decline, and in 1911, according to the Idaho Falls Times of March 14, 1911, most of them moved to Lost River to start a church there. A few remained in Idaho Falls until 1920 when their church building was sold. cmb
1903 [Additional statement] A tribute to Mrs. Kate Curley hangs in the entryway of the Idaho Falls public library. Born in New York in 1850, she moved to Iowa to teach, including two years at a Methodist college, Simpson College. Married in 1886, she and her husband moved to Idaho Falls in 1892. She founded and led the Village Improvement Society, which literally cleaned up the town, supplying garbage receptacles, planting trees and establishing parks. Mrs. Curley was a frequent contributor to a national weekly journal, "The Christian at Work." Included in her obituary is the following: "Although a member and an active worker in the Presbyterian Church, the same breadth and generosity that characterized her religious faith and her utter freedom from fanaticism made her equally dear to those of all sects, and established confidence in all who know her." [From the Idaho Falls Times, December 18, 1903, p. 3] cmb
1904: Bonneville County Historical Society, "The History of Sportsman Park," published in the Post Register October 25, 2016. In the 1890's and early 1900's, the whole area around the site of Taylor's Bridge, including what is now Sportsman's Park was a red light district. The women of the Village Improvement Society purchased this property - the island and land on both sides of the river- and evicted "the ladies of the night." The Idaho Falls Times of May 20, 1904, p. 4 reported, "The removal of the disreputable houses from the island and the establishment there of a park is an achievement of which the Village Improvement Society may well be proud...This act of transforming a place of dishonorable resort for the few into an open park where men, women and children may enjoy their leisure is surely one looking to the betterment of local conditions." cmb
1905: Revival meetings were held at the Methodist Church from January 2 to January 22. From the Idaho Falls Times of January 6: "The revival meetings are well begun and the interest is steadily increasing. A number have already sought the Lord..." From the Idaho Falls Times, January 13: "The revival meetings will be continued during the coming week. Everyone is welcome. Sin and its awful consequences is evident all about us. The only redemption for a community or individual is in the Gospel of Christ. We should learn to hear and understand the voice of God speaking in our conscience, which is wisdom clearer and surer than any wisdom on man..." The Idaho Falls Times of January 27 reported that 21 people were added to the church through the meetings. cmb
1906: Dr. W. W. Van Dusen replaced Rev. G. W. Barnes at the Methodist Church (Idaho Falls Times Sept. 11, 1906); Rev. Hugh W. Jones replaced Dr. J. P. Hearst at the Presbyterian Church (Idaho Falls Times, Sept. 25, 1906) and Rev. Herbert Hultman assumed the pastorate of the Swedish Mission Church (Idaho Falls Times, July 24, 1906). cmb
1907: Rev. James G. Dickon, a Nez Perce Indian, married Edith Corbett, a Lapwei Indian, who travelled from Butte, MT to Idaho Falls by train the day of the wedding. Although the Idaho Falls Times announcement of the wedding reported that Rev. Dixon was in charge of the mission at Fork Hall, the turnover of leadership from Miss Amelia J. Frost to Rev. Dixon probably took place about a year later, based on a report in the Idaho Republican (Blackfoot), Dec. 18, 1908. Rev. Dickson grew up on the Nez Perce Reservation in northern Idaho, attended college in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and then Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He was in charge of the mission at Fort Hall until 1910, when he accepted a call to serve on the Umatilla reservation in Oregon. cmb
1908: Rebecca Mitchell died in her home in Idaho Falls on September 30, 1908. The front page article of the Idaho Falls Times, October 6th was entitled, "Mrs. Rebecca Mitchell Gone to Her Reward - Loved and Honored Pioneer Succumbs to Great White Plague." See that article for the story of her life, as well as her own "Glimpses of My Life, [Section 5.2.1 of Jesus' Church, Called and Sent | jiif (barnescm2.wixsite.com)] and Rebecca Mitchell, Supplemental Material | jiif (barnescm2.wixsite.com) cmb
1908 [additional statement]: From the Idaho Falls Times, Nov.18 & 24, 1908: “The gospel services conducted by Armstrong [Rev. Martin Armstrong of Kansas City] and Professor Ireland [very likely Herbert B. Ireland, evangelist and gospel singer from California, whose sister later lived for many years in Idaho Falls] for the last few weeks have been well attended and full of interest. It is said by many that these services have been the greatest of any ever held in Idaho Falls. Multitudes have been stirred, great numbers have been quickened to greater zeal in Christian work. Many have been reclaimed and 78 people have made a definite consecration of their lives. Evangelist Armstrong’s preaching is direct, concise, Scriptural and brotherly. He hews close to the line in revealing sin, yet he makes you feel he is your friend and has come to help you…Sunday was perhaps the greatest day in the history of the Methodist church in this city. About twenty-two were converted in the evening.” When Rev. Herbert B. Ireland died in 1940, the Post Register printed an article entitled "Former I.F. Evangelist Dies," and while I could find no evidence that he had ever lived in Idaho Falls, the article mentioned that he had conducted several services at Trinity Methodist Church. [Post Register Feb. 11, 1940] cmb
1909: Based on articles in the Idaho Falls Times of March 23 and March 30, 1909, "Union Revival" meetings were held at the Broadway Hall every night of the week except Saturdays for extended periods in March and April and also at other times in various churches. "Rev. Jones is not by any means a sensational evangelist but rather relies simply upon the power of the old time religion and upon the power of the simple gospel. And that gospel is saving in these meetings as it always has...These meetings are proving of the greatest interest and bid fair to become the greatest movement for righteousness the city has ever seen." cmb
1909 [Additional statement] The Idaho Falls Times of April 13, 1909 reported that the Eastern Idaho Evangelistic Conference "bears the unique distinction of being the only one of the kind ever held in Eastern Idaho...bringing together the different denominations..." to focus on the work of evangelism. Topics included: "The Soul Winner - What Must He Be? What Must He Know? What Must He Do?", "Child Evangelism - Can Children Be Converted? - Means and Methods of Child Evangelism", "The Evangelist's Mean - the Bible in Personal Work, Casting the Net." "Besides the presence of the local pastors and representatives of the different congregations of the city, the conference was honored and greatly benefitted by the presence of Evangelist H. Wyse Jones (Baptist pastor from New York), Prof. E. H. Spear and Mrs. Spear, Rev. Lawrence of Pocatello, Rev. C. A. Dickson [this was probably Rev. James G. Dickson, a Nez Perce Indian who was in charge of the Fort Hall mission at the time] and two of his workers from the Indian mission, Rev. P. H. Evans and wife of Blackfoot, Rev Phillips of St. Anthony, Rev. Redfern of Boise who is secretary of the American Sunday School association of Idaho, and Rev. Rankin." cmb
1910: From the Idaho Falls Times, March 8, 1910, headline "Salvation Army Relief Store": "The local Salvation Army is establishing a relief store, as a distribution point for second hand clothing. The articles will be sold at a very low price and the proceeds used in the work of the army. In case of need the clothing will be given away..." The store was located in the Salvation Army Hall at 553 Eagle Rock Street. cmb
1911: See the article "Now Bonneville County" in the Idaho Falls Times, February 7, 1911, the day that the Governor of Idaho signed the bill carving out Bonneville County from Bingham. A last minute change to the bill changed the name of the new country from Snake River to Bonneville. Captain Benjamin Bonneville was born in France, and at a young age came to live with his mother and brothers on the Thomas Paine farm in New York. He graduated from West Point Academy in 1815, but in 1832 took a leave of absence to study Native American culture and trade with Pacific Northwest tribes. He published The Adventures of Benjamin Bonneville in 1837. etw/cmb
1912: The first hospital in Idaho Falls was known as the Fuller Hospital, and was started by Dr. S. S. Fuller, a member of the Idaho Falls Methodist Church. Dr. Fuller's home at 101 Placer Avenue had served as the town's hospital since 1910; Dr. Fuller had moved to Idaho Falls from Kansas in 1907. [From p. 109 & 135 of Mary Jane Fritzen's Idaho Falls, City of Destiny and various issues of the Idaho Falls Times, 1906-1922] [Note: several sources state that the Fuller Hospital was the first hospital in Idaho Falls and this is correct in the sense that a direct path can be traced from it to a current hospital in Idaho Falls. An earlier hospital was established by a group of businessmen in 1906 which closed in 1910. (Idaho Falls Post, March 8, 1932, p. 4) Rooms in a couple different buildings were used by two doctors beginning in 1907 to treat patients until the General Hospital was completed in 1915. See Idaho Falls Daily Post, Feb 9., 1930, p. 33 and information for the 1915 statement below] cmb
1913: From the Idaho Falls Times, April 1, 1913. Floods in these two states caused an estimated $98 million dollars of damage, equivalent to $2.6 billion in 2021 dollars. Churches in Idaho Falls raised and sent donations and also food for relief of those affected. cmb
1914: From the Idaho Register, March 3, 1914: "City to Have "Church Day” - Sunday, March 29th, has been named and set as Church-Going Day for Idaho Falls, and everyone will be asked and urged to attend at least once on that day…Church Day has proven a success in practically every city in the United States from coast to coast, and on that day hundreds of people who ordinarily do not attend any church service attend, and in hundreds of cases continued the attendance….While Idaho Falls may be a little late in getting in line, it is hoped to make up the difference by an unusual interest….At a meeting of the Women’s Missionary Union of Idaho Falls, composed of the membership of all the churches of the city, it was decided (when) to set the day….
