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Spiritual Spotlight: Latter-day Saints place new 35-foot steeple

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Sequim’s tallest structures saw some steep competition go up last week.

 

The Sequim Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received a new 35-foot steeple on Oct. 23 that passersby will find hard to miss driving down Washington Street.

 

Mike Flynn, bishop for the Happy Valley Road church, said the project is part of a building refurbishment to replace the roof and install seismic upgrades valued around $350,000.

 

The plans have been in the works for a long time as part of routine maintenance, said Russ Bonham, bishop for the Dungeness Ward.

 

Port Angeles’ church received a similar treatment with a new steeple replacing a free-standing steeple.

 

The Sequim church hosts an opportunity to see the upgrades at an open house Sunday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. with children and choir performances accompanied by refreshments and guided tours.

Bonham said the projects were handled out of the church’s headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah, with construction done by Team Construction out of Vancouver.

 

The new steeple complies with the City of Sequim’s height maximum for churches and steeples.

 

Chris Hugo, city director of community development, said the city has allowed similar structures such as St. Luke’s Episcopal Church’s steeple.

 

“It makes noise everyday and we haven’t received any complaints,” he said.

 

From the top of the steeple to the ground is 60 feet. The city allows a steeple in this area at upwards of 70 feet.


Cross and steeple

One thing churchgoers are asked, Flynn said is why the church steeple doesn’t have a cross.

 

He said the church does honor Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, but they focus more on his life and resurrection.

 

Bonham said their church steeples and temple spires worldwide represent Jesus calling all of God’s children to come to him when he returns at the second coming.

 

“For me personally, I think it represents that symbolism and it’s like a light on a hill for ships coming in,” Bonham said.

 

“It’s something for all of us to look up to and remember why we’re all here and what our lives are all about.”

 

About the church

The Sequim Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 815 W. Washington St., was built in 1971 and the Sequim Ward was organized in February 1974.

 

Flynn said prior to 1965, worshippers from Neah Bay to Discovery Bay traveled to Port Angeles for services except for Port Townsend which had an independent branch.

 

The Sequim branch became independent in 1965 and held meetings in the Carlsborg School, now the Sequim Valley Church of the Nazarene. Its then 91 members of the Sequim branch joined the Northwestern States Mission before joining the Puget Sound Stake in August 1967.

 

A division and reforming of the stake due to growth happened in January 1971, a little less than a year before the Sequim chapel was completed.

 

Now the church serves three wards with about 400 members from Siebert Creek to the Gardiner area. It’s part of the Port Angeles stake, which was organized in 1993 to coordinate nine units including three in

Sequim — Dungeness, Happy Valley and Sequim Bay.

 

Church members attend the ward based on their geographic region.

 

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

 

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