Location: 1522 4th Ave E
Religious institutions

Westminster Presbyterian 1961, courtesy Washington State Historical Society
former Westminster Presbyterian church building today (2014), photograph by Deb Ross

The congregation now called Westminster Presbyterian had its roots in the perceived need for a United Presbyterian church in Olympia. The United Presbyterian denomination was distinct from the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, to which First Presbyterian belonged. Continuing in the theme of “musical pews” referred to in other pages (see Gloria Dei church, for example), the congregation first met in 1893 in a commercial office in the Hale Block (ironically, as this congregation was getting its start, the Unitarian Church was meeting in the same building after a precipitous decline). It soon built a purpose-built structure across the street.

In accordance with outward-moving trends followed by other mainline denominations in Olympia, the congregation moved to this location on Fourth Avenue in 1930. Some time after that the congregation changed its name to Westminster Presbyterian. In the late 1980s, Westminster sold this building to the Salvation Army and moved outward once more, to Boulevard Street, its current location (2014). (In a particularly complex example of the “musical pews” game, the Salvation Army moved here from the Gloria Dei building, which was once the First Presbyterian church building.) The building on 4th is now a private ballroom.

More resources:

Westminster history

Olympia Heritage inventory

Washington State Historical Society (enter the following catalog numbers in Collections Search box, C1986.

Copyright © 2022 Deborah Ross