And here’s the report of what happened on Church Day, according to an article in the Idaho Register, March 31, 1914: "Church Day a Success – All Churches of the City Experience Large Attendance" -Church-Going Day in Idaho Falls met with the success here with which it has been met the country over where the attempt has been made, and every church in the city experienced the largest attendance outside of some special occasion in the history of the city. In several instances it was found necessary to make special provision in order to accommodate those who wished to attend, the seating capacity being taxed beyond the limit. At all churches, a special musical program was made a feature and this part of the service was greatly enjoyed. Church-Going Day has become a spontaneous national movement the country over, and wherever it has been tried has been successful. Those in charge of the churches and religious organizations of the city feel particularly gratified at the response. cmb
1915: According to the article "Idaho Falls is Medical Center," Idaho Falls Daily Post, Feb. 9, 1930, Doctors Clifford M. Cline and George Coulthard used rooms on the second floor of a building on the corner of Park and C Streets to treat patients starting in 1907. Later, with the sponsorship of The Village Improvement Society, they moved to the upstairs of "the old Elg Building" on Eagle Rock Street. In 1915 Dr. Cline and Dr. A. R. Soderquist built the General Hospital on the corner of Idaho Avenue and K Street. This hospital had 25 beds and was used until the LDS Hospital was completed in 1923. Dr. Cline continued to practice medicine in Idaho Falls until his death in 1962. cmb
1916: Dr. G. W. Taylor of Los Angles led meetings which were held every night during the month of January in a building on Elm Street between the Methodist Church and what is now the Museum of Idaho, a temporary building that sat 1,100 people and was erected by volunteers in a single day, December 29, 1915. Organized by a committee from several Idaho Falls churches, the meetings were so popular that they were extended an extra day. See articles in the Idaho Register, Dec. 10, 21 & 24, 1915 and Jan. 4, 7, 11, 21 & 28, 1916. cmb
1916 [Additional statement #1] One result of the Taylor evangelist crusade was the formation of First Christian Church, which started with over one hundred members. On February 20, 1916, they dedicated a new chapel on the corner of Boulevard and Birch Avenue. That day they held three morning services and then shared a meal together that was attended by about 200 people. In the afternoon, messages were delivered by four pastors, included those from the Idaho Falls Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian churches, and the Pocatello Christian Church. The Idaho Falls Times reported that the building was crowded to capacity for all morning and afternoon services. When an invitation to receive Christ was given in the evening service, six people responded to the gospel. Offerings given that day were more than adequate to pay for all costs associated with constructing the new building. [Mostly from the Idaho Falls Times, February 24, 1916, p. 1] cmb
1916 [Additional statement #2] The Idaho Falls Times of Dec 28, 1916 reported: "It was a joyous crowd which gathered around the Community Christmas tree Monday night at the intersection of Broadway and Park. The city electrical department had arranged a brilliant and beautiful display of lights and Mayor Edgington had taken the precaution to have the snow for considerable distance removed and a platform erected. The occasion was enjoyed by hundreds and there were more than a hundred voices in the chorus which sang Christmas carols…The invocation was delivered by Rev. Jewell of the Baptist church and the address of the occasion by Rev. Chample of the Christian church….Catching the inspiration of the occasion (the entire crowd) took up the songs that never seem to grow old. And as they sang, softly the snowflakes drifted down as a gentle gift from Heaven…" cmb
1916 [Additional statement #3] On Sunday evening Jan. 16 at the American Theater, Rev. Robert Sutcliffe delivered a lecture entitled, "What Would Jesus Do Were He a Citizen of Idaho Falls in 1916?" Dr. Sutcliffe, born in England in 1869, was an author, teacher and lecturer, part of a Chautauqua circuit, although an article in the Idaho Falls Times of Jan. 20, 1916 reported, "Robert Sutcliffe does not give a Chautauqua lecture but just a practical address at each gathering." Another article (of Jan. 13, 1916) noted, "The other Sunday evening in the American Theater no less than six lawyers were counted in the audience. This surely is an indication of the worthy addresses delivered week by week at these People's Popular Services." Following his Chautauqua series in Idaho Falls in early 1916, the Presbyterian Church unanimously called him to their pastorate for a year. The Idaho Falls Times of May 27, 1920 reported that during that year "he drew great crowds and was finally compelled to hold his services in a theater. He made friends not only among the church-going people but with the public at large, and there was genuine grief when he left this city." cmb
1917: From the Idaho Falls Times, November 1, 1917, "Sunday Devoted to Prayer" - In response to the request of President Wilson that all the churches of the nation devote a portion of their services Sunday, the 28th, to prayer for the success of American arms, all the churches of Idaho Falls complied with the request with the exception of the Catholic Church..." etw/cmb
1918: Idaho Falls Times, November 14, 1918, Article entitled, "Armistice Signed by Huns - Cessation of Hostilities Occurred Early Monday on all Fronts - World Celebrates Victory of Fighting Allied Armies." Idaho Falls churches (the "Union") held a service on July 24, 1918 to give thanks for the Allied success in the war. Leaders of the services included O. A. Johannesen, Father N. C. Hoff, Rev. F. L. Wemett and Rev. W. E. Pettibone. [Times-Register, July 24, 1928, "Ten Years Ago"] etw
1918 [additional statement]: From the Idaho Falls Daily Post of March 12, 14 & 28, 1918: “Herbert C. Hart and Arthur S. Magann, whose remarkable success in conducting large gospel campaigns places them among the few great evangelists of the country, are now enroute from Chicago and have been secured for meetings beginning here next Sunday night. What promises to be one of the most effective campaigns for righteousness that has ever taken place in the Upper Valley is to be inaugurated here on Sunday, March 17.” Sponsored by the Idaho Falls Ministerial Association, meetings continued for 12 days. The Daily Post reported, “Large audiences are attending and deep interest is manifested.” The gospel team of Hart and Magann were from Madison, Wisconsin. "Mr. Hart is a veritable genius when it comes to the diagnosis of personal and community evils, and drives home the truth with a precision and sincerity that wins admiration and commands universal respect. Mr. Magann has had large experience as a successful chorus director and has a voice of excellent quality." [Daily Post, March 14] cmb
1919: J. Christy Wilson Sr. served as a missionary in Persia for 20 years, and his son, J. Christy Wilson Jr. pioneered Christian missions in Afghanistan. See more of his story and references in Section 6.3.1, https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/jesus-church-called-and-sent. cmb
1920: An Interchurch World movement conference was held in Trinity Methodist Church of Idaho Falls April 6th and 7th, one of about 3,000 similar conferences held throughout the United States. In March, 1920 almost 200 southern Idaho pastors met in Nampa to prepare for this conference. The headline of an article in the Idaho Falls Times of April 1 contained some of the emphases of the conference, "Bulk of Counties in the United States will Have Conferences to Solve Problems of Unchurched Areas, Wasteful Duplications and Underpaid Preachers." Cooperation in evangelism and missions, as well as issues more unique to the churches in a given locality, were also discussed. cmb
1921: On May 2, two men were rowing a small boat in the still water of Snake River opposite D Street when an oar lock broke and they were swept over the spillway. One of the men was able to catch onto flashboards on top of the cement wall of the spillway and held on until rescued. The other, Jack Holmes, was swept with the boat to the brink of the canyon and climbed onto a nearly submerged rock. Robert Leslie Arnold tied a rope around his waist and was lowered over the retaining wall or spillway, part of the city lower power plant, over which the water was rushing in torrents. Arnold reached a rock about 20 feet from the stranded Holmes and threw him a rope. Holmes had to leap into the current to get the rope. Arnold tugged on the rope for what the report said was so long that Holmes' life was in doubt, but finally got him to his rock and half-carried him to the spillway and then lifted him into a waiting boat. [From The Times-Register, May 3, 1921, p. 6. A report in the same paper of May 11 differs in a few details of the rescue, including which of the two men in the boat became stranded and reporting that Arnold swam to the stranded man rather than threw him a rope. Both reports note that Arnold's rescue was after numerous other failed attempts by others.] cmb
1922: From a front-page article in the Times-Register, July 7, 1922: "Central Idaho Has a Scenic Asset in Lava - 'Crater of the Moon,' As Section is Called, (is) Located Near City of Idaho Falls - Phenomena Very Little Known Even in State To Be Made Available for Tourist Travel - Recently there has come into the limelight a rugged section of central Idaho, which has been given the name 'The Valley of the Moon.' Few sections of the great west are more attractive or show a more wondrous diversity than does this area in a few short miles. From ribbons of lava beds a few miles wide, containing chimneys and wide chasms, the scenery will suddenly change to fertile lands which grow an abundance of grass or fine crops...The lava beds in question, while adjacent to Idaho Falls, are little known to the people of this section...Good roads have been built and arrangements for the care of tourists are being made so that they may be able to depend on water, gas and provisions....The lava beds are unique...It is expected that with the present-day publicity being given that the 'Valley of the Moon' will make aside trip for scores of tourists on their way to the Yellowstone." And from History - Craters Of The Moon National Monument & Preserve (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov): The first major exploration of the region was by Robert Limbert, a taxidermist and outdoorsman, in 1920. The following year Robert led 10 scientists and civic leaders into the lava beds, and sent scrapbooks of his trips to President Calvin Coolidge, who designated it as a National Monument in 1924. cmb
1922 [Additional statement]: A young man, Don Bradbury, son of William Bradbury, a former mayor of Idaho Falls, planned the first "wireless station" in Idaho Falls [See "Wireless Station Planned for IF, Times Register, Feb. 17, 1922]. The first radio station in Idaho Falls, KGIO, which shortly became KID, began broadcasting on Dec. 3, 1928. The usefulness of radio to share the gospel to the city of Idaho Falls was quickly realized by Christian leaders in the city; services of the Presbyterian Church began to be broadcast in January, 1929. Effective outreach to the city through radio has continued to this day by several Idaho Falls pastors and churches, including Pastor Rick Brown's broadcasts over REV Radio starting in the early 1990's and Pastor Jose Favela's outreach through radio to the Idaho Falls Latino community that began in 2002. cmb
1923: Dr. Joseph Gulick wrote in his autobiography, "This was to be the story of our years of ministry in Idaho Falls – through daily prayer attempting to secure God’s guidance, and in every crisis, going into the sanctuary at night, lifting our eyes to the beautiful dome above and beseeching God for help!” For more of his story see section 6.1.2 of https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/jesus-church-called-and-sent. cmb
1924: Evangelistic meetings were held at the Baptist Church in Idaho Falls from March 11 through March 25, 1924, led by Rev. E. O. Butler, pastor of the Blackfoot Baptist Church. The Times Register reported concerning the final meeting, "Despite the baby blizzard the church was crowded. Every chair in the house was brought in...Rev. Butler gave a stirring message on 'The Reasonable of Christian Faith.' Several men and women, as well as young people, took a stand to lead the Christian life. At the close of the service the pastor baptized three young people. Nine had been baptized in the morning. In every way the two weeks of meetings have been successful and very helpful to all who attended....Quite a number have united with the church and others will unite with other churches of the city."
1925: Revival services were held throughout the month of March, sponsored by the Idaho Falls Union, an association of churches, and led by Rev. and Mrs. Elmer P. Loose. The Times-Register of March 20, 1925 reported that "nearly 200 had come forward to own Christ." The March 3rd Times-Register commented “…our city needs a season of prayer and spiritual uplift and seeking after the things that pertain to God and righteousness.” The Times-Register of March 6th reported good crowds with the church auditorium nearly filled. cmb
1925 [Additional statement] A discount clothing store called The Golden Rule opened in Idaho Falls on August 30, 1902 [Idaho Falls Times, August 21, 1902], and stayed in business for 25 years [Times-Register, February 8, 1927]. Stores with the same name opened in Rigby, Saint Anthony, Ashton, Blackfoot and dozens of other cities in Idaho during this same time period, as well as many towns in other states as well. While I found a few references to The Golden Rule stores as early as 1869 (Juliet, Iowa); 1872 (Milford, Delaware) and 1874 (Woodsfield, Ohio), judging by the number of references, Idaho had the most stores in the nation and Idaho Falls newspapers had several times more ads for The Golden Rule store than newspapers from any other town in the state. Starting in 1923, the store in Idaho Falls handed over their entire operation to women from church societies for a period of about two weeks. From the Times-Register of March 27, 1925: "The new management and sales force take hold Saturday, March 28th, for thirteen days. The ten women's church societies of Idaho Falls go into the retail business to raise funds for their various charities...A considerable percentage of the total sales of every department will be turned over to these societies for their charities... " The advertisement goes on to name ten women who will take over the roles of General Manager, Superintendent, Merchandise Manager and Assistant, Advertising Manager, Floor Managers, Style Review Director and Assistant Style Review Director. Twenty additional women became the sales force. In addition to contributing to the groups these women represent from store sales, "Each day during this event the various ladies' societies will serve a luncheon to their patrons. Each society has taken a day for serving. The entire proceeds from the luncheons will go towards carrying on their various charities." In earlier years the store donated large amounts of money to local churches and charities, such as the Salvation Army.
If you Google something like "Golden Rule Store history," most all hits will discuss how James Cash Penny took a job as a clerk at a Golden Rule store in Kemmerer, Wyoming in 1902. They point out that his father, a Baptist minister, instilled the golden rule and other Scripture into the lives of his twelve children. J. C. Penney eventually bought out the Golden Rule store in Kemmerer and opened many other stores with the same name in subsequent years. Then in 1913 he changed the name of his stores to the J. C. Penny Company. Apparently prior to Penny's association with The Golden Rule stores, they were completely independent and had no single originator, and even afterward most remained independent.
The proprietor of the Idaho Falls Golden Rule store was George S. Samsel. According to an article in the Post Register, Jan. 7, 1940, "Born in Missouri in 1862, Mr. Samsel came west when he was 33 and tried a number of towns in Colorado and Montana before deciding on Idaho Falls for his home. His coming in 1902 was marked almost immediately by construction of the Samsel block on Broadway and Park Avenue....Mr. Samsel was not only a successful merchandiser - with J. C. Penney and C. C. Anderson [the Boise Golden Rule store proprietor] he formed the original Golden Rule buying syndicate - but he was a man whose vision told him a city was more than a collection of individuals, stores and industries..."
