Seattle's oldest Protestant congregation, Plymouth Church has resided in the heart of Seattle for nearly 150 years. Founded in 1869, the year Seattle incorporated, Plymouth continues to play an important role in the city's civic and spiritual history.
Honoring our humble beginnings
Plymouth's first services were held in 1869 in Yesler’s Hall, a large room above a Pioneer Square drug store. As the congregation grew, we sought a location for a place of our own. Arthur Denny donated a parcel of land on Second Ave and Spring Street, and Captain William Renton contributed lumber for the first Plymouth Church building, dedicated in 1873.
As more people arrived in Seattle during the late 19th century, Plymouth assumed the role of “mother church,” and helped establish Congregational churches in outlying areas of the city. Our own congregation soon outgrew our building again, and built a new church at Third and University. This beautiful brick building housed the congregation until we once more outgrew the space and built a new church at Sixth and University, dedicated in 1912.
In the late 1950s, it became clear that our beloved church building had antiquated systems that were inadequate for modern demands. The last service was held there in 1966. Columns from that building were salvaged and stand today in a park at Pike and Boren. While our current building was being constructed, the congregation worshipped at Fifth Avenue Theater. Plymouth’s current building was dedicated in 1967, and is a distinctive part of Seattle’s modern mid-century architecture.
Celebrating history of faith-based social justice
Throughout Plymouth history, members have faithfully offered their time, service and commitment to the greater community. Plymouth is recognized for its commitment to social justice. From hosting women's suffrage movement events and protecting Chinese laborers in late nineteenth century riots, supporting peace movements and civil rights struggles of the sixties, addressing ongoing homeless crisis, advocating for equal rights in the LGBTQ community and challenging issues of economic and racial inequality, Plymouth takes lead and sounds the voice of progressive theology in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
Making a commitment to arts & music
Arts and music are a focus at Plymouth. Plymouth was blessed in 2014 when anonymous donors donated funds for a stunningly beautiful new C.B. Fisk organ; drop by for a tour! Or better yet, be our guest Sunday morning and hear the resounding strains of organ, piano, voice, bells, strings and more.
Art exhibitions (featuring emerging, regional and international fine artists) are periodically displayed at Plymouth Church. Plymouth also curates group art exhibitions with social justice themes in collaboration with locoal community non profit organizations such as Plymouth Housing Group, Organization of Prostitution Survivors and Recovery Cafe. If you are interested in exhibiting your work at Plymouth, please contact us!
Members seek ways to make a difference
Plymouth ministers to the wider community through Ministry Teams centered around community, outreach and social justice, worship, faith formation and administration. Through these Ministry Teams, members continue the Plymouth tradition of advocating for children, people experiencing homelessness and mental illness. We address economic equality, immigration issues, undoing institutional racism, environmental justice and welcome our queer/trans community. We acknowledge that we humbly stand on Duwamish land.
Click link below to purchase a copy of Plymouth’s history from 1869 through the early 1980’s:
Seeking to Serve was updated to reflect the 1980s through the early 2000’s. Click the link below to purchase a copy: