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laura raaberg

As a girl in Denmark, Mrs. Laura Raaberg attended confirmation classes and was confirmed as she was growing into young womanhood. That training had been one of her most cherished experiences. She wanted her boys and other children to have that same experience, so she organized a Sunday school. It was held in a room above the Raaberg store on upper Asotin Road. From that Sunday school grew the Presbyterian Church in Clarkston.

On June 7th, 1897, a group of dedicated worshippers met and made plans to organize a Presbyterian Church in Clarkston. It is not known for certain that this was to become Clarkston’s first church because there was another contender for that honor – that being the Clarkston Advent Christian Church. At the organizational meeting there were ten people who would become charter members. Soon after, work was started on the church, which was built on the southwest corner of 13th and Elm Street. The minutes of the first meetings were accidentally destroyed and so were not available for reference.


The first church seated 50 people  who would come from all sections of Vineland, later to become Clarkston. Shortly after the turn of the century it was moved to the present site of 12th and Diagonal – steeple and all.  Later several additions were made to accommodate a rapidly growing congregation.  Soon after, work was started on the church, which was built on the southwest corner of 13th and Elm Street.
The first minister was T. E. Sherman (a stated supply) who was succeeded in 1898 by J. H. Rodgers (also a stated supply).

first church


The second building project was a two-story manse, which was completed at a cost of $1400 and was considered one of the nicer homes at that time; even though it had no inside plumbing nor electricity.  This first manse was sold in 1951 and moved to 14th and Sycamore when a new manse was built.

Rev. Silas Perkins served from 1901 to 1904. The Rev. J. W. Hood became the first installed pastor of the church in 1904.  He was followed by the Rev. Hedley Vicker in 1910.  Hedley Jr. was the first babe born in the manse.  Rev. Vicker was followed by Rev. Duncan Matheson (a stated supply) from 1922 to 1925, then Rev. David Boyle in 1925.


In 1928, the Rev. David Brown became pastor and served for 21 years, after which he was made Pastor Emeritus.  His first year’s salary was $2000.

For more about this period click here:



As far back as 1906, the membership had voted to change the name from Vineland Presbyterian to First Presbyterian Church of Clarkston. This was not accomplished until 24 years later when the name was legally changed.
An interesting note in history is that in 1931 the session approved the request for a hitching post and ring. The trustees agreed, and it was installed by the pastor!



In September 1950, a $35,000 education unit was dedicated.  In 1951, a new manse was built on the corner of 12th and Chestnut.


The next project was the sanctuary, which was built in 1953 at a cost of $60,000. Within three years, the value of the church plant increased from $14,000 to $150,000. Plans for this project had begun in 1929, but were delayed because of the Great Depression and World War II. The project was built with the leadership of the Rev. George R. Hendrick, who became pastor in 1949.    

For more about this time period click here:madge 2


Rev. Chamness The congregation continued to grow under the guidance of the Rev. Robert M. Chamness between 1955 and 1961, with the Rev. David H. Reed as Assistant Pastor during 1960-61. Rev. Hendrick then returned to serve a second term.



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Phone: 509 758-3381          
Fax:    509 758-3382
Clarkston First Presbyterian Church
1122 Diagonal, Clarkston
Washington 99403