This practice of the IF Golden Rule Stores turning over their operations to Christian women had a precedence in Idaho Falls. In 1904 the Griffith Hardware and Plumbing Company turned their store over to women of the Village Improvement Society for a day and gave all profits to the women’s group. [Idaho Falls Times, June 20, 1904]. cmb
1926: From the Times-Register, June 11, 1926, p. 8: "Sunday School Convention for I.F. - On Tuesday, June 15th there will be held in Idaho Falls, at the First Christian church, one of a series of ten convention institutes under the auspices of the Idaho Council of Religious Education, which represents virtually every Protestant denomination in the state. Every Sunday school in southeastern Idaho is asked to send its pastor, superintendent, teachers and every adult Bible school worker who can possibly attend...." cmb
1926 [additional statement #1]: Lewis Edward Hall was born in Moscow, Idaho in 1889. When he registered for the draft in 1917 he was attending Northwest Nazarene College as a theological student and requested an exemption from the draft for his religious beliefs. By then he had married and had had four children, but one daughter had died before age 2, in 1909. In 1919 one of his sons died very suddenly at age 11 of an undiagnosed illness. By 1920 he was pastoring the Nazarene Church in Nampa, and then pastored churches in Oregon for several years. During this time, in 1925, he came to Idaho Falls and helped organize the Nazarene Church here. Each of the following two years, he came back to lead a two week evangelistic campaigns. The ad for the campaign in the Idaho Falls Post of August 6, 1926 reads, "An old-time revival tent meeting. Central school grounds, Idaho Falls, beginning Friday night at 8 and continuing each evening until August 22. You will hear the same old time gospel that was taught by John Wesley, General Booth, George Fox and others that moved men to God and righteousness. Preaching and singing that you will enjoy. Church of the Nazarene, Rev. Lewis E Hall Evangelist, Rev. Hollis Grubb, singer." In 1939, his eighth and last year as superintendent of the Rocky Mountain District of the Church of the Nazarene, which included Montana and Wyoming, Rev. Lewis returned to Idaho Falls for another two-week evangelistic campaign. By that time he had organized 22 churches in Idaho, Montana and Washington. He retired to Caldwell after 40 years of ministry, most of it as an evangelist, conducting dozens of campaigns in numerous towns Idaho, plus some in Montana, Wyoming and Washington, and according to newspaper reports, many to capacity crowds. He died in 1963. cmb
1926 [additional statement #2]: From the Times Register, March 9, 1926, p. 1: "Members of Methodist Congregation of Idaho Falls Rejoice Over Burning of Mortgage - Last Sunday was one of, if not the biggest, day in the history of the Methodist church in Idaho Falls, the occasion being one of rejoicing that all debts and obligations owed by the church organization have been wiped out and freedom from debt was used as an occasion for the celebration held....The service Sunday was an all-day session attended by a large number of members and friends with dinner served to over 400 people....The present membership numbers 471, which shows the rapid progress this great church has made in this vicinity..." cmb
1926 [additional statement #3] Rev R. D. Ballard was born in Scotland, and when 2-months old was abandoned in a bundle of newspapers on the streets of Dundee. Prior to his conversion to Christ he was a drug smuggler and white slaver" in the Chinese underworlds of major cities in the US and other countries. He hated the Bible and served time in Sing Sing prison for burning churches. After his conversion he shared his testimony throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. In Idaho Falls he spoke at the Presbyterian Church, at First Christian Church, and to a packed crowd at the County Courthouse. From Idaho Falls Time Register, Jan 12, 1926, p. 5, and the Idaho Falls Daily Post, January 9, 1926. p. 8; January 12, p. 1 and January 14, p 5. cmb
1927: Judge W. D. Huffaker invited representatives of all Idaho Falls churches and civic groups to meet in his office on December 22 to co-ordinate meeting the needs of all who need help in Idaho Falls. From "Representatives of Churches and Lodges to Meet Thursday," Times-Register, Dec. 13, 1927, p. 1. The same article also reports that the Bonneville County Commissioners were planning to collect and give out men's, women's and children's clothing and also blankets to the needy. cmb
1927 [Additional statement]: Quoting Psalm 100:4-5, Idaho Governor H. C. Baldridge proclaimed November 24 as a public holiday of thanksgiving and prayer. "Governor Urges Thanksgiving Prayer," Times-Register, Nov. 15, 1927. cmb
1928: Women in most churches in Eagle Rock and early Idaho Falls formed Missionary Societies to encourage and support world missions. From a report in the Post Register September 28, 1965, "In 1928 "representatives of all local churches met at the First Christian Church and organized (the United Church Women of Idaho Falls.)" They sponsored the first World Day of Prayer in Idaho Falls on March 4, 1928, and this became an annual event for more than 40 years. cmb
1928 [Additional statement] Wilson Carlson jumped from high rocks on the west bank the river just below the railroad bridge to save John Nelson, who had been playing on the rocks along the river and slipped into the main channel of the river, which was swift and deep at that point. Wilson did not hesitate once he heard screams from the boy but then he went under water. Wilson was able to locate him, bring him to the bank and revive him using first aid techniques he had learned in Boy Scouts. [from Times-Register, June 29, 1928, p. 1.] cmb
1929: In the spring of 1928 Bonneville County Commissioners agreed to acquire 200 acres of land "near the old brick plant on the west side and just above town." (Idaho Falls Times-Register, March 6, 1928, p. 1). The first passenger flight departing from the Idaho Falls Municipal Airport was in 1929 (Mary Jane Fritzen, Idaho Falls, City of Destiny, p. 129). The airport was served by National Park Airways, which provided airmail and passenger service. In 1929 they carried 360 passengers. ["Wright brothers linked to I.F. aviation," Post Register, July 31, 2005, p. G9]. etw/cmb
1930: The 1930 census of Kearney, Nebraska shows the occupation of Rev. Terrell C. Newby as "Whole Gospel Church Evangelist" and that of his wife Anna K Newby as "Whole Gospel Church Pastor." This couple had pastored a church in Mackay, Idaho in the 1920's and returned to Idaho in late spring of 1930. They started a church in Firth and about six months later held revival meetings in Idaho Falls, which led to the formation of "Bethel, Church of the Whole Gospel." Anna pastored the church the remainder of the year before turning it over to Rev. H. R. Zelmer. Bethel Church was initially affiliated with the Bible Standard association of churches, but in 1932 affiliated with the Assemblies of God. The church went through several name changes, in 1982 to New Life Assembly, and in 2018 left the Assembly of God denomination to become an independent church, renamed "The Bridge." See an unpublished 2-page history of New Life Assembly and also the article "Evangelists Get New Church Here," in the Idaho Falls Daily Post of Sept. 4, 1930, p. 2. cmb
1931: Paul G. Wapato, a member of the Wenatchee tribe and an evangelist, spoke at nightly meetings at two Idaho Falls churches from May 3rd to 17th. The May 4th Idaho Falls Times reported that there was a "huge crowd" at the opening service Sunday night at the Baptist Church, "taxing the capacity of the church building," and so the following night the meeting was moved to the Methodist Church to accommodate more people. The remainder of the series returned to the Baptist Church. Native Americans from Fort Hall provided music at one of the meetings. [Announcement and reports of the meetings are given in the Idaho Falls Times of April 10th and 17tth, May 1st, 8th, and 15th.] cmb
1931 [Additional statement #1] According to the book Assemblies of God in Southern Idaho - A History, 1993, p. 95, "A miracle occurred in 1931. Mel Casper's wife, Leona, was very ill. She felt as if she was sinking in darkness. Mrs. Newby prayed for her and she was healed and felt as if she was lifted up out of the darkness." According to the Idaho Falls Daily Post, Oct. 5, 1931, p. 2, later that year Mel and Leona's 16-year old son Dale fractured his skull when he fell while playing tag on horseback, but after a week in the hospital returned home and went on to a full recovery. While the newspaper does not mention prayer, it's a safe assumption that his parents and others prayed for him and gave glory to Jesus for his recovery. cmb
1931 [Additional statement #2] From the autobiography of Dr. Joseph Gulick, two of the goals of the First Presbyterian Church in 1931 were: “(1) a 25% increase in average attendance and (2) a new experience of the Presence of Christ in our lives, with a new loyalty to the church and the Kingdom." Knowing that they would need God's Spirit to achieve those goals, the church made that year, which was their 40th anniversary, a year of prayer. cmb
1932: In November, 1932, 21-year old Reverend Arden Ragsdale came to Idaho Falls as the first Assembly of God pastor. Born in Middleton, Canyon County, Idaho, Rev. Ragsdale had just married Viola Peterson in late October, in San Joaquin, California. He came as pastor of what was originally Bethel Full Gospel Church, but with the encouragement of Rev. Allen Brown, a pastor in Firth, affiliated with the Assemblies of God, a process that began in late 1932 and was completed the following year. Following his time in Idaho Falls, Rev. Ragsdale pastored in The Dalles, Oregon; Jackson, Michigan; and Redding, California. cmb
1932 [additional statement]: Idaho Governor C. Ben Ross issued a proclamation that read, "The federal council of churches of Christ in America has set aside the week of October 2 to 8 to be observed as a special week of prayer. In view of the fact that our country is today passing through a grave crisis this observance is especially appropriate. It is my belief that a complete return to the principles exemplified by prayer would do much to solve the problems confronting our people. Therefore I, C. Ben Ross, Governor of the state of Idaho, call upon our citizens to give themselves personally and corporately in prayer to Almighty God during the week of October 2 to 8, 1932, set aside especially for that purpose." The federal council of churches referred to in the proclamation represented 26 of the "leading Protestant bodies in America," and the call for "a period of penitence and prayer" was issued by its commission on evangelism. Among the churches in Idaho Falls that responded were the Baptist church that scheduled a Wednesday evening time for united prayer and the Church of the Nazarene that held prayer meetings Wednesday and Friday evenings. [From the Post Register, Sept. 30, 1932, p. 10]
1933: Rev. Granville S. Stacker was a farmer in Tennessee, then operated a grocery store in Cheyenne, Wyoming and began filling pulpits around 1918. He came to Idaho Falls in late December 1922 to speak at a month of "religious meetings," and moved here later in 1923. While continuing in the grocery business in Idaho Falls, he pastored the Second Baptist Church, the first black congregation in Idaho Falls. Rev. Stacker married Leah Norman in Bonneville County in 1926. He died here in 1933, and is buried in Rose Hill cemetery. [References and more of his story will be added to the Jesus in Idaho Falls book and the link added here when available.] cmb
1934: Pastor Arvid Johnson of the Mission Covenant Church in Idaho Falls wrote in his annual report, "“It is evident that what we need is a mighty spiritual awakening. We need to all be so gripped by the power of God. And our zeal and earnestness in spiritual things so fired that our greatest interest will be that the will and purpose of God shall be accomplished in and through our lives. Nothing short of a spiritual awakening will bring about such a victory." cmb
1934 [additional statement]: According to an article in the Post Register, September 10, 1934, "From the charter group of eight members the congregation (of the Baptist church) has increased to more than 200 resident members. The Rev. W. L. Goodspeed of Oakland, Calif., recently took over the pastorate of the church. The church was enlarged and improved in many ways the past year and was dedicated before hundreds of city residents January 28, 1934, at a special ceremony held at the church." cmb
1935: Pastor Gustaf Theodore Peterson was born in Östergötland, Sweden in 1856. Immigrating to the US in 1880, he married in 1891 and pastored churches in DeKalb, Illinois and Pilot Mound, Iowa before coming to New Sweden in 1909. At that time the Swedish Mission church had been without a pastor for several months. Gustaf, who went by his initials "G.T.," accepted preaching responsibilities at the church while working a farm in New Sweden to support his family. According to church records during those years, they experienced discouraging times, but Pastor Peterson displayed strong leadership. He continued as their pastor until July of 1929 when the church merged with the Swedish Evangelical Mission Church in Idaho Falls. One of G.T.'s daughters, E. Victoria, married a pastor, William H. Gang, who served in community churches in Rigby, Ririe, Rexburg, and Shelley for almost 20 years and then for several more years in Mackey until his death. One of G.T.'s sons became a prominent Idaho Falls attorney, the other son farmed in New Sweden. Pastor G.T. Peterson, his wife, and all four of his children and their spouses are buried in Rose Hill Cemetery. cmb
1936: Brazilla Worth Clark came to Idaho Falls with his family at the age of 4 in 1884. Following a few years working as an engineer, he won a seat on the Idaho Falls City Council in 1908 and served on the Council until becoming mayor in 1913. He was re-elected mayor of the city in 1926 and served until becoming governor of Idaho in 1936. Defeated in the 1939 election for governor, he came home to Idaho Falls and researched local history, documenting his research in Bonneville County in the Making, which he published in 1941. He died two years later. [From Willard Barnes, "Brazilla Worth Clark," Idaho's Governors: Historical Essays on their Administrations, Boise State University, May 1978.] cmb
