picture of Mt. Pisgah Church after the floodBAD NEWS / GOOD NEWS
Rosie (Nordby) Dewey

January 2009

"The Lord certainly moves in mysterious ways", was Rosie's daughter's reaction when she heard what was happening at the historic Mount Pisgah Presbyterian Church where her parents attend in Roslyn, Washington.  Northwest Uuniversity Alum, Rosie (Nordby) Dewey, had been asked by the Pastor to head up a $250,000 church fund-raising project to repair the deteriorating foundation of the 108 year old church building.

Mount Pisgah Presbyterian Church was organized with 11 members
on March 28, 1886, when Washington State was still a territory.  For the first 14 years the congregation met in various locations around the area until an opportunity arose for them to purchase property and build at the corner of First & Idaho Streets in Roslyn.  The site was initially purchased for $1.00 from N.W.I. Company, and the church was built at a cost of $3,840.64.  The first meeting in the new building was held on March 26, 1900.  For more than a century, through good times, and hard times the church has been a constant witness for Christ in Roslyn.

Rosie and Husband Neil outside church after floodThe severe weather in the Northwest over this past Christmas and New Years had dropped 2 to 3 feet of snow on the east side of the Cascades.  Then suddenly, in early January, the temperature rose dramatically and the area was inundated with heavy rains.  On January 7th many folks were taken by surprise as flood waters rushed in overnight.  The old Mount Pisgah Church was hit hard.  The basement was flooded, and the already weak foundations were severely damaged.  The flood water problem was complicated by the fact that a diesel tank near the church broke loose spilling it's contents and saturating the ground with diesel. This turned the problem into a HAS MAT situation. Rosie said, "I was down there working the day after the flood, and my hands hurt for a couple of days because of digging in the diesel".   The church can no longer be used until the restoration work has been done.  

The "Mysterious Ways" amidst this challenge facing the Mount Pisgah congregation is that the church had flood insurance.  "In a nutshell", Rosie said, "The foundation is going to be completely replaced by insurance as a result of the flood.  Who could have ever thought that God would work that way?"  Rosie's husband, Neil is heading up the restoration project which is expected to take about 9 months to complete.

On January 24, 2009 Rosie wrote with an update:

"They have started the restoration of the church, as well as the Manse (Parsonage).   They will be putting in a new foundation (and lifting the church), putting in 2 new furnaces, painting the exterior of the building, fixing all the cracks in the main sanctuary, and replacing all carpets (they can't be cleaned because of the diesel).  They are also pouring a concrete floor to help stabilize the building.   Previously it was just dirt in the basement.   So, it wasn't usable space. It was just musty smelling and cold.  The only thing down there was yard equipment (snowblower, lawn mower, etc) and storage of things that wouldn't be damaged because of the dirt.
With lifting the church and pouring a concrete floor, we will be able to put a Christian Education Center downstairs for Sunday school rooms, plus bathrooms.  Of course, Insurance won't be covering the improvements (SS rooms, bathrooms, women's work room for missions).  But ... with the restoration of the Parsonage, we are thinking seriously about selling it and using the funds for the improvements for the church.  So, in addition to getting the church stable and foundation restored, we will do a major improvement project to upgrade the building."