History of the Diocese of Spokane

The Episcopal Church arrived in the Inland Northwest in the mid 1860s. In fact, our story parallels that of the settlement of the American West; with all the triumphs, tragedies and difficulties that implies.

One of the earliest missionary priests, the Rev. Lemuel H. Wells, established 23 missions in the late 19th century and became the first Bishop of Spokane in 1892.

The early part of the 20th century saw the growth of Christian education programs. This included the establishment of a summer camp for youth on Lake Coeur d’Alene in northern Idaho.

Named after Bishop Edward M. Cross, Camp Cross has become a camp and conference center serving the needs of young and old alike.
By the mid 20th century, the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Spokane was begun and completed.

A striking example of American neo-gothic architecture, the Cathedral dominates the southern skyline of Spokane as it sits high upon a hill overlooking downtown.
The late 20th century saw the establishment of a diocesan housing corporation to bring more housing for the elderly throughout the diocese, as well as the expansion and strengthening of local ministries.

The enormous territory of the present-day Diocese of Spokane has 42 congregations and encompasses all of Washington State east of the Cascades and the northern Idaho panhandle.
In these early years of a new century, we committed to renewing and reenergizing the missionary spirit that has been our heritage.

The Bishop

James E. (Jim) Waggoner, Jr. was consecrated eighth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane in October, 2000.

A native of Ohio, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Marshall University and Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Divinity degrees from the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA. Before entering seminary, he served in the U. S. Navy for six years and as Director of a Community Action Child Development program. He and his wife, Gloria, have two adult sons.

Prior to his election as bishop, Bishop Waggoner served 21 years in the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia, 12 in parish ministry and nine on the Bishop’s staff as Canon to the Ordinary, Congregational and Community Consultant, and Deployment Officer.

Jim began serving as a Deputy to the General Convention beginning in 1988, where he provided leadership on the Evangelism and Communication committees. Among current leadership roles, he is a member of the House of Bishops Committee on Pastoral Development and the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance, where he chairs the Budgetary Funding Task Force which has taken a fresh look at how The Episcopal Church (USA) funds its mission.
Early in his episcopate, and following intensive meetings across the Diocese, the diocesan convention adopted the mission statement “Be Bold in Christ,” along with mission imperatives in support of this vision. In 2005, building on the work done in developing the mission imperatives, and looking ahead to the future, Bishop Waggoner launched a highly successful two-pronged endowment campaign to provide funds to endow the episcopate and to provide funds for church growth and development.

In his Episcopal ministry, Jim emphasizes effective leadership grounded in ongoing Christian formation as being essential to empowering all members for the mission to which God has called us: proclamation of the Gospel by word and example. In his teachings, he emphasizes the baptismal imperative to respect the dignity of every human being and the call to live this out in our words and our work.