1937: Pastor Enoch Sandeen. as recorded in the First Evangelical Lutheran Church's 100th Anniversary book, published in 1998. "Pastor Sandeen preached with a thick Swedish accent. A native of Sweden, he represented our roots, yet he reminded us that the sharing of God's Word took precedence over historical origins. In 1939, we changed our name to the First Evangelical Lutheran Church, and in 1940 we began a fund raising drive for a new church building." etw
1937 [additional statement]: Baptist churches in Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Blackfoot, American Falls, Arco and Roberts held a simultaneous week-long evangelistic campaign that included daily prayer meetings, three nights of preaching with special speakers and three nights of leadership dinners followed by visiting homes. In Idaho Falls, Rev. W. A. Phillips, director of evangelism for Idaho, Montana, Utah and Nevada, spoke at the junior and senior high schools and to the Kiwanis club. On Friday night he spoke at the First Baptist Church, telling about his mission work among the Garos, a primitive, head-hunting tribe in northern India. [From the Post Register, October 28, 1937, p. 6.] cmb
1938: According to Mary Jane Fritzen in Idaho Falls, City of Destiny, pp. 42 & 187, Idaho Falls celebrated the 150th anniversary of the US Constitution along with the inauguration of our first president from 1937 to 1939. She writes that it was common for Idaho Falls to celebrate Constitution Week, but for the Sesquicentennial, the celebration was extended over 3 years! Idaho Falls celebrated the US Constitution Bicentennial for 5 years, 1987-1991! cmb
1938 [Additional statement]: Rev. Harry Kriefall was called to St. John's Lutheran Church in Idaho Falls just after he completed his seminary education in 1930. In 1938 he started a Day School a block east of the Idaho Falls High School, and that year he taught all four grades. The first year was somewhat of an experiment to see how the school would be received by the Christian community of Idaho Falls. The response was so positive that within two years the school had expanded to 9 grades. No tuition was charged, only fees for supplies and rental of books. Growth continued and larger facilities were built in 1947. At that point, after serving in Idaho Falls for nearly 17 years, and having also filled pulpits at times in Pocatello, Aberdeen, Blackfoot, Sugar City, Ashton, Squirrel and Swan Valley, Rev. Kriefall was called to the pastorate in Havilah, Washington. (From various Post Register articles, 1937-1997) cmb
1939: From "Preparation For The Golden Anniversary," Vol. 4, Rev. J. I. Gulick, First Presbyterian Church, pp. 21-22, writing about a meeting held November 22, 1939. The alternative to a fund drive that was discussed but not chosen was to refinance their debt over a 20-year period. It was a struggle and debate for the group in that meeting, but in faith they took on the mountain before them. And God rewarded their faith - the fund drive was successful, so that the church was debt-free by April 29, 1941, their 50th anniversary. Pastor Gulick added this personal note from Dec. 31, 1938, "Went into the church auditorium at 11 p,m. that same night, with faintest lights above, and listened as rain poured on the dome of the church in the closing hours of the old year! 'The winter rains that water the purposes of God,' I thought. And I prayed for God to move the hearts of His people from 'unfaith' to 'faith'. And I left the darkened church with my heart at peace. God is able to do it! (p. 23). Another note about the same night from p. 43: "I go into the auditorium alone under the dome lights and just 'rest my soul in God' and His Nameless Goodness! (I) pray and pray again in gladness for the church free of debt! Feel so very light and strange! No cloud! No weight! Church free of debt a vast future open before us! I kiss the Holy Book. Press it to my heart! And before I leave at midnight, I read again the date recorded on our 45th anniversary (p. 13). So God keeps faith and brings every Promise to fulfillment! Amen and amen." etw
1940: The first service of the Gospel Truth Tabernacle was Sept. 24, 1940, according to the Post Register, Sept 22, 1940. The church building was built by Donald F Austin and his father and brothers, according to Don's son, Ken. Don Austin grew up on farms just north of Idaho Falls. He went to Bible school in Oregon, pastored briefly in Fruitland and Albion and then returned in the late 1930's to Idaho Falls at the request of his brothers for the purpose of pastoring the new church, and the Lord kept him in pastoral positions here for 50 years. For photos of Donald Austin and more of his story see Section 6.1.1 of https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/jesus-church-called-and-sent. cmb
1941: Hazel Oral Wood grew up in the town of Kimberly, Idaho, near Twin Falls, and led the youth group of the Kimberly Methodist Church. Following her education at the University of Chicago, she spent 5 summers in the Ashrams in India of Methodist missionary and theologian E. Stanley Jones and then 12 years in India as a missionary teacher. Some Post Register reports also state she spent 12 years in China, and Post Register reports also conflict in exactly where she taught in India, but the most frequent report is Calcutta. She returned to Idaho in 1941 and was hired by the Idaho Falls Ministerial Association to teach high school students Biblical literature and Bible history for credit, the classes held at First Lutheran Church. She also served as music director at Trinity Methodist Church. She is not to be confused with another Hazel Wood, an Idaho Falls native who was also a teacher and served in various positions at Trinity Methodist Church, including missionary secretary and librarian, about 30 years before Hazel O. Wood came to Idaho Falls. Sources include the Post Register, March 26, 1941, April 2, 1941, October 24, 1941, April 9, 1942, and Feb. 4, 1943. cmb
1941 [Additional statement] Post Register, Dec 8, 1941, p. 9: "We go forward with a prayer on our lips for our President and for the men in the armed service of the country confident that victory will be ours." etw
1942: The first notice of these two congregations meeting is in the Post Register of July 31, 1942, p. 12. By 1949 the Issei congregation was meeting at 344 Fifth Street. Also in 1942, the US government established a Japanese internment camp 132 miles southwest of Idaho Falls at Minidoka, where nearly 10,000 Japanese Americans were held for four years. The Japanese congregations in Idaho Falls are a testimony to Jesus' compassion displayed in His church. cmb
1943: 1943 and 1944 both had record potato crops according to the article "Eastern Idaho joins the war effort," in the Post Register, Dec. 24, 1999. cmb
1944: The earliest reference I could find to the Idaho Falls Ministerial Association was in 1901, but it may well have started earlier. In 1944 the Association included the Mission Covenant, Trinity Methodist, the Salvation Army, First Lutheran, St. John’s, Episcopal, the Nazarene, Presbyterian, Assembly of God, Gospel Truth, First Christian and First Baptist churches. In January the Ministerial Association sponsored a 6-day leadership training school with courses in the New Testament and evangelism. In April they had joint Holy Week services, including a Good Friday cantata. In May they sponsored a "Family Week." In July and August they put on a series of four union services on the courthouse steps. The first of these services featured Dr. Irving G Roddy, pastor of the First Baptist church of Boise, speaking on “The Christian Church in This Age.” Dr. Roddy was born in China of missionary parents, became a member of the NY Bar Association before entering the ministry, was a trustee of Linfield College, a member of the board of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society and the author of several books. The speaker for the second service was Pastor Kenneth Edwins of Boise, speaking on “This is the Victory.” He was also born in China. The guest speaker for the third service was Rev. Donald Nortduff, graduate of Boston School of Theology and summer associate at First Methodist church in Pocatello. In September Rev. C. L. Wiseman, representing the Ministerial Association, was one of four speakers at a meeting at the Bonneville court room calling for a grand jury investigation into “corruption in public office.” That same month, in response to the Idaho Falls mayor calling for a day of worship in conjunction with V Day, the Association urged all people of the community to attend a community-wide worship service at the Junior High school. In November they put on a Union Thanksgiving service. [From several 1944 Idaho Falls newspaper articles and news items.] cmb
1944 [additional statement]: An article in the Post Register, Aug. 4, 1944, p. 5 reported that the Gideons Society would place 100 Bibles in the Rogers Hotel in Idaho Falls, and that this was the Gideons' first mission in the city. Later that year there was a rally in Idaho Falls put on by the Gideons that was expected to draw a large crowd from all over Idaho. However, the vice president of the Colorado chapter of the Gideons Society spoke in Idaho Falls in both 1918 and 1919 (Idaho Falls Daily Post, Sept. 12, 1918 & May 13, 1919), thus there may have been distributions of Bibles by the Gideons in Idaho Falls prior to 1944 that the Post Register reporter was unaware of. cmb
1945: September 2, 1945 (Sunday) Post Register front page headline: "Bloodiest War Officially Ends Sunday"; secondary headline: "Mountains, Celebrations Will Attract Crowds". 110 servicemen from Bonneville County were killed in the war. On V-E Day, Rev. C. L. Wiseman, president of the Idaho Falls Ministerial Association, said "Increasingly, there dawns upon us the realization of the intervention of a good God in this global war. We shudder at what might have happened if our enemies had been successful a few critical times and may the goodness of God humble us and give us the will and the wisdom to walk in the way of world peace and brotherhood." [Post Register, May 7, 1945, p 7] etw
1946: Carolyn Teague served as a Methodist missionary in Japan from 1912 until 1941. After spending a year in her home state of Alabama, she came to Eastern Idaho to work with Japanese residents and through her work (with Olive Curry, see below) saw more than 100 come to faith in Christ. In 1946 she was able to return to Japan. Upon leaving Idaho Falls she commented, "Looking forward to the future. I think (returning) is the thing to do. I have spent more than half my life there, know the language, and the need for work there is great. I have been glad to be here (in Idaho Falls). It has been a great joy...and my work here has been worthwhile." [Post Register, May 24, 1946, p. 5]
1946 [additional statement]: Chief White Eagle, recognized at the time as America’s “foremost Indian evangelist,” spoke at meetings at the Baptist Church in Idaho Falls on June 30, 1946. By then, Chief White Eagle had completed three preaching tours across the United States, and was on his fourth tour in which he planned to speak at 300 reservations throughout the country. He was born in Oklahoma and raised on a reservation in Texas. In the 1940’s he started and pastored a church for seven years on a reservation near Livingston, Texas and then continued speaking tours at least until 1967. [From the Post Register, June 28, 1946 (which confuses him with another Texas pastor, T. Gerald Cates, who was not Native American) and numerous Texas newspapers, 1940-1967.]
Miss Olive Curry was born in Pennsylvania and served in as a Methodist missionary in Japan from 1925 to when she was forced to evacuate in 1941. She was assigned by the Methodist Mission Board with Miss Teague to evangelize and teach Japanese in 1942 and did so until returning to Japan in late 1946. The two women were responsible for forming the two congregations of Japanese that met in the Methodist church in the 1940s and into the 50’s. [Primary reference: “Miss Olive Curry to Return Soon to Nagasaki,” Post Register, Nov. 18, 1946, p.5] cmb
1947: Rev. John W. Ellison grew up in Boise and following high school there obtained his BA degree from Harvard. Continuing his education at Virginia Theological Seminary, he then obtained a bachelor of divinity degree from the Episcopal Theological school in Cambridge, Massachusettes followed by a Master of Theology degree at Harvard Divinity school. His dissertation for his doctoral degree was published as "Nelson's Concordance," which is still in use today. His first pastorate was at St. John's Episcopal Church in Idaho Falls, beginning in 1947. He later wrote a historical fiction book, "Judith and the Emperors," a historical novel which begins in Jerusalem in 28 A.D. and ends in Rome in 64 A.D, portraying the life of a Jewish slave and a Roman centurion who are drawn into the tumult of early Christianity and Roman politics. [From Post Register, Sept 16, 1947, p. 3 & Judith and the Emperors: Ellison, John W.: 9780897168618: Amazon.com: Books]. cmb
1948: The Idaho Falls Ministerial Association sponsored a religious survey in which 200-some people from the churches of Idaho Falls sought to visit every home in the city. The purpose of the survey was not specifically to share the gospel, but to determine the religious makeup in Idaho Falls, and this doubtless led to conversations about the gospel and invitations to attend church. The volunteers visited all homes in town and talked to people in all but about 500 in which they found no one at home. Only 13 refused to talk with the volunteers. They did not record the number of "non-religious" that they visited, but they did record the results from 10,432 residents and found 7103 to be LDS; 1006 Methodists; 673 Presbyterians; 531 Roman Catholics: 321 Baptists; 206 Lutherans of all branches; 164 Christians/Disciples of Christ; 137 Episcopalians; 56 Pentecostals; 55 who identified with Christian Science; 55 Mission Covenant; 25 Nazarene; 24 Salvation Army; 20 Seventh Day Adventist; 20 Jewish; 15 Congregational; 10 Greek Orthodox; 10 Jehovah’s Witnesses; and 1 Amish. From The Post Register, March 4, 8, 11 & 14, 1948.
