Fridolf Nelson and Fingal Gothberg, two young Covenant men from Chicago were prospectors in the Alaskan “Gold Rush” and returned with funds to establish a Swedish Covenant community. Irrigation was brought to this desert area in the early 1900’s and a land boom ensued. The two men bought land in Wiley Heights suitable for orchards and advertised in the “Mission Friend”, an early newspaper of the Covenant Church. Families started moving to the area west of Yakima shortly after. Services began in 1915 and a church was erected in 1920.
The current structure was built in 1963 and sits on what became known as “Swede Hill” surrounded by the original orchards. Some descendants of the early Swedish immigrants are still part of the church, but since those early days many others have come to find a family within this congregation.
Other Accounts Of Our History
History of the Mission Church is an account of the history of the Mission Covenant Church of Wiley Heights, through 1953. It was written by N. Gothberg, October 1953.
History of Wiley Heights Covenant Church is the church story from 1915 - 1963. It was written for the dedication of the new church building in 1963.
The Old Church and the New was written by Ann Torell 1965.
New Church on the Hill shows pictures with summaries of the work being done during construction of the beautiful building we have today.
A History of Wiley Heights Covenant Church Pastor Stan Shipley's history of the Wiley Heights Covenant Church