New fellowship hall provides services to local community

Riverside Church members offer a bake sale, snow cones and a car wash

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The new fellowship hall at Riverside Seventh-day Adventist Church is the site of community cooking classes and meetings of Pathfinder scouts and Narcotics Anonymous. Pastor Merrill Caviness (pictured) will be among the participants Sunday in a sale of crafts, housewares and baked goods, to help pay off the church's building loan.

o Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Riverside Seventh-day Adventist Church, 463 N. Shepard Road, in Washougal.

o Admission is free.

o Contact: 835-3114 or visit

Before the addition of a fellowship hall, the Riverside Chinook Pathfinder Club had to meet in the hallways of Riverside Seventh-day Adventist Church and Christian School.

That crowded situation involving the coed Scout group for ages 10 to 16 has since been resolved with the new hall, and many local residents are donating their time, talents and baked goods, to help raise money for the building.

“It was a priority of our church family to take care of our youth, so they have a place to meet and fellowship together,” said Riverside Pastor Merrill Caviness.

In addition to programs for youth, the hall has been the site of cooking demonstrations, Saturday potlucks and smoking cessation classes. Narcotics Anonymous meetings are held Thursdays, at 7 p.m., and prayer gatherings occur Sundays, at 5:30 p.m.

o Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Riverside Seventh-day Adventist Church, 463 N. Shepard Road, in Washougal.

o Admission is free.

o Contact: 835-3114 or visit

Church members and non-members will be helping with the ‘Summer Spectacular,” scheduled for Sunday.

It will include a car wash, snow cones, produce vendors and the sale of various housewares, crafts and assorted cookies and muffins.

“It takes a team effort,” Caviness said. “It gives us a good sense of community — to see what we can accomplish together.

“We are here to share God’s love with the community,” he added. “That’s the command Jesus gave us — to help them and serve them. That’s what churches are for. It makes us feel good to help each other — to be of some service to somebody. God designed us this way.”

The cost of the fellowship hall was $200,000. The remaining balance is $18,000.

Several individuals have assisted with preparing the fellowship hall for a multitude of uses. Alan Duzan and others have installed decking, alongside his Jack Russell terrier “Chopper,” the church’s unofficial mascot. In addition to helping design the kitchen, Ken Baird made contacts and raised money for appliances.

The church is planning to host a Thanksgiving dinner and silent auction Sunday, Nov. 20, to also help pay off the building loan.

Riverside Christian School meets in a different building, providing education for preschool age children through eighth-grade. Daycare and after school care options are also available.

Proceeds from the Apple Festival, scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 9, will purchase computers and other equipment for the school and daycare. The annual fund raiser also generates scholarship money for students to attend the private school.

Caviness has been the pastor at Riverside for three years. The church has 220 members.

“The new building will have a lot of community action,” Caviness said. “We are hoping it will be a blessing to the community.”