The IF Ministerial Association also performed a census in 1940, in which they contacted 12,653 residents, out of an estimated 15,000 total in the city. The census showed only 2% of the population without a church membership or preference. [Post Register, April 4, 1940, pp 1 & 3] cmb
1949: Post Register, March 23, 1949, p. 1:"Desert Area Site of Plant - The new national reactor testing station of the atomic energy commission will be built on a sparsely populated desert area centering 19 miles southeast of here..." According to Ben Plastino in his book Coming of Age: Idaho Falls and the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, 1949-1999, the selection of "the Site" west of Idaho Falls as opposed to competing sites in three other counties in Idaho and in other states, and the decision to make Idaho Falls the headquarters city for AEC Idaho Operations were both made by one man, J. Bion Philipson. Bion stayed in Idaho Falls until 1960, for two years as AEC Idaho Program Coordinator and then as Assistant Manager for Idaho Operations, a position in which he was responsible for coordination and direction of all phases of technical operations, health physics and medical services. Leaving to take a position with Aerojet General Corporation's Solid Rocket Division in California, he returned to Idaho Falls in the fall of 1967 as President and General Manager of the primary Site contractor at that time, Idaho Nuclear Corporation, a subsidiary of Aerojet. While J. Bion Philipson played an important role in the history of the INL; his son Jim became a pastor and served in an Idaho Falls church from 1984 to 1992. For a short history of the INL, see Appendix 1 of https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/references-appendices. etw/cmb
1950: From the Post Register, Dec 6, 1950: "For the past seven week period pastors from five churches have been meeting at 10 am each morning for prayers for a citywide revival. Participating pastors include the Rev. Paul Childers, Assembly of God Church, the Rev. J. Leroy Johnson, First Church of the Nazarene; the Rev. Milton Opsahl, Mission Covenant Church, the Rev. Donald Austin, Gladstone Chapel, the Rev. Kenneth Ebb, Lutheran Church and the Rev. Mr. Shipp, First Baptist Church." cmb
1950 [Additional statement] On a Thanksgiving trip, Idaho Falls resident Will Mudge and his family hit a patch of ice and skidded into a snowbank. Will was getting tire chains out of the trunk of his car when another car hit the same patch of ice and skidded into him. Will was thrown unconscious onto the pavement, his leg severed. Because of heavy traffic and bad road conditions, it took an ambulance two and a half hours to get to him. Once in the hospital, doctors told his parents and wife that he would die, or if he lived, he would have permanent brain damage and be in a vegetative state. Six months later, with an artificial leg, he returned to work. Will credits his recovery to a massive prayer effort. However it took another life-threatening illness with another massive prayer effort leading to his recovery again plus interactions years later with individuals and groups in the charismatic renewal movement in Idaho Falls before Will allowed the Lord to turn his life around and begin to use him. In the 1970's he coordinated Lay Witness Missions for churches of different denominations in several Western states. [From the Article "Will Mudge knows...'All you have to do is ask,' Post Register Supplement, "Christians in Action," undated, probably early 1977.] cmb
1951: Taken from Norma Rathbun, Highlights in the History of Calvary Baptist Church, Idaho Falls, Idaho, prepared for the 20th anniversary of the church, 1971. etw
1951 [Additional statement]: In 1951 the Experimental Breeder Reactor demonstrated the production of electricity through nuclear fission, powering four light bulbs. Four years later, Arco became the first town to be powered by nuclear-generated electricity. The global significance of the experiments at the NRTS and later the INEL that demonstrated the safe production of electricity from nuclear reactors can hardly be overstated. As of late 2021, 440 nuclear reactors provide 10% of the world's electricity needs [https://world-nuclear.org/], and 20% of the electricity used in the United States. Every reactor owes its success to some degree to work done at the NRTS/INEL. etw/cmb
1952: (1) p. 89, Southern Baptists in the Intermountain West (1940-1989) by E.W. Hunk Jr: Calvary Baptist Church organized the Gooding First Southern Baptist Church on November 20, 1952 under the leadership of Pastor C. Lee Bullard of Idaho Falls. (2) And as recorded in First Evangelical Lutheran Church's 100th Anniversary book, published in 1998, "At the same time, Pastor Sammy (Carl Samuelson) was quick to recognize the potential for spiritual development of Southern Idaho's youth. An 11-acre Forest Service plot in Stanley Basin near Lake Alturas was made available for a youth camp in 1952." etw
1953: Calvary Baptist Church of Idaho Falls, which was only two years old, began mission projects in other communities in Idaho. Their first mission was to Pocatello, resulting in the First Southern Baptist Church in Pocatello being organized on June, 14, 1953. That same year they "voted to extend an arm of missions at Soda Springs, Preston, Mountain Home, and Glenns Ferry." From 1953 to 1995, Calvary Baptist planted churches or had missions in 20 communities in Idaho and non-English speaking ethnic groups in Idaho Falls. [From (1) 20th Anniversary History of Calvary Baptist Church, 1971 by Norma Rathbun; (2) 35th Anniversary History of CBC, (3) 50th Anniversary History of CBC, and (4) Post Register article, "Church Reaches Out to Minorities, by Gene Fadness, August 6, 1995.] cmb
1954: Pastor Aaron Lewis as described by Pastor Anthony Manzanares [Community Church of God in Christ began Nov. 17, 1949.]. etw
1954 [Additional statement]: According to the Salt Lake Tribune of July 16, 1954, a violent storm, 3 miles wide, passed from 4 miles southwest of Idaho Falls to about 6 miles north of town. The storm on July 15 brought 20 minutes of hail, rail and 75 mph winds. Over an inch of rain fell, causing flooding in basements, car-top deep water in G and D street underpasses, and causing the canal along 17th Street to break. An estimated 30-50% of the potato crop was destroyed, and many trees, power lines and telephone poles were blown down. cmb
1955: Born in Idaho Falls, Dennis Patterson grew up in a little wooden shack next to the Church of God in Christ building. He authored the books, "Whistleblower: Justice over Discrimination and Ethics Violations" (2014) and "Black Pearl: Living Black in Idaho" (2020). etw
1956 : Recorded in First Evangelical Lutheran Church's 100th Anniversary book, published in 1998. etw
1957: What is now Freeman Park was at one time an Native American campground. Then for many years it was the site of the Idaho Falls city dump. Garbage was openly burned, and because of the smoke, sand, weeds, tar-paper shacks and junked cars the area was known as Duttonville. In 1957 the land was given to the City of Idaho Falls for the purpose of transforming it into a park by Russell Freeman, who had purchased it from Barzilla Clark. Several thousand truck loads of soil were hauled in to cover the garbage and convert it into a park. From 1966 to 1973 it was named "Eagle Rock Park," then renamed after Russell Freeman, who was a city councilman for many years. [Primary reference, https://localnews8.com/news/2014/09/14/did-you-know-freeman-park-was-once-garbage-dump-slum/, also Post Register obituary of Russell Freeman, March 6, 1978] cmb
1957 [Additional Statement #1] Not counting church splits or churches that have planted ethnic congregations in Idaho Falls, as of January, 2022 I know of only 4 churches that have started a second church in the city. One of the earliest second churches of a given denomination was Hope Lutheran. cmb
1957 [Additional Statement #2] On May 26, 1957, Dr. O. H. Schmidt, executive secretary of foreign missions of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, officiated at the commissioning of Ralph Gihring as a Lutheran mission worker in the Far East mission field, at a service at St. John's Lutheran Church. He and his wife Dorothy and 1-year old daughter Susan were to spend five years in Japan, although after two years they were transferred to Hong Kong. Dorothy had grown up in Idaho Falls; Ralph in Cover, Idaho. He attended high school in Filer, then studied at St. John's Academy in Winfield, Kansas for two years, served four years in the Navy and then obtained a degree in accounting from Idaho State College, graduating just prior to his commissioning in 1957. He died from bulbar polio (now called "acute flaccid myelitis," or AFM) in Hong Kong on February 18, 1960, and his family, which by then included a 1-year old son as well as his 3-year old daughter, returned to Idaho Falls. [From Post Register articles, May 23, 1957, p. 19 & February 24, 1960, p. 2] cmb
From https://www.allabouthope.org/church-new/history-of-hope-lutheran/: "The Board of Missions of the Northwest District determined, during the year of 1956, that a second Missouri Synod Lutheran congregation was needed in Idaho Falls to serve the needs of the people and to spread the Word of God. Worship services began in 1957 with the first sermon based on 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I am determined to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” Attendance was 24 – 11 adults and 13 children. Initially, services were held in a room at the YMCA, but in the spring of 1958, construction of the new church began on E. 17th St. Services were held in the basement of the new building as soon as a roof was in place. The day school began in the basement in September 1958 with one teacher serving grades 1, 2, and 3. The building was completed and was dedicated to God’s glory on October 5, 1958. Hope had 86 members at this time. Due to Hope Lutheran’s growth over the years, ground breaking services for a larger church and school were held at 2071 12th St. (current location) on April 13, 1980..." cmb
1958: "Pastors Plan For Prayer Day," Post Register, Feb. 5, 1958. Rev. Clifford Berggren of First Lutheran Church spoke at Idaho Falls Sr. High School, Rev. H. A. Thon of the Church of the Nazarene at O. E. Bell Jr. High and Major Harold Nadeau of the Salvation Army at Central Intermediate School. cmb
1958 [Additional statement]: Erick Kaiser grew up in Montana and in 1954 planted a church in Billings. After his years in Idaho Falls, he purchased property in Gibbonsville, Idaho, built a home for his family and continued in ministry as an evangelist, travelling through the West and Midwest, and working for the Forest Service in the summers. From 1976 to 1998 he served as a missionary in Mexico, Brazil and Jamaica. He passed away at age 93 in 2021. [From https://www.tributearchive.com/obituaries/22077297/erick-kaiser] cmb
1959: See https://www.umt.edu/this-is-montana/columns/stories/earthquake-slide.php or any of many other online or published accounts of the Hebgen Lake Earthquake. Charles, age 8 at the time, was nine miles away from the epicenter that night and his father had driven along the road that was buried by the slide a couple hours before the mountain fell. The Idaho Falls family that was camping at the Rock Creek Campground was Robert J. and E. Coy Williams, ages 32 and 30, and their children Steven, 11, Michael, 7, and Christy, 3. Robert managed a plumbing and building supply store in Idaho Falls. cmb
1960: St. Paul's United Methodist Church was organized April 8, 1960 with 17 charter members and they held their first public worship service on June 5, 1960 in the lounge of the YMCA. The idea to form the church was born at a retreat of the Board of Trinity Methodist Church in 1957. "The rapid growth of the community was making the need for a second Methodist Church more obvious each year." From St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Idaho Falls, Idaho 1960-2010, Celebrating 50 years of Ministry in Mission. cmb
1961: Hazel Leisen was born on Christmas Day 1905 (or 1907 depending on the source), in North Dakota. She came to Rupert, Idaho with her family in 1920. After teaching school for 10 years in Rupert, she attended nursing school in Missoula, Montana and worked there as a registered nurse. Her nursing career then took her to Soda Springs, Idaho, Hawaii, Twin Falls and Boise, where she worked special duty for two hospitals. The last fifteen years of her life she lived in Idaho Falls working as the NRTS nurse. On the very cold night of January 4, 1961, at 9:01 pm the SL-1 reactor went critical and blew up. Two men died instantly, a third was badly mutilated. Removing him from the facility, they placed him on a stretcher and soon in an ambulance. Hazel drove out to meet the ambulance, heard what turned out to be his last breath, and tried to resuscitate him but to no avail. At 11:00 pm he was pronounce dead. The following year Hazel's efforts were recognized when she received a national award for heroism. Hazel never married and died in an Idaho Falls hospital in 1968 the day after her brother died in the same hospital. [From Susan Stacy, Proving the Principle, 2000, p. 144 & 156 and "Utah, Brigham City Family History Center, Obituary Collection, 1930-2015" as posted on FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:D9WY-BMPZ, December 3, 2020). cmb
1962: Donald K. Flint, the youngest of 10 siblings, grew up in Idaho Falls, graduating from Idaho Falls High School. His father was LDS all his life; his mother Methodist, although it appears that after his parents' divorce, when Donald was only 2 or 3 years old, she took the children to the Idaho Falls First Baptist Church. Donald graduated from the University of Idaho, interrupting his college years by working with a Baptist ministry for two years in a poverty-stricken area of the U.S. He then attended Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, while also serving as student pastor in a local Baptist church. He had a long career as a pastor and staff member of the American Baptist Home Mission Society in Detroit, Michigan. He came back to visit relatives in Idaho Falls a number of times, and preached at his brother Robert Flint's funeral in Idaho Falls in 2010. [from the Post Register, July 10, 1970, p.8, and several references attached to the FamilySearch profiles of his parents, KWJR-Y83 & KL6H-XM2] cmb
1962 [additional statement]: Source: https://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/1609/Imagine-IF (draft, p. 9) etw
1963: In the fall of 1963 Pastor Halvor Ness took a 3-month leave of absence from what was then The Mission Covenant Church of Idaho Falls to go as an evangelist to Norway. There he preached at 95 Sunday services and conducted 44 Bible study and prayer meetings. (From historical records of River of Life Church) cmb