  • 1854 – 1865 The Rt. Rev. Thomas Fielding Scott, Bishop of Oregon and Washington Territories
  • 1856 – 1865 – Oregon and Washington Territories included Idaho
  • 1864 – St. Paul’s Mission in Walla Walla established by the Rev. Lemuel Wells
  • 1864-5 – Nativity Mission in Lewiston, ID established by the Rev. Lemuel Wells; “was the 2nd parish organized m the Oregon Territory, being established a few weeks after the first parish in Walla Walla”. (History of Lewiston by Ray Rosch)  1873 – Church of the Nativity was built
  • 1865 – 1867 The Rt. Rev. George Maxwell Randall, Bishop of Colorado and adjacent Territory (this included Idaho)
  • 1867 – 1886 The Rt. Rev. Daniel Sylvester Tuttle, Bishop of Idaho, Montana & Utah – died in 1923
  • 1868 – 1880 The Rt. Rev. Benjamin Wistar Morris, Bishop of Oregon and Washington Territories
  • 1873 – St. Peter’s in Pomeroy, WA. (organized)
  • 1877 – Church of the Good Samaritan in Colfax, WA
  • 1879 – Holy Trinity m Palouse, WA (regular services discontinued in the 1990’s, building sold in December 2003 to Whitman County Historical Society)
  • 1880 – 1892 The Rt. Rev. John Adams Paddock, Bishop of Washington Territory
  • 1880 – All Saints Church in Spokane was established the Rev. Reuben Nevius (the first small church was moved to the corner of First and Jefferson –  destroyed by fire in 1887). In 1889, a new gray clapboard building was completed and served as the Cathedral Church until 1929.
  • 1883 – Grace Church in Ellensburg, WA
  • 1885 – St. Michael’s Parish in Yakima, WA, by the Rev. Reuben Nevius
  • 1887 – 1898 The Rt. Rev. Ethelbert Talbot, Bishop of Wyoming and Idaho. (Died 1928)
  • 1889 – St. Mark’s in Moscow, ]D.
  • 1889 – Holy Trinity in Wallace, ID. (church built in 1890)
  • 1890 – Holy Trinity established in Spokane – church erected in 1896
  • 1890 – St. David’s in Spokane (3914 N Lidgerwood)
  • 1890 – St. Luke’s in Coeur d’Alene organized on Fort Sherman grounds
  • 1891 – St. James’ in Pullman, WA (originally named St. Katherine’s)
  • 1891 – Calvary Church in Roslyn, WA
  • 1892 – St. Andrew’s in Mullan, ID (now privately owned – services are held once a year – regular services discontinued in the 1980’s)
  • 1892- 1913 The Rt. Rev. Lemuel Henry Wells, 1st Bishop of the Missionary District of Spokane. (1898 – 1907 North Idaho was included in his jurisdiction)
  • 1892 – Okanogan County Missions established in Brewster, Chelan, Okanogan, Omak, Oroville, Winthrop and Twisp. (“In looking back to the 40’s and even before, it is interesting to see how many missions were served by one individual priest. The one residing in Okanogan had six missions under his care. When the Rev. Edward C. Turner was in residence there, he even offered to take on Republic. Mr. Turner later became the Bishop of Kansas”. Ruth Farnham, 1988)
  • 1893 – St. Agnes’ in Spokane (after 1907 called St. John’s – 1927 merged into St. Andrew’s)
  • 1895 – Emmanuel in Kellogg, 11) (originally in Wardner)
  • 1896 – St. Luke’s in Waterville, WA – closed in 1988 (many of the altar increments are now in use in the columbarium at St. Luke’s, Wenatchee)
  • 1896 – St. Luke’s in Wenatchee, WA
  • 1897 – In. July a hospital building was erected at the corner of Sprague and Madison. Supt. and Head Nurse was Miss Edith Duke.
  • 1897 – St. Peter’s in Spokane was organized – church built in 1903
  • 1898 – 1907 The “Panhandle” of Idaho was attached to Spokane
  • 1899 – 1907 The Rt. Rev. James Bowes Funsten, Bishop of the Missionary District of Boise
  • 1899 – St. Andrew’s in Chelan, WA
  • 1899 – Clarkston, WA. (No records show the name of the church). Evidently closed for a number of years as the records show this church active 1925 - 1937. When North Idaho became a part of the Spokane jurisdiction (1936), the church members merged with the church across the river in Lewiston, ID
  • 1899 – Trinity Church in Grangeville, ID
  • 1899 – Holy Comforter in Northport, WA – building burned in 1951 and as the economy of the area had fallen it was not re-built
  • 1899 – Redeemer in Republic, WA (part of “Northport Missions”)
  • 1900 – Christ Church in Zillah, WA (organized) Church built in 1901
  •  1901 – Holy Trinity Church in Sunnyside, WA
  • 1901 – St. Agnes’ Church in Spokane.  Closed in 1906
  • 1902 – Grace Church in Dayton, WA ‘‘‘“
  • 1903 – St. Matthew’s in Prosser, WA
  • 1903 – St. Matthew’s Mission in Spokane (1927 congregation merged into St. Andrew’s on north side of Spokane)
  • 1903 – Epiphany in Hillyard (Spokane) WA. Services discontinued in the 1970’s and the building was sold.
  • 1903 – St. James’ in Brewster, WA . was organized – church built in 1911 from rock blasted for road bed of the Great Northern Railroad being built from Wenatchee north.  In 1986 a lease was drawn with the Lutheran Church.  The last Episcopal Service was held August 21, 2011.
  • 1905 – Holy Nativity Chapel in Cle Elum, WA.  Chapel shut down April 2007 – sold later that year to be remodeled for use as a private home.
  • 1905 – St. James’ in Cashmere, WA
  • 1906 – St. Agnes’ in Sandpoint, ID.  Church facilities sold in 2005 – new facilities bought west of town in Dover, ID. And congregation changed name to Holy Spirit.
  • 1906 – St. Mary’s in Bonners Ferry, Id.
  • 1906 – St. Thomas’ Church in Spokane. (In the Liberty Park section of the city). Was organized for the blacks of Spokane and closed in December, 1951, at the suggestion of the national church. The building was sold.
  • 1907 – 1918 The Rt. Rev. James Bowes Funsten, Missionary Bishop of Idaho, this included the “Panhandle” of Idaho. (Died 1918)
  • 1907 – St. James’ Mission in Spokane (S.E. corner 25th and Grand) – in 1930 the congregation merged with other congregations in Spokane to form new Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.  Original building sold.
  • 1907 – Church of Our Savior in Pasco, WA
  • 1908 – St. Paul’s in Kennewick, WA
