Weiser Church of the Nazarene to celebrate 100 years Feb. 10-11

A two-day celebration marking the 100th anniversary of the Weiser Church of the Nazarene is scheduled for Feb. 10 and 11. The church had humble beginnings and has weathered the test of time. Photo by Philip A. Janquart
Philip A. Janquart
Weiser Church of the Nazarene is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
 In recognition of its long history, a two-day event is planned, beginning Saturday, Feb. 10 at 6 p.m., with singing, guest speakers, a time capsule, and fellowship, complete with food and refreshments.
 “We are bringing in some former pastors and significant leaders who will talk about the church over the years,” said Pastor Hunter Mizar. “It’s going to be a really big night.”
 On Sunday, Feb. 11, all are invited to regular worship service at 10:45 a.m., which will feature a choir special, new member take-in, communion, slide show, and message from Pastor Mizar. There will be cake afterward.
 The church is located at 510 E. Indianhead Road. 
 Snake River Heritage Center board member and 25-year Weiser Church of the Nazarene attendee Dottie Emert said the church had its beginnings during the “Roaring Twenties” when prohibition was in full force, Calvin Coolidge was president, and the country was still rebounding from World War I. Back then, Idaho’s population was around 434,000 and Weiser 3,154.
 “Weiser was a booming town, and I mean booming,” she told the Signal American. “All the mining and the lumber was funneling down and we were shipping goods to all parts of the United States on the P&IN (Pacific & Idaho Northern) Railroad.”
 Emert said that aside from the railroad, some of Weiser’s illustrious features included the Washington Hotel, Montgomery Ward and Sears stores, the Institute, the Weiser and Vendome Hotels, and Mortimer’s Island, among many others.
 “People would come from Boise to shop and many came to get married here so they could stay at the Washington Hotel because there were marble columns, stairways going up and a real elevator,” she noted. “There was a ballroom and luxury suites. That’s what Weiser was like when this church was established.”
 Emert said the church got its start when the Nazarene headquarters in Nampa decided to hold an evangelical meeting in town. Held in a large, canvas tent, the meeting attracted large numbers of people.
 “They decided to send out a kind of missionary, evangelistic team to Weiser and brought this big tent on the P&IN and set it up in a lot, but it was August and 104 degrees and no trees,” she explained. “Frank Mortimer stepped in and said to bring it out to the Island, so they tore it down and took it out to Mortimer’s Island and, of course, there were trees and grass and it was an ideal place.”
 At the time, Mortimer’s Island consisted of many popular amusements and attractions, bringing in thousands of people every year from all over the country.
 “The meeting lasted a couple of weeks, every day, all night long,” Emert said of that first evangelical meeting. “There was so much enthusiasm, the headquarters thought they should start a real church here. So, in February (1924), they came and rented the Colonial Theater. They planned a two-week meeting and it was well attended, standing room only crowds night after night.”
 Ultimately, 30 people came forward, officially founding the Weiser Church of the Nazarene, which has withstood the ups and downs the nation, and Weiser community, would face over the next 100 years, including the Depression and another world war.
 The history associated with the church is rich and is summed up in a 42-page booklet that everyone who attends the celebration on Feb. 10 and 11 will receive at no cost.
 “As a historian, the part that really grabs me is how much was going on in Weiser when this church was founded,” she said. “Now, there is no more railroad, no more Ward’s or Sears, no Washington Hotel, and no Institute. It’s interesting to me that time moves on and the things that were so big at one time, are not there anymore, but God’s church remains, which is true for almost every church that started here in Weiser.”


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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