1963 [Additional statement]: A steering committee of pastors from eight Idaho Falls churches, including Calvary Baptist Church, Central Bible Church, Mission Covenant Church, First Christian Church, Church of the Nazarene, United Pentecostal Church and two others organized a 10-day conference featuring Rev. Dr. Hyman Appelman of Kansas City. Dr. Hyman had been born into a Jewish family in Russia, became a successful trial lawyer in Chicago, but when visiting Kansas City picked up a Gideon Bible at the YMCA where he was staying which started him on the path toward conversion to Christ. He then studied at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Billy Graham wrote that "Dr. Appelman is one of the greatest and most powerful preachers of the Gospel I have ever listened to. I used to listen to him preach night after night and made notes on his sermons. Some of my own knowledge and inspiration concerning mass evangelism came from his ministry. Thousands of names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life because Dr. Appelman passed their way”. Following the meetings in Idaho Falls, people from additional churches followed up on those who indicated making decisions to receive Christ. Sources: https://www.sbcevangelist.org/hyman-appelman/ and Post Register, "Crusade Lectures to Begin Monday," July 7, 1963, p. 6. cmb
1964: - pp. 170-171, Southern Baptists in the Intermountain West (1940-1989) by E.W. Hunk Jr. Fifty-two churches sent 363 messengers and visitors. etw
1965: Rev. Carl W. Bruggemann, pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church of Idaho Falls and the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Arco, along with laymen from his churches and pastors and laymen from Lutheran churches in Pocatello, Aberdeen, and Ashton, distributed seven thousand tracts, hundreds of devotional books and some Bibles at a booth at the Eastern Idaho State Fair. Follow up calls were made by the pastors to people who desired them. [Post Register, September 17, 1965, p. 10] cmb
1966: Rev. George W. Laug came to Idaho Falls in 1966 to pastor the Mission Covenant Church for six years. Source: SE Idaho County Obituaries, Rev. George W. Laug; accessed via FamilySearch. cmb
1966 [Additional statement] Source: https://www.idahofallsidaho.gov/1609/Imagine-IF (draft, p. 9). etw
1967: Opening, illustrated introduction of The Behemoth '67, Skyline High School. etw
1968: A week of prayer for Christian unity, January 18 through January 25, was co-sponsored by the Idaho Falls Ministerial Association and the Regional Council for Christian Ministry. Meetings were held each evening at 7 pm at Christ the King Catholic Church. "It is the hope of all the participating churches and ministers that the visible unity of the congregations taking part in the celebration of this week of prayer will be recognized as a symbol of the reconciling Spirit of God. They are urging the members of the various local congregations to make use of this period for better understanding and fellowship with one another..." [Post Register, January 19, 1968. p. 8]. The Idaho Falls Regional Council for Christian Ministry also organized seven-week, Sunday evening adult education course, "Introduction to Christian Worship," led by three internationally known Christian theologians and a panel of local pastors [see article "Idaho Falls Churches Offer Unique Education Program," Post Register, January 12, 1968, p. 8. cmb
1969: From the Post Register, July 31, 2005, Section I, p. 4 (and also Mary Jane Fritzen in Idaho Falls, City of Destiny, p. 194) - The Eastern Idaho Vocational Technical School was founded in Idaho Falls in 1969. Classes were held in leased buildings, with 330 students attending the first year. cmb
1970: Rev. Albert Christian Schroeder started churches in Pratt, Kansas in 1844, Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1950 and Derby, Kansas in 1956 before coming to Idaho Falls as pastor of Hope Lutheran Church. See "Hope Lutheran Church to Install New Pastor," Post Register, Sept. 18, 1970. cmb
1971: One 18-year old who lived at the Idaho Falls Shiloh Home and greatly benefitted from it was Anthony Harper, now publisher of the Intermountain Christian News. Read his testimony at http://www.imcnews.org/paper/drharper.php. The Shiloh House in Idaho Falls was founded by Calvary Chapel leader George L. Bryson [Post Register, March 19, 1971.] cmb
1971 [additional statement]: Dr. James K. McConchie was a missionary in West Africa, what was then called the Gold Coast, from 1934 to 1938. He had studied at Southern California Bible College in Pasadena, the Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary and then Harvard and in Heidelberg, Germany before completing his doctorate at Columbia University. With the title of "Chief of Chaplains" he served for 22 years with the Department of Defense and became known as their personnel trouble shooter. During these years he was stationed in Europe, Korea and the Aleutians. He came to Idaho Falls in 1971 to pastor the First Christian Church, and during his years in Idaho Falls spoke to various civic groups. In a talk to the Idaho Falls Rotary Club, he shared how, in 1952, he and an assistant chaplain were seized in East Berlin by East German and Russian officials, beaten, questioned ceaselessly and mocked for his belief in God. In May of 1974 he underwent multiple spinal surgeries and the following year, retired to California, although in 1976 came out of retirement to pastor the South Pasadena Christian Church. [From South Pasadena Review, Nov. 17, 1976, p. 11; Post Register, April 4, 1973, p. A-7, Post Register May 24, 1974, p. A-10, & Post Register, Dec. 30, 1971, p. A-8] cmb
1972: Bishop George Foster Jr. came to Idaho Falls to speak at a revival at Community Church of God in Christ and then retuned in 1975 to pastor New Hope Temple COGIC until his death in 2010. [Dates that George pastored in IF need confirmation] cmb
1973: John and Sue Lovegrove came to Arco in 1958 from Michigan. Sue got a job teaching first grade and John driving a school bus. "It was all a venture of faith, because we knew only that the superintendent might need another teacher,” John said. “Through it we also learned that there was a church out there in Howe that didn’t have a pastor.” During their summers in Arco, John worked on farms and preached on Sundays. In 1973 John and Sue started Gethsemane Christian School with 44 students. By 1978 enrollment had grown to about 180. John served Gethsemane for 12 years and churches in Rigby, Dubois and Shelley, plus West Valley Utah for another 56 years, retiring in 2020. [Source - Jefferson Star, Oct. 14, 2020]
The Sunshine Inn Coffee House, a nondenominational youth center, was located at 184 First Street; prior to November 1973 it was known as The Upper Room Coffee House. Let by Bill and Katie Hull, they met at 200½ First Street for two and a half years and then moved to the facilities of the Assembly of God Church on the corner of Holmes and Garfield. See Post Register announcements of Sept. 7, 1973, Nov. 11, 1973 & June 27, 1975. etw
1973 [Additional Statement] Article "24 Congregations Helped Form FISH," Post Register supplement, Christians in Action, undated, likely published in early 1977. cmb
1974: The U.S. Congress adopted a resolution designating April 30, 1974 as a Day of Humiliation, Prayer and Fasting. Idaho's governor Cecil D. Andrus followed with a proclamation calling upon "the good citizens of our Great State to humble ourselves as we see fit before our Creator to acknowledge our dependence on Him and our gratitude for His great love for us." This was not the first Day of Prayer observed in Idaho Falls. Observation of the World Day of Prayer went back to at least 1928 and National Days of Prayer to 1952. What was somewhat unique about days of prayer observed in the mid-70's was the participation of Catholics in Idaho Falls. The Post Register announced: "People of all faiths are invited to participate in a special day of humiliation, prayer and fasting for the nation on Tuesday, April 30 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. The day has been set by Congressional resolution as a day on which citizens can do something about the increasing awareness ‘that we are the wealthiest nation the world has ever known, but too proud to pray to the God who made us so,’ the resolution notes, said the Rev. Dennis Falk, pastor (of Holy Rosary)." The following year the Tree of Life Prayer Community of Holy Rosary Catholic Church hosted an interdenominational prayer meeting on the National Day of Prayer, declared by President Gerald Ford to be on July 24 that year. [From Post Register, April 26, 1974, “Day of Prayer, Fasting Slated at Holy Rosary” and Post Register, July 18, 1975, “Charismatic Prayer Meeting Set.” etw/cmb
1976: Jim Johnson, born in Rigby, was an evangelist par excellence. He would share the gospel with whoever would listen in whatever situations he found himself in. An expanded obituary given out at his funeral in 2009 states, “In Idaho Falls, Jim formed an evangelism team and with his team members visited literally hundreds of homes. He would walk the people they visited through Bible studies and led many of them to receive Christ. Then he would continue to follow up with more visits to disciple them to live for Jesus. At the height of his evangelism ministry, approximately 2/3rds of the congregation at his church (Jim Spencer’s Christian Center) were people he had visited and led to the Lord.” cmb
1976 [Additional statement] From the Post Register supplement Christians in Action, article entitled "When the Water Hit, Denominationalism Began Floating Away," undated, likely January or February, 1977 cmb
1977: As implied by the statement, over the years the INL has brought thousands of people to Idaho Falls, employees and their families, who likely would not have come to live here otherwise. The Christians in this group contributed in numerous ways to the ministries of the churches in town, some taking leadership roles. A few have had experiences with the Lord while employed at the INL that led them into full time ministry in town or as missionaries. For more information about the history, mission and transitions of the INL see: Proving the Principle – A History of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, 1949-1999, Susan M. Stacy, 2000; The Idaho National Environmental and Engineering Laboratory – A Historical Context and Assessment, Narrative and Inventory, The Arrowrock Group, INEEL/EXT-97-01021 (Revision 1), November 17, 2003; and Coming of Age: Idaho Falls and the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory 1949-1990, Ben J. Plastino, 1998. etw/cmb
1977 [additional statement]: The third annual Idaho Charismatic Conference was held at the Westbank Hotel and Restaurant and Holy Rosary Church July 15-17. The guest speaker was Rt. Rev. David Geraets of the Abbot of Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey, Pecos, NM. Other speakers included Father Wiliam Gould, Diocesan Spiritual Director of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Father Ramon Echevarrla, director of the Boise House of Prayer, Father Arthur Latta, recotr of Calvary Episcopal Church in Jerome, Mrs. Marjorie Krueger, a member of the First Christian Church of Idaho Falls and a member of the Idaho Falls Tree of Life Prayer Prayer Community. Form the Post Register, June 17, 1977. cmb
1978: Pastor Colan Deatherage became a Christian as a young boy at Gethsemane Christian School. After college and seminary Bible training, he ministered as an evangelist through Forerunners Evangelistic Ministries in Idaho Falls, and then served as a pastor from 2000 to 2014 with Pocatello Baptist Church. He died in a snowmobile accident at a RCBC winter retreat. etw
1979: Dr. Bill Lovegrove, https://www.bju.edu/academics/faculty/facultymember.php?id=blovegro etw
1980: In the US Army, Danny Bannister served in Vietnam and Germany. As a computer engineer, he worked 28 years for the INL before retiring. Danny Bannister was convinced, as an atheist, the Bible was a lie and decided to read the entire thing in 1979. He finished it in a few months and was so convicted by his sin he went downtown at the Snake River to a bench near the LDS temple and gave his life to Jesus. Pastor John Lovegrove water baptized him. Passionately obeying Matthew 28:16 in Idaho Falls, he preached the gospel among his church family, brought the word of Christ to countless families in home visitation, handed out gospel tracks everywhere, and lead Bible studies in the Bonneville County Jail. Among his family, one of his sons, Daniel Bannister, went off to college in 1996 for undergraduate Bible studies and graduate level seminary training. Danny Bannister's obituary - Danny Bannister Obituary (1950 - 2015) - Boise, ID - Idaho Statesman (legacy.com). etw
1981: Lorie Swisher recalling the visit of Dwayne Friend, one of the first Christian music artists to visit Idaho Falls. etw
1982: Ann Kiemel Anderson - http://annkiemel.blogspot.com/ etw
1983: Susie Lacy became a Christian in Idaho Falls. She married Pastor Joe Lacy in 2001 at Berean Baptist Church in Idaho Falls, and they started serving Christ together at Grace Baptist Church in Rexburg. etw
1984: Beyond Mormonism: An Elder’s Story by James Spencer. etw
1985: The Idaho Falls Soup Kitchen began serving meals in 1985 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church. By 2001, members of 15 denominations help in the Soup Kitchen. [Source: First issue of the Idaho Falls Magazine, Summer of 2001] cmb
1985 [Additional statement] On April 14, volunteers began printing Bible lessons in braille in the basement of St. John Lutheran church. Initially most of their books were sent to Africa; some to other places, including China and Russia. The work center is one of 201 in the nation and the only one in the Idaho-Utah district. Women work two hours a day, four day per week. In 1995 there were 46 volunteers, some from other churches. [Source, article in Post Register, April 12, 1995, "The Bible in braille: For 10 years, Lutherans in I.F. have been 'printing' worlds for the blind"; also https://www.lbwloveworks.org/ministry-centers/production-centers/ shows the center at St John is still in operation in 2022] cmb
1986: Kristie Ann Grothaus at Skyline High School. She married a local pastor, and her name became Kristie Ann Wood. etw
1987: "In 1987, Calvary took on the sponsorship of a Hispanic mission. For a number of years, the group had met under the leadership of lay pastor Norberto Cantu. Following Bro. Cantu's death, Rev. Ernie Silvas was called as the first pastor of Mision Bautista Del Sur. He served as pastor from 1987 until 1991. From March 1992 until January 1998 the mission was led by Rev. Lorenzo Silvas. During this time a shelter ministry was established, providing temporary housing to the homeless men and meals to the community." - Highlights in the History of Calvary Baptist Church, Idaho Falls, Idaho etw
1988: Todd Wood along with Colan Deatherage preached on a Sunday night at Gethsemane Baptist Church. etw
1989: Mikey Middleton tells the story of the start of the Christian band, Great Mercy. etw
1989 [Additional statement]: Pastor Herb Stoneman grew up in New Mexico and Colorado. He pastored in Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Idaho. He came to Idaho Falls in 1989 to pastor Calvary Baptist Church. His six years in Idaho Falls were a period of rapid growth for the church. Herb then served 10 years as the Evangelism Director for the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention. cmb
