About Us

The Rainier Avenue Free Methodist Church is nestled in the heart of the Rainier Valley, a one-by-seven mile community of 40,000 people in southeast Seattle. The church was born out of the 1904 Annual Conference of the Free Methodist Church in Everett, Washington. Rev. E.L. Smith pastored the new Hillman City Free Methodist Church, as it was called back then, with 14 charter members in the home of F.L. Delong. By the fall of 1904, a frame church building was constructed at the corner of Rainier Avenue South and South Juneau Street. On November 6, the first service was held in the building.

Today we celebrate the 100+ year history of ministry in the Rainier Valley, where some 40 percent of its residents were born outside the United States; some 45 percent speak a language other than English at home; some 100 different languages are spoken. "Quite literally, the 'whole world' has found its way to the doorsteps of our historic 100-year-old church," says Paul Olver, pastor of Rainier Avenue Church. "Of the 325 who make up our extended ministry, 40 percent are Asian and Pacific Islander (Lao, Mien, Khmu, Samoan); 20 percent African American, Hispanic, African, etc.; 40 percent Caucasian." Over the years, the church has adapted to its changing neighborhood. Fully 75 percent of members reside in the Rainier Valley, nearly half of them involved in 15 action teams providing needed services (meals, transportation, babysitting, etc.) to those within the church's ministry network.

Worship Service Times

Sundays at 9:00am and 10:30am

Location and Directions

Rainier Avenue Church is located at 5900 Rainier Avenue South in Seattle, Washington at the corner of Rainier Avenue S. and S. Juneau St.

Driving Directions
From North:
Take I-5 South to the Albro-Swift exit (#162).
At the end of the ramp, turn left on Albro St.
Go east over I-5 and at the next light turn right on Swift Ave.
At the next light turn left (up hill) on S. Graham St.
Stay on S. Graham St. until you reach Rainier Ave. S.
Turn left on Rainier Ave. S. Go north (about 2 blocks).
The church is on the corner of Rainier Ave. S. and South Juneau St (1 block past the fire station).

From South:
Take I-5 North to the Albro-Swift exit (#161).
At the end of the ramp, turn left on Swift Ave.
At the next light, turn right on S. Graham St.
Stay on S. Graham St. until you reach Rainier Ave. S.
Turn left on Rainier Ave. S. Go north (about 2 blocks).
The church is on the corner of Rainier Ave. S. and South Juneau St (1 block past the fire station).

Map

What We Believe

Our mission is to encourage people in the Rainier Valley to find wholeness in Jesus Christ. [more...]

Who are Free Methodists?

Free Methodists trace their heritage back to original Methodism as led by its founder, John Wesley. When Methodism came to America, churches and annual conferences spread across the land. In 1860, in western New York and Illinois, the Free Methodist Church came into being. In New York a group of 1,000 Methodist laymen held several conventions and were joined by evangelical Methodist pastors. On August 23, 1860, the new denomination came into being. [more...]