As with much of the “downtown” area of Puyallup, the property the church was built on was originally owned by pioneer Ezra Meeker. Mr. Meeker arrived in the Pacific Northwest in 1852. It was Ezra Meeker who platted and named the town Puyallup which in the Native language means “generous people” and is pronounced Pooh-yall-up. As the town’s first mayor, Mr. Meeker was instrumental in bringing electricity and water to town.
On February 15, 1904 the property was deeded to Edward Songer and his wife. From July 18, 1919 to January 16, 1926 some of the property was deeded to their son William Songer. On July 7, 1926 William Songer deeded this property to the church for $10.00.
The Church was incorporated on December 29, 1923 with papers filed in Pierce County.
On January 4, 1924, The six original Members were, G.D. Bentley, G.H. Boatman, Flora Fries, G.W. Manson, Chelena Mason and T.H. Mayhew. We have lost much of our history and can only assume that at that time we were part of the National Spiritualist Association of Churches.
January 1, 1957 Floyd Humble was contracted to be minister for the church. He remained Minister through December 31, 1957.
We became an independent entity in the late 1980's under the leadership of Merton B. and Theresa G. Boss who had been members of the church for 20 years. Mr. Boss crossed over in June of 1991, with his wife Theresa joining him in December 2000. They loved the church and served it faithfully for a remarkable 35 years traveling from their home in Tacoma to turn on the heat and make a pot of coffee. Their son Roy and their daughter Barbara remain members of the church to this day. Roy Boss has served as a board member and our Vice President, While Barbara Bartholomew has served as a Trustee. The Bosses first attended our church in 1946 and shortly thereafter became caretakers of our church serving for a total of 55 years. In January of 2015 The Board honored their devotion and service with a plaque. We are indebted to their love and service.
On February 27, 1992 the membership voted to change the name to the First Spiritual Church of Puyallup. At that time the officers of the church were:
President: Theresa Boss V.Pres: Merle Van Doren
Sec: Yvonne Thorpe Treasurer: Bernice Larsen
Trustees: Donald C. Hicks, Marcella Stephans, Charles Ward, Pearl Crider and Winifred E. Mohr.
In 2002 the membership, The Board decidedto change the name back to the original name, First Spiritualist Church of Puyallup.
We have had three members who we honor as Elders in our Church:
Elder Millie Moreau, who has been a member for over forty years.
Elder Rev. Shirley Hamilton a longtime Spiritualist.
Elder Merle Van Doren who has been a member for over thirty years. Merle has held all offices and has served as our Treasurer from 1996-2006.
As our congregation has grown over the past few years we realized the need to enlarge our building. With much deliberation, prayer, planning and faith that GOD would lead us in the right direction we proceeded with our final plan to double the size of our fellowship hall. We have named the new area the “Van Doren Hall” to honor Elder Merle Van Doren. It is a very comfortable multipurpose room in which we enjoy the company of the church family during refreshment and coffee hour after Sunday Service. This area is also used for classes, discussions groups, healings, intuitive readings and other functions.
Over the years we have provided up to twenty turkey and trimming baskets during the holiday season, as well as financial donations to the Salvation Army. We were also pleased to be able to send donations to the Tsunami relief and to Northwest Medical Team, and to relieve some of the burden of hurricane Rita and Katrina.
In 2005 our church joined the Tacoma, Washington based group Associated Ministries and through that organization have become acquainted with two local outreach groups. St. Francis House (253-848-3618) under the direction Sister Pat Michalek OSF, enables many people to become contributing members of society, with five English as a Second Language classes each week, a clothing bank, and some emergency food supplies. Open Hearth provides emergency housing for local families in need. We are one of six different faith groups supporting this worthy cause with our time, and finances. These groups are proof that we can join hands and do well in the name of GOD.
August 2 of 2009 the Church Dedicated a PEACE POLE, in honor of the churches dedication and commitment to world peace and community service.
In October of 2009 the church lost our beloved Elder Merle Van Doren, We know his spirit is blessing us and giving us sage advice. GOD BLESS YOU MERLE!
January of 2010 the church purchased the adjacent property to expand sometime in the future. Our overall attendance has increased to full capacity some Sundays. What a Joyful Family we have!
On January 4th, 2016 we celebrated 92 years of service to GOD and community of our little church.
In Jan of 2015 we honored Merton and Theresa Boss for their 55 years of devotion.