1990: Rudi Patrick came to Idaho Falls and planted Westside Assembly of God, now known as Cornerstone Assembly of God. Rudi finished law school in 2000 and has been practicing law in Meridian since 2004. cmb
1991: There were extended drought conditions in Eastern Idaho
that began in 1987. Numerous churches
and prayer groups called out to the Lord for rain, including the Northwest
Prayer Network, which held a prayer retreat at Harriman Park in May of
1991. Reports from that prayer gathering
were given in a Concert of Prayer held at Alliance Covenant Church on May 17,
1991. While rains came that summer that
supplied the need for the year, the following year was also dry, so much so that the
Post Register published a front page article on April 1, 1992 entitled “Pray
For Rain,” quoting Upper Snake River Watermaster Ron Carlson speaking to the
Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce. Ron added, "I understand that this week starts, for
some of the churches in
1991 [Additional statement] The above is from an article by Chris Hanson in the CPR Newsletter, Volume 1, Number 1, November 1991. Joseph Jennings spoke at school assemblies for three days in Idaho Falls and then to a packed crowd at the Civic Auditorium, speaking to students from seven different schools. Some kids came two hours early to get good seats and a free book. A report following the event included, "God really used Joseph in our town to touch and inspire the hearts of our hurting kids and to show the Christian community that there is a mission field in our schools!" cmb
1992: Thana Singarajah was born and grew up in the predominantly Muslim nation of Malaysia. He came to Idaho Falls after studying in England and later at Multnomah Bible College in Portland, and then working for nine years as a counselor in American Falls. The rest of his life he spent in Idaho Falls. See section 6.1.5 of https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/jesus-church-called-and-sent cmb
1992 [Additional statement] While Jesus' call to repentance could be added to every year, it seemed to be particularly strong in the early 1990's. Perhaps in part because of the years of drought (see 1991) or perhaps because many in His body were seeking Him in extended periods and formats of prayer, repentance became a common these in city-wide prayer meetings. Four of these included (1) on the National Day of Prayer in 1992, at an evening Concert of Prayer held at New Life Assembly, Pastor Rich Laux of Ashton introduced a time of confession for the sins of America; (2) on November 1 of 1992, Pastor Jerry Shoup spoke on "Revival: Repentance and Prayer," prior to the time of prayer by the congregation; (3) at a Solemn Assembly held at Calvary Baptist Church on March 26, 1993, nearly a third of the time was given to confession; (4) on January 7, 1994, at a Concert of Prayer held at the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Lori Swisher led a time of prayer entitled "Cleansing the church, God's dwelling place, through repentance." cmb
1993: See section of 5.2.2 of https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/jesus-church-called-and-sent, which was written after an interview Charles and Todd conducted with Pastor Rick Brown on Jan. 13, 2013. cmb
1993 [Additional statement #1] From Post Register story, Sept. 15, 1993 cmb
1993 [Additional statement #2] From personal participation, also article "Pray Day - Bible reading marathon begins on courthouse steps," Post Register May 7, 1993 cmb
1994: See the article “Fourteen Churches Participate in Revival” in the Oct. 7, 1994 issue of the Post Register, p. B4. The meetings were held in a tent at the parking lot of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church; the revival was led by Rev. Joey Jeter of Texas Christian University. Other speakers included local pastors Don Paterson, Lorenzo Silva, Dick Miller, Joan LaLiberte of the Fort Hall Mission, and speakers from New Life Assembly, Youth with a Mission and other Idaho Falls churches and ministries. cmb
1994 [Additional statement #1] Under the umbrella of Calvary Baptist Church, "this mission was pastored by Rev. Dong-Kwan Kye." - from "Highlights in the History of Calvary Baptist Church, Idaho Falls, Idaho" etw
1994 [Additional statement #2] Pastor Warren and Jane Cuppy - their ministry is still ongoing. etw
1995: The first Sunday gathering for Berean Baptist Church was in the home of Jim and Janean Deatherage. etw
Trimelda McDaniels has a very unique background for a Idaho Falls pastor. Baptized as an infant in an African Methodist Episcopal church in Chicago, she writes that in college "I had become a practicing African pagan by then but the intellectual challenge of the Jesuits and my own spiritual experiences led me to Christ when I was 20 and then into the Roman Catholic Church a year later." She went on to be trained in healing, deliverance and exorcism. Following a period of caring for her mother, Trimelda had a street ministry to gang members, drug addicts and prostitutes. She continues, "I formally left the Roman Catholic Church in 1988 to answer the call I had on my heart to be ordained as a pastor and start church." After a year of study under the Deliverance Churches of America, she was ordained, spent a short time in California and then moved to Idaho Falls in 1991, and started what is now Christ Convergence Recovery Church in 1995. cmb
1995 [Additional statement] As Calvary Chapel Pastor Rick Brown began planning the event, he realized it was too big for his 2-year old church alone, so he enlisted the help of 10 other churches. Musicians that were featured included singers Lenny LeBlanc and Crystal Lewis. Dave Messenger, who trained church leaders and musicians to lead worship, led the worship for the crusade. cmb
1996: Speakers at the Crusade were Calvary Chapel Pastor Rick Brown, Christ Community Church Pastor Dave Gibson, and First Evangelical Free Church Pastor Dave Bass. The 15 churches sponsoring the crusade were First Baptist, Cornerstone Assembly, Skyline Christian, Roberts Community, Alliance Covenant, Living Faith, Rigby Presbyterian, Salvation Army, First Nazarene, Eagle Rock Baptist, Shiloh Foursquare, Calvary Chapel, Christ Community, Evangelical Free Church, and New Hope Community. The Crusade was held on Sunday September 29, from 7 to 9 pm, with a youth rally before the crusade at Shiloh Foursquare Church. See Post Register article of Sept. 13, 1996. See the article in the Post Register, September 13, 1996, p. A13. cmb
1996 [Additional statement #1] Sherry Lord's first book was entitled Airwaves and her second, Only His Kiss. See article by Gene Fadness, "Trials of Faith - Idaho Falls author writes about real-life problems from Christian view," Post Register, July 31, 1998, p. B7. cmb
1996 [Additional statement #2] When he was born, Matt Henry's father prayed, "God, if you just let this baby be born healthy, he’s yours. He can become a pastor and serve you. Just please let him be born healthy.” Matt's father did not tell him of this prayer until after Matt had realized himself he was called to be a pastor, completed seminary and had accepted his first call to a church. For the full story, see Section 6.3.4 of https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/jesus-church-called-and-sent (scroll to near the end of the page).
1997: In March, 1997 Eden Crowe had a dream in which she saw Don Patterson, pastor of the Community COGIC, in the pulpit of New Life Assembly of God with people of different backgrounds and churches on stage, singing each other's songs, sharing their music and learning from one another. She shared the dream with Don, and the following year Don presented the idea to Mike Stearns, pastor of New Life Assembly, along with the church board. That led to the formation of the Azusa Choir of 45 diverse voices plus 5 musicians. They performed at numerous church and civic events over the next few years. See article "Main Street" in the Post Register, April 29, 1998. cmb
1997 [Additional statement #1] At a time when there were few church youth groups in Idaho Falls, Nathan Swisher and Zach Blickens founded Freedom Ministries, and for several years saw around 150 youth coming to their weekly meetings. cmb
1997 [Additional statement #2] Hope Lutheran Church and St. John's Episcopal Church sponsored a conference that introduced parish nursing to 40 attendees in 1997. Parish nurses integrate faith and healing to promote wellness within the community. The following year the conference included topics, "What is Spiritual Nursing Care," "New Age is Really Old Age," and "A Brief History of Christ-Centered Parish Nursing Ministry." [From the article "Parish nursing conference scheduled in West Yellowstone," Post Register, June 19, 1998, p. B7.] cmb
1997 [Additional statement #3] According to http://www.ofcr.org/home/index.php/about/history, a small group of believers started praying for a camp ministry in the area in 1988. Jesus sent the Perry and Sandy Rotenberger to Idaho Falls to lead the camp; in 1997, their first year of operation, 112 campers attended. cmb
1998: From article by Teri Anderson, "Knock, Knock - Southern Baptists find open doors and open minds as they share their faith in Eastern Idaho," Post Register, June 8, 1998. cmb
1998 [Additional statement #1]: See section 6.3.2 of https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/jesus-church-called-and-sent. As their ministry was in a sensitive country, the names of this couple are not disclosed. And because of increased governmental scrutiny of Christian activities, they were forced to leave the country in early 2019. cmb
1998 [Additional statement #2]: Jane Arnold, a retired INL technician and Miles Willard Technologies lab assistant and lab manager, and a member and elder of First Christian Church, realized the need for housing for low income senior residents, so much so that she felt compelled to do something about it. With the help of other members of her church, she spearheaded the effort to form Mountain Falls Corporation which built two apartment buildings, the Mountain Falls Apartments. Ground was broken in 1997 and the the first apartment building of 29 units was completed the following year. In 2000 a second 22-unit complex was built. See "Ground to be broken for low-income senior citizens' apartment complex," Post Register, October 8, 1997 and "Organization breaks ground on new apartments," Post Register, August 14, 2000. cmb
1999: Paul Meigio and Don Schweitzer; the City of Refuge, a nine-bed facility, at 840 Park Ave. opened on June 29 after more than a year of preparations, including a six-month search for a building and a one-month renovation project. etw
1999 [Additional statement] Mike Ghiglia was working as a traumatic brain injury rehab therapist in Bakersfield, California went the Lord sent him to Idaho, in part because of a trip he had made the previous summer to fish the Henry's Fork and South Fork of the Snake. Mike spent the next three years developing Share the Son Ministries and working as a part-time clinician to make ends meet. In August of 2002 he made the transition to full-time ministry. cmb
2000: Countless news broadcasts and published articles prior to January 1, 2000 warned of global financial collapse and other end-of-the-world type scenarios on the premise that computers of global banking, nuclear reactors and a multitude of other services and industries would fail, unable to recognize any date past 12/31/1999 or misinterpret them with catastrophic results. Hundreds of billions of dollars were spent fixing the programming issues, and these efforts were largely successful. One very brief summary of the problems and efforts to resolve them can be seen at https://www.si.edu/spotlight/y2k. etw/cmb
2001: Berean Baptist Church had an open house for the community on July 14 and Sunday dedication service on July 15. Many attended and rejoiced in the goodness of Jehovah Jireh. etw
2002: Brad Stanger tells the miraculous story of purchasing a trailer park. The current business at this location is Shady Rest Campground in Idaho Falls. etw
2002 [additional statement]: I'm sure there are many examples of Jesus giving perseverance (Romans 15:5) to His servants in Idaho Falls. One that I'm aware of Kay Rose. After her retirement from working as a secretary for Site contractor Aerojet, she volunteered to serve as secretary for a new church in Idaho Falls, Community Bible Church (later renamed Christ Community Church) in 1977. She continued through the pastorates of George Marriott, Richard Spencer and 12 years of Dave Gibson's, who used her extensively in editing his writing. She ultimately retired from her service as church secretary of Christ Community Church at the age of 80 in 2002. cmb
2003: From the Post Register, March 20, 2003: "Pastor in prayers of I.F. church - Ben Orchard is leading hundreds of Marines in prayer near Iraq's border. But he hasn't forgotten his congregation in Idaho Falls. Orchard, a worship pastor at Christ Community Church, sent an e-mail to his church March 4. 'Please have some sort of prayer event when the war kicks off. I am very concerned for the safety of our Marines. Prayer is essential,' he wrote. The church was quick to respond when members heard about the start of the war Wednesday night. They scheduled a prayer vigil at the church for tonight at 7 p.m... " "In another e-mail, he wrote, 'I've seen several Marines trust Christ and have quite a few whose lives have been transformed and are on fire for Christ for the first time in their Christian lives.'" Other times of prayer for the troops in the Middle East were also held in Idaho Falls around this same time. The Post Register of March 28, 2003 announced a prayer service for U.S. troops at 7 p.m. on the 29th at First Baptist Church. cmb
2003 [Additional statement #1]: An abandoned hair salon on Holmes Street was converted to a place for the High School Christian Fellowship to meet. Operated by Calvary Chapel, the building contained a classroom with musical equipment, a pool table, foosball table, kitchen and offices. Two classes a week, led by Pastor Dave Hallahan, were offered and attended by about 30 students [From the Post Register, October 9, 2003]. At various times earlier in the history of the city, local pastors have periodically taught classes in buildings near Idaho Falls high schools for students to attend during their free periods. cmb
2003 [Additional statement #2] Wintley Phipps, who has performed around the world and for several U.S. presidents, held a concert at Community Church of God in Christ September 25, 2003. See "Sing unto the Lord a new song," Post Register, Sept. 22, 2003 and Wintley Phipps - Wikipedia cmb
2004: Alliance Covenant Church Pastor Gary Goeschl wrote in January, 2004 in his annual report, “God’s presence was known and experienced in many ways throughout the year. In baptism of 10 believers, the reception of 17 new members, various opportunities to disciple men, teach, counsel and share my faith, God has shown himself faithful and true.
“I believe a pastor’s biggest challenge is to be used by God to change the corporate culture (ethos) of the congregation he serves. He does this thru preaching, teaching, serving, vision-casting, thinking “outside-the-box,” being open to the movement of the Holy Spirit.
