The town of Wapato is located in Central Washington State within the Yakama Indian Reservation. The Wapato Seventh-Day Adventist Church was established is 1915 in a time of growth and outreach to the Northwestern United states. Many people moved to this rural area for economic opportunities in the agriculturally based region. The church grew and thrived in this time of community expansion. In recent years the economic base, as well as the racial demographics, have vastly changed. During the 1980’s the membership of the church decreased as people moved away from agrarian based lives to more urban ones.
In the fall of 1997, the church members looked at our declining membership and the unmet needs in our community. We asked ourselves the question, “Why are we here? After fasting and lots of prayer by the church body, we asked God for help us to clarify our purpose. The clear direction after this visioning process was: We could not close our church and abandon the 14 tribes and bands of the Native Americans on the Yakama reservation. The Yakama Indian Nation has been essentially ignored with the gospel message and the end time message of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. As their neighbors we had neglected the fulfillment of the good news “to every Nation, Tribe, Language and People.” Rev 14:6
After adopting a mission to the Native American community God began opening doors to accomplishing it. In early 1998 a Native Bible team was hired to facilitate outreach to the Native American community in and around Wapato. Weekly community children’s programs were offered and provided invaluable training as we became better acquainted with our community and their needs.
One of our limiting factors was inadequate space for community outreach. In May of 2000 construction began on an outreach facility, The All Nation Center (ANC). By God’s mighty hand, through Maranatha and other volunteers, the center held its Grand Opening of the debt-free facility in May of 2001.