Interfaith Community Sanctuary

Welcome to Interfaith Community Sanctuary!

Our historic building...

Originally built in 1890, this small frame church shares its birth year with the City of Ballard. Constructed to serve what was the relatively new flock of the German Congregational Church led by Pastor Gottfried Graedel, a true traveling missionary of that era, it served as the house of worship for local German immigrant families for about ten years until it closed for lack of support. The Ballard School Board rented the building for a while as a schoolhouse, but it returned to its original intent as a church in 1904 when another German congregation led by Rev. E. Leutwein acquired the property for the St. Paul's Evangelical Church. At that time, extensive repairs were undertaken, including the removal and replacement of the original tall steeple, which had become unsafe.
Over the years, other congregations have been housed in this historic building, each moving on to larger quarters and turning it over to other newer congregations. The building was purchased by the New Age Christian Church in 1973.
In 1981, Landmark designation was approved by the City of Seattle for this structure. Ordinance Number: 110352.

Today it is home to Interfaith Community Sanctuary (est. 1999), honoring all faith spiritual traditions.
It remains a fine example of the small 19th and early 20th century community churches of the region.

In the winter of 2006, Rev Alvin C. Holmgren, Pastor of the Apostolic Lutheran Church visited Interfaith Community Sanctuary. He told us that he was minister here in 1950 through 1973 when his congregation outgrew the space and moved to another location. Rev Holmgren explained that he lived here with his family, a wife and two children. The minister's quarters were our present Lavender Room and Consultation Room. The kitchen was on the west side of the Lavender Room and the living room was on the east side, divided by a wall. The minister and his wife's bedroom was our current Consultation Room. The children slept on cots in the living room. 

We sincerely hope to hear from others who have been involved in our building's history!

The following historic information is shared by David Folweiler...

The Apostolic Lutheran Church of Seattle congregation purchased the church building at 1763 NW 62nd Street in January 1950 from Zion Lutheran, a Lutheran Brethren congregation. Zion Lutheran moved to a larger brick building at 70th and Greenwood Avenue N. and then renamed their congregation Rock of Ages. (Need to confirm about this name change from Zion to Rock of Ages). The Apostolic Lutheran congregation sold their Ballard church site in 1973 in order to relocate to a new church home in Shoreline at 198th and Fremont . The Ballard News Tribune carried three different news articles about the sale of the church.

Pastor Chris Holmgren served the congregation from January 1946 to December 1963. (He had been assistant pastor prior to 1946.)

Pastor Alvin Holmgren served the congregation from January 1964 to December (197__)? (He had been assistant pastor beginning in 1958.)

Alvin Holmgren and his sister Ida Holmgren shared the church apartment from 1950 to the mid-1950s. For a time Ida's husband Matt Kumma and their young daughter Barbara Kumma also lived at the apartment as Matt Kumma was serving in the military and was stationed at a base in California . Alvin used the lower level room and Ida and her family had the main apartment bedroom. Two decades later, Barbara returned to the church apartment as a newlywed.

Alvin's parents, Pastor Chris & Carrie Holmgren moved into the apartment with Alvin after Ida and her family moved out. Pastor Chris & Carrie purchased the house on the east side of the church in 1959 when Alvin announced his engagement to Mary Johnson. Alvin & Mary were married at the Ballard church in July 1959 and lived in the church apartment until March 1967. By this time they were a family of five in a one-bedroom apartment. ( Alvin 's lower level room had been converted to an office.) Pastor Alvin & Mary Holmgren moved to 71st & Greenwood Avenue N. where they raised their family until relocating to Edmonds in 1983.

Don & Grace (Carlson) Mixon lived in the apartment with their young son Gene Mixon from 1967 to 1970. Their son Gene W. Mixon is now serving as the pastor of the Apostolic Lutheran Church , located in Shoreline. He was elected after Pastor Alvin Holmgren retired.

Dave & Barbara (Kumma) Wills lived in the apartment with their young son Philip from 1970 to 1972.

The apartment was vacant for the last year or two of the Apostolic Lutheran congregation's occupancy of the building. The apartment was used for Sunday School classes during that time.

RevChrisandCarrieHolmgren20Anniv1953.jpgLadies Hats Ballard.jpg

Photo of Pastor Chris & Carrie Holmgren (1953).

Photo of ladies-in-hats taken while Apostolic Lutheran congregation was renting from Zion Lutheran. The sign-board bears the Zion name in the photo.