“To be dangerously frank, my take on our church has been that we are dominated by “law”. What I want for us is to be motivated by value(s); to be free to adapt, to change, to be a movement of trust and of faith, hope and love. I long for us to engage culture, to embrace culture, and to experience our call from God to be servants of the kingdom. Institutions are safe places but an assembly of the Holy Spirit moves with the values of the Spirit. And because God is always working and is Creativity Himself, we have to be ready to welcome the movement and accept the adventure." cmb
2006: Norm Pace, while pruning fruit trees in his yard at his home in Idaho Falls, died of a massive heart attack at age 66. A mechanical engineer, he specialized in reactor heat transfer and fluid flow analysis. He had a heart for evangelism, discipleship and prayer. A member of Trinity United Methodist Church, he organized men's retreats. He was active in Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship, worked with men at the City of Refuge, was involved in jail ministry, shared the gospel with whoever he encountered, and was a vital part of a city prayer group. cmb
2007: See article "Answering a call - Dr. Thana Singarajah is taking on the 'Lord's project,'" Post Register front page article, January 28, 2007. At the time of that article, Thana had raised $600,000 toward the estimated $2.5 million needed. Over time Thana's vision expanded and was adjusted by input from others, resulting in the Pearl Health Clinic and the Pearl Group Homes being built in 2008. cmb
2008: Wesley Walter Deist was born in Bonners Ferry, but after his service in the Navy and Marines during WW II in China and India, and then his marriage in Florida, he moved his family to Idaho Falls. An avid sportsman, he taught and coached at Kelly Canyon Ski Resort from its opening in 1957 until 2006, when he was 82. While operating businesses in Idaho Falls, he served three terms on the City Council and was instrumental in expanding the airport, establishing the Greenbelt, Community Park, and the Aquatic Center, which was renamed in his honor. He also coached Peewee football and officiated high school basketball games and track meets for many years. [primary sources: https://sfcompanion.blogspot.com/2019/09/businessman-public-servant-and-local.html & Post Register obituary, Jan 18, 2008.] cmb
2009: In 2009 God led an American man and his beautiful bride from India to this otherwise unknown location know as Idaho Falls. The call was so clear, they knew it had to be Jesus opening the door. Since that time Steven and Sonia McLean have patiently sought the Lord for the fuller vision, purpose and timing of his calling to Idaho Falls. Since that time they have opened their home and their hearts to many other people who are on a similar journey to find their purpose here in Idaho Falls as well. After four years of house church Ministry the Lord asked them to start a satellite church within the Vineyard movement that would express His heart and Love for the City he called us to and to even those who felt themselves to be sheep without a fold of their own. A place God could use to put the lonely into families and that is when Eagle Rock Vineyard was established, January 26, 2014. Eagle Rock of course being the original name given to our fair city or also the "City of Destiny". They felt led to this name to represent God's heart for the prophetic symbolized in the Eagle that sores high above on the wind or the "pneuma" of God's Spirit and sees above the storms of life as we come into agreement with the prayer of Jesus that "His kingdom might come and his will be done here in Idaho Falls as it is in heaven. And the "ROCK" representing ERV's love of the Truth and while soaring in the Spirit as free Eagles their desire is to also be grounded in the truth or the Rock of Ages and our Chief Cornerstone, Jesus Christ. God has begun to open up many new doors for ERV with a new chapter we believe is titled "Eagle Rock Vision-2022 and beyond" where they are beginning to see the original vision of a lighthouse of God's love to our community being fulfilled, step by obedient step. sm
2010: Calvin Winslow, pastor of New Life Family Worship Center for many years, went on two mission trips to Pakistan. The first was for 3 weeks in 2003, and on that trip he ministered at crusades held in 5 cities. He reported that he "saw thousands get saved, healed, filled with the Holy Spirit, and blessed." In 2010, one of the pastors of the church where Calvin ministered was killed by Muslim extremists two weeks after his visit. Calvin continued preaching and serving his church in Idaho Falls until he went into the presence of Jesus on August 3, 2019. cmb
2010 [Alternative statement]: Eric Howden, see https://public.inl.gov/news_archive/Shared%20Documents/584385_secretary_chu_honors_inl_employees_for_japan_assistance__nuclear_safeguards.pdf, http://www.newgospelfrontiers.org/ and https://www.npr.org/2010/11/17/131386797/moving-kazakh-nuclear-cache-a-massive-undertaking. etw
2011: Pastor Todd Wood sent out this email to the pastors of Idaho Falls on October 6. 2011: "I am Todd Wood, pastor of
2012: The opinion page of the Dec. 24 issue of the Post Register contained a guest column written by Idaho Falls Chief of Police Steve Roos. Prompted by a recent school shooting and which resulted in various sources to call for gun control laws, Steve directly addressed the issue, and then continued, "The whole gun control argument seems to be missing the point. As a society, we're reaping what we've sown. Our moral compass is spinning. We seem to want personal freedom without the corresponding personal responsibility. We want to enjoy now and pay later, overeat but not gain weight, have random sex but still experience true love, cheat in school but have a successful career, feed our children violent movies and expect no bullying, abdicate parenting to mindless video games and expect our children to be socially healthy. Then when things go wrong, we hack at the leaves of outward behavior rather than go to the root of the problem - societal moral decay. Right and wrong really are absolute. While the application of morality can be challenging, the underlying principles are not..." cmb
2013 - Bob and Barb Powell invited Buddy Greene and Jeff Taylor to come perform a concert in their big barn. etw
2014: Pastor Mike Cummins of Berean Baptist Church
2014 [Additional statement] From Pastor Patrick Jones
2015: Benjamin Chapin - https://www.eastidahonews.com/2019/12/local-christian-author-inspires-readers-to-overcome-trials-with-faith/. etw
2015 [Additional statement #1] The following testimony was posted on the website of Cornerstone Assembly of God Church in 2016: We have seen some mighty miracles here at Cornerstone in the last few weeks. A two year boy, Gabe, could no longer walk. He was taken to the doctor and specialist and they could not find out what was wrong. The following Sunday his mother brought him up for prayer, he left the church walking and completely healed! Another miracle was one woman, Sydney, had epilepsy. She believed that God could heal her. She came forward for prayer. She then went to the doctor and he ran some tests. The doctor said she no longer had epilepsy! She had told him the Lord had healed her. The doctor said “I haven't seen many miracles”, and Sydney replied, “I am one”. Todd and Charles talked with Pastor Scott Davis in early 2016 and learned that the background of these healings was a series of sermons Scott preached early in 2015 along the lines of John Kilpatrick’s Book When the Heavens are Brass: Keys to Genuine Revival. The congregation then started sensing more of the presence of God in their worship services, and seeing answers to prayer. Scott also shared with us several more cases of the Lord answering prayer for healing. cmb
2015: [Additional statement #2] from Kelly Golden, describing REVFEST. etw
2016: Lynn and Gene Winter officially open City Bagel in downtown Idaho Falls – https://www.eastidahonews.com/2016/10/city-bagel-bakery-now-open-downtown-idaho-falls/. etw
2016: [Additional statement] Pastor Tim Rupp was a police officer in San Antonio for 24 years. Following his retirement in 2007 he was called to pastor Eagle Rock Baptist Church in Idaho Falls and then River of Life Church, which he did until 2020, when his ministry to law enforcement officers had expanded to where he was led to devote full time to it. cmb
2017: According to a story about the decade 2010-2020 in the Post Register (Dec. 29, 2019), Idaho Falls was one of the best places in America to see the total solar eclipse on August 21. An estimated 300,000 visitors came to join the residents of Idaho Falls to watch the eclipse here. cmb
2017 [Additional statement #1] See https://www.champsheart.org/our-history.
2017 [Additional statement #2] Don Patterson, born in Idaho Falls, grew up attending the Community Church of God in Christ. As a youth he knew that he would serve the Lord in his church, and for many years did that through music. In 1993 he became the pastor of the church. Besides also holding a full time job at the INL during those years he pastored, he ministered at the City of Refuge, was active in city-wide music and prayer events and was a founder of the African American Alliance promoting unity, fairness and equality. cmb
2018: After months of teaching Sunday evening devotionals at the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission, Todd Wood and Warren Cuppy follow Christ’s calling to start Providence Downtown Church in the nearby Rogers Building on Sunday, March 11, 2018. etw
2019: Mike Ghiglia, Steve Molsee, and Todd Wood met together in the afternoon at the fellowship hall of Eagle Rock Baptist Church. etw
2019 [Additional statement] DNA and other evidence that came to light exonerated Christopher Tapp of the 1996 murder of Angie Dodge and the arrest of Brian Dripps for the crime; also new evidence was found that led to the arrest on Kenneth Jones for the 2007 murder of Stephanie Eldredge. [See "The Year 2019 in Review" in the Post Register, Dec. 29, 2019] cmb
2020: Anthony Manzanares, pastor of Community Church of God in Christ, had a heart valve replaced in 2013, but in April, 2019 he began feeling very sick. After a year, he ended up in the hospital in Salt Lake where the heart valve was replaced, but a bacterial infection led to needing additional open heart surgeries and put him in a coma for 3 months. Groups around the country and in other countries were praying for him, and Jesus, in response to those prayers, and in faithfulness to many words that He had spoken to Anthony, brought him on the road to recovery. To hear Anthony share the account of his healing, listen to the video posted by his wife October 23, 2021 on her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/laura.manzanares.77.
Jeff Kennedy, senior pastor of Christ Community Church, had surgery in January of 2020 to remove part of his thyroid because of cancer. The surgery was successful but affected his vocal cords, reducing his voice to a whisper. The church had a day of prayer and fasting for his healing on February 18 and then witnessed in the following two months God restoring his voice to full strength. cmb
2021: In January of 2021 while realizing the Covid-19 pandemic was going to hang on longer, Pastor Patrick Jones and his wife Kathy of Idaho Falls started UR His Church. UR His Church is an online-only church that serves 20+ people from six different states in weekly services, prayer, and the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Westernsprings Cowboy Church and The Gathering are both spin-offs of Watersprings Church. Westernsprings was founded by Pastor Scotty Brown; a brief bio of Scotty can be found on the webpage https://westernsprings.church/about-us/. The Gathering is led by a team that includes Pastor Alipio Amaral; see https://www.eastidahonews.com/2021/04/local-pastor-helps-form-new-church-and-shares-his-story-of-conversion-and-faith/ by Rett Nelson in East Idaho News, April 19, 2021 for the story of the start of The Gathering Church. Reach Church is a plant of the Southern Baptists. Aaron Livingston and his family came to direct Young Life in the greater Idaho Falls area in 2021. pj/cmb/etw
2021 [Additional statement]: Michelle Talaski joined the Watersprings team on their Mexico Mission trip, and then went to Eastern Europe as a long term missionary. Pastor Oscar Perdomo and his wife Leticia and daughter raised funds and on behalf of their church Fuente De Restauracion distributed them in El Salvador to (1) provide sewing machines and materials to two ministries that will teach women how to make products to sell in local markets (2) purchase supplies to build and operate a car wash so that one ministry can support itself and (3) purchased roofing materials so that a church can add on classrooms to their building, enabling kids to avoid a half hour walk to school and learn about Jesus. The Perdomos were encouraged by the love of Christ, the presence of the Spirit and the humility of the people in all the churches they visited. (Because of the sensitivity of the work of the linguist, both his name and location are omitted from this post.) cmb
2022: Not too long after finishing high school and right after getting married, Shawn Wakeman started having what seemed like random spells of sickness that would usually take him to the emergency room because he couldn’t stop throwing up for periods as long as 18 hours. Eventually doctors diagnosed his illness as Crohn’s disease. They prescribed and he tried medications, numerous restrictive diets, surgery, and natural remedies, but nothing helped. Finally, after 6 years, his doctor told him to get his affairs in order because his health was deteriorating to the point that he would likely die. He and his wife did make preparations, but over the next six years, they and the body of Christ also prayed, and kept praying, for healing. Then he seemed to get worse and he made an appointment with a specialist, a gastroenterologist. At the end of August, 2022, Shawn felt awful. But sometime within the next three weeks, God healed him. He went from being completely exhausted all the time to having energy, from being on an extremely strict diet to eating normally, from struggling to keep his weight at 140 to weighing 160 and from not being able to do more than one activity every couple weeks to living a normal life. He kept his appointment, had a colonoscopy and when the biopsies from his colonoscopy came back, his doctor told him, “There is nothing wrong with you. Nothing.” Many people had prayed for Shawn, and he and his wife Devon are thankful to God for answering their prayers. cmb
2022 [Additional statement #1]:In late 2018 the City of Idaho Falls met with Victory Assembly of God [then known as Cornerstone AoG]. They shared that they were planning to do a half-mile road project in front of the church. After sharing their plans, they informed them that the part of the road project that ran in front of the church would be the church's financial responsibility and would cost around $117,000. They produced the paperwork that had been signed by the previous pastor. This paperwork stated that the church was the developer of the property and any further roadwork would be their responsibility. In the summer of 2019, they finished the work. On December 1st the church received an invoice for $87,008.74. In that 2018 meeting, Scott Davis, the pastor, was taken by surprise and said, “I don’t know what to say, but I serve a big God and He can do big things.” The congregation believed a mighty miracle would happen and God would do something big so they could pay off this debt. God did. The bill was fully paid by May of 2022. sd/cmb
2022 [Additional statement #2] Please get and read the book Smuggling Light - One Woman's Victory over Persecution, Torture & Imprisonment, by Esther Chang with Eugene Bach, available at Born Again Bookstore in Idaho Falls. This was Esther's first speaking tour and Idaho Falls was the second stop on the tour. cmb
2022 [Additional statement #3] On Election Day, Tuesday, November 8, River of Life Church hosted an Idaho Falls Look Up Tour prayer meeting that began at 7:00 pm. Pastor Robert Legg introduced the evening and opened in prayer. Pastor Zach Kenyon and the worship team led us in several songs of worship. Four people, Michelle Talaski, Pastor Ty Orr, Izak Contreras, and Pastor James Peterson, led in prayer and each was immediately followed by small group circles of prayer among everyone. Pastor Enrique Banos closed in prayer while Pastor Oscar Perdomo translated into English. More than 150 people gathered for this prayer event, and 26 of those people were Christian pastors in the region, seeking the presence, power, and intervention of a good God in Idaho Falls and the surrounding region. etw/cmb
This looks great.ReplyDelete
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Looks good to me. What a wonderful story. First Evangelical Lutheran Church was started in the late 1800's. The office would have the particulars if you are interested.ReplyDelete