Sanctuary of Praise in Bellevue, WA, formerly Life Tabernacle, was founded by Rev. Harold Kern and his wife Pam in the early part of 1973. After a visit to the area, they felt a tremendous burden to reach the lost souls of Bellevue and then moved from Chowchilla, CA with their six month old son Nathan.
The Larry Sevedge family, Doris, James, and Patsy moved with them from California and were instrumental in helping to establish the church and remained steadfast until his passing in January of 2014.
For the first 3 months the Kerns and Sevedges knocked on doors to contact the people of Bellevue with the message of salvation. The first convert was Karen Chaudoin who was filled with the Holy Ghost and baptized in Jesus name in Lake Samammish at Camp Sambica. She was soon joined in the New Birth experience by her husband Sonny. They became and were an integral part of the church until they moved to Hawaii for his employment in 1990.
A beautiful daughter, Cynthia, was added to the Kern family on May 14, 1975. Throughout the years both Nathan and Cindy Kern contributed mightily in the ministries of the church. Nathan, his wife Sachina, and their children currently live in Hollister, CA and attend the East Valley Pentecostal Church in San Jose. Cynthia and her husband, Ryan Carver, reside in Seattle, WA.
The church first met in the recreation hall of the Hidden Village Apartments on SE 24th street, and then moved to the Lake Hills Clubhouse where several Families were added to the church. As the need for a larger facility became evident, and funds were necessary, Rev Kern, together with men from the congregation, began to build several houses on properties purchased by the church. In 1978, two months after construction began, God opened the door to purchase property in the Eastgate area of Bellevue. In 1979 building began on a brand new sanctuary and 15800 Newport Way became the Home of the Bellevue Church for the next 35 years.
Those were exciting years of church growth and revival. Hundreds of hungry souls passed through those doors, received the precious gift of the Holy Ghost, were baptized in water in the name of Jesus, and established in their Christian walk. Persons from all backgrounds and cultures were ministered to through this church. It was truly a multi cultural congregation with 18 nationalities and cultures represented throughout the years.
Several ministries were established in that location, Christian Life Academy for grades K-12, Eastgate Daycare, Sancturio de Alabanza , Frontline Ministries to the homeless, a thriving Sunday School program, and Men’s and Ladies ministries.
Rev Harold and Pamela Kern were married for 42 years before Sis. Pamela Kern went on to her reward in February of 2011 after a six-year battle with Ovarian Cancer. She is missed greatly and loved by all who knew her. Her part in establishing and building the church of Bellevue is immeasurable. She was truly a mother to the many souls who attended this church.
Johanna Theresa Encinas of Sumner, WA, has since joined hands with Rev. Kern in marriage, and together they worked to lead and guide the saints of Sanctuary of Praise until Pastor Kern’s retirement in 2015.
Though retired as pastor, Rev. and Sis. Kern continue to minister in the Kingdom of God. They are currently involved in the work in Roatan, Honduras. As part of the ministry there, and in coordination with HCOW (Helping Children of the World), they travel to the island to teach the children of Crawfish Rock, coordinate and support the intern teams who rotate in the teaching assignment, and support the church work in La Colonia and Crawfish Rock in teaching and preaching.
As Bishop and wife, the Kerns will continue to lend support to Pastor and Sis. Steve Malone, their family, and Sanctuary of Praise in Bellevue, WA. They have been blessed with a new home in Paradise, CA and will be based at Truth Church in Chico, CA, pastored by Bro. Nathan Morton. In California they plan to enjoy time with their children and grandchildren, and preach the Word wherever God leads them.
Lives were invested in the city of Bellevue, Washington and only eternity will reveal the impact on hundreds of people as they joined hands for preaching the beautiful Gospel of the Apostolic Faith.