My Father’s House of Prayer renovates 1889 home
Scott McConnell and Daniel Grether inside the house.
My Father’s House of Prayer takes root in a Victorian house built in 1889 in Ross Park that organizers hope to relocate in early November to 3111 E. Marshall. Organizers and builders anticipate spiritual transformation in the community and world as people come there to pray.
“American churches have more people with gray and white hair. Many are losing youth—especially in the area from California to British Columbia and west of the Rockies, which is one of the least churched areas,” said the Rev. Daniel Grether, the founder and executive director of Free Indeed Ministries International.
He is working with Scott McConnell and the Rev. Jim Leuschen of New Covenant Fellowship. Having a House of Prayer in Spokane has long been Jim’s vision. Scott, a home renovation contractor and member of that church, shares that vision.
Recently, young people with sledgehammers broke porches from the house at its original site at 1603 E. North Crescent on Avista property. Avista sold the house to the group for $1 with the understanding it would be moved.
The house is on wheels awaiting move to new location.
The house sits on steel beams and 48 wheels across the street, waiting for improvements to the Greene Street Bridge, which had an 80,000-pound capacity, so it can accommodate the 155,000-pound house and moving gear. A Tacoma firm is repairing the bridge by covering it with a material to make it impervious to water, said Daniel.
The house will be moved about two miles up the Spokane River across the bridge and onto the site across from Spokane Community College.
The vision for the project has grown for 20 years at New Covenant Fellowship.
Jim, a graduate of Whitworth University, started the church 35 years ago from a Bible study group. They first met at the Red Cross, then in other churches, at the Healing Rooms Center and now at Immanuel Baptist Church. About 100 are involved.
The House of Prayer will draw people from the “whole Body of Christ—people of all ages, genders, skin colors and nations,” Daniel said. “We have allowed divisions of the past to divide us. Soon we will have people from different languages and cultures praying shoulder to shoulder.”
“Moving the house is small,” said Daniel, who wants the house of prayer to “open our eyes and connect us over bridges to create good relationships among Christians and bring the church together.”
Worldwide, Houses of Prayer bring individuals and worship teams together to pray 24/7 and worship in their different ways.
During the 13 years Daniel was pastor at the Community Presbyterian Church in Wilbur, he started praying an hour a day. Then a Presbyterian minister who promotes prayer for revival came to town and started men’s and women’s groups who met to pray two hours a day.
Jim joined that minister in Spokane in the 1980s to plant an earlier House of Prayer.
Scott, who grew up in Spokane and has attended New Covenant for 30 years, has remodeled old homes for 35 years. His commitment started when he went to a House of Prayer in Kansas City three times for two-week stays.
“A House of Prayer can have impact on individuals, communities and the world,” said Scott, project manager. “As I spend time in a prayer room, I experience the Lord working in my heart.”
He has seen that young people at a House of Prayer “gain a fire for the Lord, because they come to know that people of all churches and nations can join in unified celebration and prayer.” He believes God will revive the participation of youth as the Body of Christ unifies.
Daniel, who grew up in California, came to Whitworth, graduated in 1966, was a salesman and then a social worker for 12 years before going back to California to Fuller Seminary, graduating in 1981. After serving in Wilbur, he came to Spokane in 1995 to start prayer ministries, eventually starting Free Indeed Ministries, a nonprofit that seeks to “transform communities, starting in Spokane and going to all the nations.”
He prays for God to awaken people so they connect to God in tangible, dramatic ways.
“God does more than we can do.” He’s pleased people are connecting in physical acts of moving and remodeling the house.
Scott, who came to Spokane in 1962, attended Northwest Nazarene College. He earned an associate degree in graphic design in 1991 at Spokane Falls Community College. He completed an associate degree at Spokane Community College in 2001. He also has experience working in a home restoration with his father.
Scott is impressed that people have given financially and provided physical labor. Much of the work on the house will be done by volunteer builders, painters, carpenters, electricians, heat system installers, plumbers and others who donate their time. He expects in-kind donations for materials.
The house will be restored to its original state on top of a high-ceilinged full basement, where music groups will lead worship.
Organizers received a $30,000 matching grant to help cover the $50,000 relocation and other costs.
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