Temple History

First Church

In 1945, with a nucleus of six dedicated Buddhists, the first Sunday service was performed by Reverend Eiyu Terao in a rented apartment at S. 516 Cowley Street. A month later, a residence was purchased one half block south at S. 628 Cowley. A shrine, a gift from the Toppenish Buddhist Church, and a scroll with the inscription “Namu Amida Butsu” was installed in 1946. On October 3, 1948, the statue of Amida Buddha was enshrined and the building was officially dedicated. The ceremony was officiated by Bishop Enryo Shigefuji.

After Reverend Terao was transferred to California, his brother, William Terao, became the resident minister in 1952.

With the growth in membership, a need for larger facilities became evident and the present building with adjoining gymnasium at S. 927 Perry Street was purchased from the Liberty Heights Baptist Church on April 1, 1965 and was dedicated on October 16, 1966.

Temple on fire

Reverend William Terao left the Spokane area in 1972, and Reverend Ikuo Nishimura of the Yakima Buddhist Church served the congregation on a once-a-month basis until June 1973, when Reverend Shingo Hattori was assigned as the resident minister until his departure in December 1976. Reverend Ichiju Yamana arrived on March 1, 1978.

The Perry Street Church was destroyed by an arson fire on April 23, 1992. The original shrine was saved by firefighters and is still in use in the newly rebuilt church.

Oct. 1, 1994 Dedication of the New Building

The newly built Spokane Buddhist Church was dedicated on October 1, 1994.

In September 2014, on the 20th Anniversary of the new building, Rinban Don Castro, then Supervising Minister from the Seattle Betsuin, held a special anniversary service and dedicated the gymnasium to the north as “Terao Hall”, honoring the founders of the Spokane Buddhist Temple. Mrs. Joyce Terao and her daughters Lenni and Karen attended.

Today, the Temple thrives, welcoming everyone to come and learn the Dharma.