The church is the people, the congregation — not a building
Rev. Roger Ridgway
(excerpt from news article July 2, 2014 by Briana Alzola, Anacortes American)
“As Christians who seek to follow the example of Jesus, we affirm the dignity and worth of all persons, embracing with joy differences of sexual orientation, gender, marital status, age, mental and physical ability, as well as racial, ethnic or social-economic background,” it says in the church’s open and affirming statement.
Pilgrim Congregational Church began in Anacortes in 1877, when Rev. Ewing O. Tade and Deacon W. H. Hagadorn and their families made their way to the area as part of a missionary effort by the New England Congregationalists to establish churches and schools in newly settled frontier lands.
The missionaries focused on global education. They believed that every person, no matter their background or skin color, should be able to read the Bible for themselves.
Tade and Hagadorn set up a school, Alden Academy, in a log building around where 32nd Street and J Avenue are now. The school was dedicated in 1879. The school was the first secondary school in the county.
The Tades returned to California in 1884 and the school shut down, but the Sabbath school and weekly prayer meeting established there continued. The church had no property and held services at Alden Academy.
Pilgrim’s second pastor, Rev. Horace Taylor, was called by the Home Missionary Board to serve Fidalgo Island in 1885. Previously, he served as a foreign missionary in Micronesia, worked with freed slaves in Alabama and Tennessee and served as a pastor in Ohio and Tacoma.
Taylor established a second church at Fidalgo City, a settlement at the time. He continued with the two churches until he was called back to Ohio in 1897.
Taylor returned to Fidalgo Island in 1899 and established a church and school at Rosario. He became the full-time pastor for Pilgrim Church in 1902.
A new church building at 26th Street and R Avenue was completed in 1903.
Rev. R. K. Anderson served Pilgrim Congregational Church from March 1925 until October 1943. He planned the building at 2802 Commercial Ave., where the church has been located since 1926.
The building offered a space for services, as well as meetings, classes, dinners, skating parties, cooperative preschools and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
(end of excerpt from the article: https://www.goanacortes.com/arts_and_community/article_f7feb164-0152-11e4-81be-0019bb2963f4.html )