A Brief History of Founding, Historic Buildings and Related Issues
Post Falls ‘First Presbyterian Church’ was founded through the efforts of the Rev. W.C. Beebe of Rathdrum and the Rev. John H. Thompson on August 10, 1890 with fifteen charter members. Frederick Post and his family (for whom Post Falls is named) belonged as an early member of the congregation.
In the fall of 1917, the Rev. Nathan Fiske preached a sermon from Ephesians 4:13 titled, “Till We All Come to the Unity of the Faith.” This message coincided with the decision to merge both the Post Falls Methodist and Presbyterian congregations and buildings into one. In January 21, 1921 three memorial stones were laid at the foundation of the site on 4th and Williams St. by the Rev. J. Sherman Potter.
On September 7, 1984 a decision was made to place the historic church building on the national register of historic places. Yet with significant maintenance issues facing upkeep of the building, the congregation determined to construct a new building on church property for its future ministry. With most of the labor accomplished through hands-on work of congregational members, worship gatherings began in the new multi-purpose building in January 1991.
The question arose “What to do with the old building?” After much agonizing, a decision was reached to demolish the building and give the lumber to a Nez Perce church building project within the Presbytery. Yet at the beginning of demolition, long-term member John Rodkey discovered the building structure was basically sound.
An historic building task force was established in February 1997 (subsequently renamed the ‘Community Building Partners’). Members worked diligently to prepare a recommendation for the church Trustees, Session, Congregation and Presbytery to approve. The result is the sale of the building, now re-named the Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center (the JACC) in honor of founders, Susan & Duane Jacklin. It operates as its own independent 501©3 non-profit organization.
At a similar time, a long-range congregational task force resulted with a recommendation to build a sanctuary to the north of the new multi-purpose building, with downstairs offices, a nursery remodel and additional class room space additions. Plans proceeded, with the congregation celebrating a dedication for the new Sanctuary in June 2004. The addition of the sanctuary opened up the existing fellowship hall for congregational ministries and gatherings.
The building is simply a tool for ministry, which is used widely not only by members of the congregation but also for service groups in the community. In 2009, the congregation acquired the Williams St. property east of the current building for green space, activities and future development.