Richland, Washington started as a sleepy agricultural community, nestled alongside the Columbia River. In 1942, the Federal government saw Richland’s remote location, abundant water supply and mild weather as the right combination it needed. At that time, the government took over the land and used it to build the country’s first nuclear reactor on the Hanford Site in 1943. Almost overnight, the population of Richland boomed from about 300 to more than 25,000 when it became a housing development for workers at the Site. It was a closed city, and only government-approved workers were allowed in. Richland’s alphabet houses were designed to accommodate the growth in population at the Hanford Site during World War II and the cold war. Each housing design was assigned an alphabet letter designation and included apartments, dormitories, duplexes and single family homes. As you drive and look around the neighborhoods today, you will see that these alphabet houses still exist.
In 1958, Richland incorporated and became a self-governed, open city. The last production reactor at Hanford shut down in
1987. Since then, the facility
has been dedicated to environmental cleanup, science and technology, and continues to employ many current residents of the Tri-Cities, which include neighboring Kennewick and Pasco. Today, the area is rich in science and technology, as well as recreation, wine production, and education.
Back in the days of the small farming community, there were three small churches in Richland, the largest being Community Methodist Church with 138 members. In the 1940’s, churches were consolidated into one. At that time the various denominational leaders determined that their efforts were better consolidated. Thus, all new churches established in Richland would be called United Protestant Churches as they represented the unified work of eleven cooperating denominations, working together for the good of all and for the cause of Christ.
As the area grew because of the nuclear project, the need for churches increased, and in 1947, the American Baptists were
sponsors of a second church in Richland, which became known as Southside United Protestant Church. Southside United Protestant Church was the
first non-commercial organization to break ground in the new village of Richland. The first services of the new
church were held on Easter Sunday, 1949. This current sanctuary was built in 1968, and the facility was remodeled in 1978 to expand the facilities and education wing.
Today, Southside is a thriving church under the leadership of Pastor Jim Amend, who came to Southside in 2000. The facilities house not only traditional and contemporary Sunday morning services, but numerous activities for the church family and others who use our facility. For more information on the many organizations that are hosted by Southside please click the “Our Ministry” link and go to the “Serving Our Community” section. We thank God for our rich history and for His loving care of this congregation and community over the years.
517 Jadwin Ave
Richland WA 99352
Office Contact Hours:
2:00 - 3:00 Tuesday/Wednesday
(Dependent on staff availability)
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