In 1912, the Home Missions Council allocated the district including Haller Lake and Bitter Lake to the Methodist Episcopal Church. No further action was taken until 1920, when a field representative of the Methodist Union in Seattle met with interested residents to discuss the establishment of a church in the community. A tract was purchased for $350 at North 128th Street and North Trunk Highway (now Aurora Avenue North).
Construction began the following year, and the formal opening and dedicatory services were held in April 1922. Originally called Two Lake Community Church (Haller Lake and Bitter Lake), the church was officially renamed St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church in 1926. Church membership was 36 by 1927, with 78 in the Sunday School. The preacher’s salary was $360 and the church budget was $897.00.
In 1929, news that the Playland Amusement Park was coming to the area prompted the sale of the church. Services were moved to Haller Lake School and a half-acre tract at North 128th and First Avenue NE was purchased. Groundbreaking was held for the new Haller Lake Methodist Church in March 1930, and it was dedicated on May 4. The church bell was a gift from Skagit Valley Methodist Church and the Swedish District. That same bell is still part of our church, residing in the church tower. In 1935 the first choir was organized by Howard Morrill, who served as choir director for 30 years.
By 1945, the little church was bursting at the seams. The old gray church and parsonage were sold to the Seattle School District for $17,000; eventually that site became part of the current North Acres Park. One-and-one-half acres were purchased at First Avenue NE and 133rd Street for the new church location.
The parsonage was built in 1948. Construction began the following year on the new brick church to seat 250, with space for a choir of 30, a social hall to seat 200, and classrooms for 200 children and youth. Much of the labor was provided by volunteers–both men and women pitched in. There wasn’t enough money to install pews in the balcony or stained glass windows in the sanctuary. Those would come later.
By the time of the church consecration on May 21, 1950, the church was holding three services and three sessions of Sunday School. More space was needed, so the property across 133rd was purchased and renovated to include a chapel and five classrooms. It became the Youth Center. A new Wurlitzer Organ was dedicated in 1951.
Several rooms were added to the main floor of the church building in 1954: a second church office, the Friendship Room across from the sanctuary, the kitchenette, the minister’s study, and a bathroom. An upper floor addition was added at that time, too. It included classrooms, a library, a choir room, and restrooms.
In 1958, the home just south of the church was purchased to house our associate ministers, and additional property was purchased to increase the parking area. A three-manual Wurlitzer theater organ was donated and installed in the sanctuary in 1959. Also that year, pews were added to the balcony, making seating for 300 in the sanctuary. The large stained glass window above the altar and the side stained glass windows were installed.
In 1968, the worldwide Methodist Church united with the Evangelical United Brethren Church (a descendent of German speaking American Methodists) to form The United Methodist Church (UMC). Since that time we have been known as Haller Lake United Methodist Church.
In 1973 a two-manual pipe organ was designed and installed by Balcom and Vaughan. It was dedicated in November 1973. During 2000, the pipe organ was cleaned and renovated. In 1974, a new enlarged West entrance with stained glass windows and a stairway up to the main church level were added.
These are the major developments of our church so far. Each year we continue to maintain, upgrade, and add new features to our church building and properties. We welcome you to visit any Sunday. There’s a place for you here.