Our History

For more than 100 years, West Side Presbyterian Church has been serving the community of West Seattle as it’s nurtured followers of Jesus Christ. Founded in 1907, its first priority was to create a Sunday school so children could be taught scriptures and learn more about the Bible. Located initially on 44th Avenue SW, West Side was often called “the little brown church” and known for preaching the gospel.

In 1924, the congregation called first pastor, Reverend Charles Boppell, a former missionary to South Africa and a well-known Christian leader. He shared his lifelong passion for Christian education with West Side by emphasizing growing our Sunday school and supporting missions.
During the 1940's West Side really grew, creating a need for more space. The church purchased its current property at the corner of California Avenue SW and SW Spokane Street in the heart of West Seattle. The first public worship service in the new church was held March 20, 1949.

At the time of its 40th anniversary in 1951, West Side had a membership of 733 adults, a VBS attendance of 370 children and supported 41 missionaries around the world.  In 1957, the church doubled their Sunday school facilities and added a chapel, a library, a new kitchen and a multipurpose auditorium.

In 1981, Reverend Paul Smith was called to be the church's fifth pastor. He was a man known for preaching God‘s word powerfully. His 35-year tenure at West Side is the longest in the church’s history. Reverend Smith encouraged development of new ministries such as Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), the parish nurse ministry, and the church-based Christian counseling services. Music, concerts and choirs of all ages flourished during his tenure.

The 1990's was a decade of significant change. Staff positions were added and the nursery and the sanctuary were remodeled. Eight magnificent stain glass windows were commissioned. (Read more about those windows here.) Other “firsts" included women serving as elders, a special Christmas Eve offering for missions, a drama group and the now locally-famous annual Gigantic Garage Sale to support Memorial Day youth outreach retreat and summer student missions. In 2011, West Side celebrated its hundredth anniversary.

A hallmark of the church’s most recent decade is outreach to the local West Seattle community by investing heavily in local ministries we either started or partnered with others. One example is West Seattle City Serve, where we annually take one day to join with other local churches to perform maintenance, service and repairs in local schools. In addition to meeting regularly to discuss community needs, West Side also is a founding member of the West Side Interfaith Network (WIN). This collective of churches from various denominations is committed to improving the West Seattle community. West Side also planned and hosted several community worship services and hopes to host more in the future. Our New Commandment Men’s Ministry serves widows, widowers, and single-parent families by providing repairs and garden services, and every other Saturday, West Side hosts a free meal for the homeless and any from our community who enjoy a great food.
Other programs created in recent years include prayer partners, foster care support, Heavenly Hosts (a dinner fellowship group), Parents’ Date Night and West Side Wednesdays (a weekly program aimed at helping parents with public school early release days).

Rev. Dr. Paul Smith retired in 2016 from full-time ministry.  As a congregation, we were committed to growing even closer to God and seeking his direction in preparation for this new season. After two years, we were delighted to welcome Rev. Dr. Laurie Brenner as our newest Senior Pastor.

Having worked in ministry around the world, Pastor Laurie was most recently serving at University Presbyterian Church as well as teaching New Testament studies at two universities in Seattle. Upon accepting the position, she also became West Side's first female Senior Pastor. Laurie is committed to creating a strong foundation of faith based upon knowledge of the scriptures and to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. In addition to challenging us weekly with her preaching, Laurie is inspiring us to imagine new ways to reach into our community and grow in faith as a church family.

We have expanded our services to include both traditional and contemporary styles of worship and are looking for new ways to serve young families of West Seattle. As a multi-generational church, we learn from one another and thrive when we are in community. We are committed to being a family of faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, anchored in truth, guided by scripture, and growing in maturity as we celebrate God‘s provision and wait to see what he has in store for our future!

Our Building

West Side Presbyterian Church has been serving West Seattle for more than a century. Founded in 1907, the original building, known as the “little brown church” was located on 44th St SW. But, after significant growth, it was clear that a new building was needed.

West Side purchased its current property at the corner of California Avenue SW and SW Spokane Street in the heart of West Seattle, and the first public worship service in the new sanctuary was held March 20, 1949. By 1957 the church expanded, doubling their Sunday school facilities, adding a chapel, a library, a new kitchen as well as a multipurpose auditorium.

During the 1990’s, the nursery and the sanctuary were remodeled. Eight magnificent stain glass windows were commissioned at that time. To learn more about those beautiful windows, click HERE