The church in Richland was started in 1974 by a group of seven people: Reverend W. Leo O’Daniel, Reverend Anna O’Daniel, their three children, Brother Leo’s mother, and an elderly lady. These seven came from the church in Kennewick, Washington. Unfortunately, Brother O’Daniel had a stroke in 1997, shortly after retiring from secular employment. Sister O’Daniel and the congregation felt it was best to find a new pastor for the church. The church voted unanimously that Grant Knowles become the next pastor, which went into effect on February 1, 1998.
Because the existing building at 513 Barth was built in the 1940’s or 1950’s and would only seat about 75-90 people packed, the church started looking for other buildings or property to purchase. In August 2000, the Lord opened the opportunity to purchase a little less than three acres in a very good location just off the main freeway. After about three years of paying on the seven-year loan, Pastor Knowles presented the option of selling the current building and paying off the property early. The loan for the land was paid off and an architect drew up plans for the new church.
The church was without a home, but within a week was able to rent from a Church of God in Richland. The church broke ground in September 2005 and completed phase 1 under budget in May of 2006. The sanctuary is approved by the fire department to seat 225 people. In 2009, a 4500 square foot addition was built without any additional financing. The second phase has a full kitchen, classrooms, additional bathrooms and a fellowship hall. There is still acreage available for additional parking and to build a larger sanctuary to seat 375-400. We are excited to see where God takes the future of TOP!