  • 1909 – St. John’s in Colville, WA
  • 1909 – St. Francis’ in Toppenish, WA., later discontinued. Re-opened in 1951, but again was discontinued in 1964.
  • 1912 – St. Mark’s in Ritzville, WA
  • 1912 – St. Philip’s in Orofino, ID. Was closed in 1942, then re-opened in 1959 – building purchased – closed again in 1964.
  • 1915 – 1923 The Rt. Rev. Herman Page, 2nd Bishop of the Missionary District of Spokane. Purchased land at McDonald Point on Lake Coeur d’Alene for personal use in 1923. After being elected Bishop of Michigan he found it impractical to use and sold the land to Bishop Cross.
  • 1915 – St. Philip’s in Orofino, 1D (Missionary District of Idaho)
  • 1915 – St. Paul’s in Cheney, WA (closed 1936 thru 1953)
  • 1924 – 1954  The Rt. Rev. Edward Makin Cross, 3rd Bishop of the Missionary District of Spokane.
  • 1925 – St. Luke’s in Mabton, WA. Title to this property clouded – no services held for many years – closed in 1954.
  • 1925 – Grace Church in Granger, ID – discontinued in 1942
  • 1925 – a congregation in Loomis, WA that disbanded in 1938
  • 1925 – a congregation in Myers Fall, WA that disbanded in 1926
  • 1925 – St. Mary’s Chapel in Marysvale, WA on orchard property of Mr. & Ms E. A. Smith. (Very small and without electricity) Property was sold and services discontinued in 1944
  • 1925 – a congregation in Orient, WA – disbanded in 1945
  • 1925 – Holy Trinity in Starbuck, WA – closed in 1937, when the town economy failed as the railroad ceased to have a division headquarters there.
  • 1926 – Camp Cross was acquired by the Diocese from Bishop Cross.
  • 1926 – St. Peter’s in Leavenworth, WA – discontinued in 1929
  • 1927 – St. Andrew’s in Spokane, WA (merger of St. John’s and St. Matthew’s Missions)
  • 1928 – Church of the Transfiguration in Twisp, WA (formally one of the Okanogan County Missions) closed in 1988. In 1942, the congregation from St. James’ in Winthrop (established in early 1900’s) had merged with them.
  • 1929 – St. John’s in St. John, WA. A preaching mission served by the Archdeacon. Closed in 1937.
  • 1930 – Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Spokane – a merger of All Saints’ Cathedral, St. James’ and St. John’s Missions
  • 1933 – St. Dunstan’s in Grand Coulee, WA (originally across the river in construction town of Mason City)
  • 1936 The “Panhandle” of Idaho was again made a part of the Eastern Washington jurisdiction.
  • 1940 – in Easton, WA – congregation used the community church building, disbanded in 1954.
  • 1941 – in St. Mars, ID – disbanded in 1945. A preaching station served by the rector from Coeur d’Alene.
  • 1943 – All Saints’ Church in Richland, WA
  • 1944 – Ascension Mission in Spokane in a building rented by the diocese in the downtown area for Japanese people returning from the ‘relocation’ settlements to gather in. Holy Trinity Church made its altar available to them for services. Organized for the Japanese people who had been held in the ‘relocation’ settlements came to Spokane with their clergyman, the Rev. Joseph K. Tsukamoto. The mission was closed in 1947, when our government allowed them to return to their former homes in the Seattle area.
  • 1948 – St. John the Baptist in Ephrata, WA
  • 1949 – All Saints of the Valley in Opportunity, WA – i6 1996 the congregation merged with Holy Spirit in Veradale to form The Church of the Resurrection in the Spokane Valley. The church building was sold.
  • 1952 – St. Matthew’s in Quincy, WA (organized). Disbanded in 1963
  • 1953 – St. Timothy’s in Medical Lake, WA. (organized) In 1959 a former funeral home was purchased and renovated. The church was closed in the 1980’s and the building was used as the local food bank. Currently there is an offer pending for its purchase.
  • 1954 – 1967 The Rt. Rev. Russell Sturgis Hubbard, 4th Bishop of the Missionary District of Spokane. In 1964, General Convention granted full diocesan status.
  • 1954 – St. Martin’s in Moses Lake, WA Church was built in 1957
  • 1955 – St. George’s in Kennewick, WA – in the Kennewick Highlands area. The growth in this area never materialized and the mission was closed. The building was used for other church purposes in the 1980’s.
  • 1955 – St. Timothy’s in Yakima, WA – first services held in the chapel of Langevin’s Funeral Home. Ground broken for new church in 1956.
  • 1957 – St. John’s in Union Gap, WA (as a parochial mission of St. Michael’s in Yakima)
  • 1958 – St. Thomas’ in Newport, WA – no church building, services held on a sporadic basis. Congregation disbanded in 1964.
  • 1958 – St. Stephen’s in Spokane, WA (organized – first services held in Adams School) Became a parish in 1960 and building of present church was begun in 1961.
  • 1958 – Church of the Holy Spirit in Veradale, WA (organized – first services held at 7th Day Adventist Church on Pines Rd.) First unit was dedicated in 1961 – became a parish in 1964. Mergel with the congregation of All Saints’ of the Valley in the 1996 to become Episcopal Church of the Resurrection (ECOR). New church building was dedicated in 2002.
  • 1960 – St. Colomba’s in the Pasadena Park area of the Spokane Valley. Was a parochial mission of All Saints’, Opportunity, closed about 1962.
  • 1964 – The Diocese of Spokane was established by General Convention.
  • 1967 – 1978 The Rt. Rev. John Raymond Wyatt, 5th  Bishop of the Diocese of Spokane
  • 1974 – St. Anne’s in Omak/ Okanogan, WA. (a merger of the congregations in Brewster and Okanogan)
  • 1979 – 1990 The Rt. Rev. Leigh A. Wallace, Jr., 6th Bishop of the Diocese of Spokane
  • 1990 – 1999 The Rt. Rev. Frank Jeffrey Terry, Jr., 7th Bishop of the Diocese of Spokane
  • 1996 -  Church of the Resurrection in Veradale, WA. (now Spokane Valley)was created by a merger of All Saints of the Valley and Church of the Holy Spirit.  New church building (ECOR) dedicated in 2002.
  • 2000 – The Rt. Rev. James E. Waggoner, Jr., 8th Bishop of the Diocese of Spokane

