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2017 Freedom Fund Banquet Leadership Award Recipients

Pastor of state’s oldest African-American church honored for leadership

Pastor C.W. Andrews has brought witness to Spokane police.

The Rev. C.W. Andrews, Sr., a native of Minters, Ala., near Selma, is recognized for his leadership of 44 years as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, the oldest African American church in Washington.

  The youngest of 17 children of Jesse and Edna Andrews, who were sharecroppers, Chester said his early education was at Street Manual Training School, where he graduated in 1957. 

Growing up in times of segregation, he walked two miles to school and worked before and after school in the fields.  After his siblings finished high school, they left the community. He later studied at several Bible colleges.

In 1959, he moved to Yakima, where he married Doris Chappell.  Recently they and their five children celebrated their 58th year of marriage.

He served eight years in the U.S. Army as a staff sargent SFSGT-E6 and later worked with Western Electric, starting in Yakima, traveling throughout the United States and settling in Spokane. 

Feeling called to ministry, in 1963, he became assistant pastor at Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, where the pastor mentored him.

While most of his preparation to be a pastor was through on-the-job training, he also did some studies at Selah Bible College in Yakima.

He first came to Spokane in 1968, and then he, Doris and their family moved to Spokane in 1971.  He was a member for three years at Morning Star Baptist until he came to Calvary Baptist in 1974, first as interim, and seven months later as pastor. 

He has served on many boards and committees in Spokane and throughout the Pacific Northwest. He has been a longtime member of Spokane NAACP, serving on committees and bringing many new members into the branch. 

Since the 1980s, he has been on the Police Advisory Committee, as several police chiefs have come and gone.

He has also served on boards of the Human Services Department, the Department of Health and Social Services and Spokane Ministers’ Fellowship. 

He is also a past president of the North Pacific Baptist Convention and previously served as an assistant chaplain at Whitworth University. 

Deacons Emeritus at Calvary Baptist Church

In 1998, Chester received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Whitworth University, where he studied and taught many years.  

“I believe in working for good, to help humanity and to bring Christ’s love into people’s lives, even if they are not in the church,” he said reminding of Micah’s words in Scripture: “What does the Lord require of us, but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.”

“I’ll keep preaching the Word and working with the police until the Lord calls me home,” he said.

Beyond his own recent recognition for leadership, Chester on Sunday, Nov. 12, conferred the title of Deacon Emeritus on three deacons at Calvary Baptist, honoring them for their leaderships and their contributions that are “so great others will aspire to meet the standards they created,” said Peggy Troutt, reporting for the church.

Those given the lifetime honor and the title Deacon Emeritus are Deacon Elmer Anderson, who has served more than 36 years; Deacon James Fisher, Sr., 40 years, and Deacon Manual Brown, for 64 years.

For information, call 747-8793 or 294-1636.

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