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Brad Carlson, pastor at Yelm Prairie Christian Center, poses for a photo with his wife Susie Carlson on Friday morning. The two hold a painting of the original church that housed their congregation over on the corner of Railroad Street and Jefferson Avenue.

Yelm Prairie Christian Center (YPCC) celebrated a century of existence last weekend during a reunion dinner and celebration service with current and former church leaders. 

Pastor Brad Carlson, who has served the church since 2005, said he and his wife Susie were excited for the events. He said they wouldn’t still be here if it wasn’t for the support of the community. 

“I think it’s that old prairie strength,” Carlson said. “And when you realize you can’t do it all, you start reaching out.” 

Last Saturday, Carlson toured the original YPCC church on the corner of Railroad Street and Jefferson Avenue with former Pastors Dan Schaefer, Don Shover and Tracy Durham. 

YPCC was one of the first seven churches to settle in the region as part of the Assemblies of God, which incorporated in 1919. 

According to church records, the church’s congregants originally didn’t have an official building to call home when it incorporated. But in 1925, churchgoers wheeled timber over from McKenna to begin work on the church’s first building, which was inhabited by the congregation until 1986. 

The church was based out of Yelm Middle School until they built their current building on 103rd Avenue. 

Carlson said they first learned of the centennial celebration at a recent regional meeting of the Assemblies of God. 

“We were like, ‘What?’ We didn’t even know that,” he said. “It’s exciting to me. We’ve had difficulties … Everything that’s happened in town has happened here. The fact that we’re still here is amazing and it’s a testament to God.” 

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