Congregations for which date of organization could not be found:

  • St. Luke’s in Davenport, WA – disbanded in 1937, building sold.
  • St. Matthew’s in Sprague, WA – mission closed in about 1910
  • Calvary Church in Waitsburg, WA – never had a building, very small group of people
  • St. John’s in White Bluffs, WA – a preaching mission in Spirit Lake, ID – a Summer only chapel.

The Rt. Rev. James E. Waggoner, Jr., 8th Bishop of the Diocese of Spokane

The Rt. Rev. Frank Jeffrey Terry, Jr., 7th Bishop of the Diocese of Spokane

The Rt. Rev. Leigh A. Wallace Jr., 6th Bishop of the Diocese of Spokane

The Rt. Rev. John Raymond Wyatt, 5th Bishop of the Diocese of Spokane

The Rt. Rev. Russell Sturgis Hubbard, 4th Bishop of the Missionary District of Spokane

The Rt. Rev. Edward Makin Cross, 3rd Bishop of the Missionary District of Spokane

The Rt. Rev. Herman Page, 2nd Bishop of the Missionary District of Spokane

The Rt. Rev. Lemuel Henry Wells, 1st Bishop of the Missionary District of Spokane

The Rt. Rev Thomas Fielding Scott, Bishop of Oregon and Washington Territories