140 years of Jesus in Idaho Falls (working draft)

140 Years of Jesus in Idaho Falls, 1882-2022


1882 – Jesus sent a 48-year old divorced woman with a 13-year old daughter to the bleak desert town of Eagle Rock to pray, share the gospel with every person in the community, organize and raise funds to build the first church building, organize and teach the first Sunday school, start the first school and the first library, and work for justice and morality in the community. CMB

1885 – Jesus continued to instruct the youth of the city through the opening of the Eagle Rock Academy, led by the pastor of First Baptist Church, who wrote to the people of Eagle Rock, “I have come to Eagle Rock to give my time, my talent and my energies to the advancement of the religious and educational interest of the town and county.” CMB

1886 – Jesus protected workers and Eagle Rock residents when a storm totally demolished the round-house of the Union and Northern Railroad, which was the primary place of employment in the community at that time. CMB

1896 – Jesus honored Christian women in their push for justice and opened up the way for them to cast together with men their political vote; men and women are one and equal in Christ. ETW

1919 – Jesus sent a young man who excelled in Idaho Falls schools and later worked for several years as a reporter for the predecessor to the Post Register, along with his young bride, to Persia, at which time military forces of five nations were fighting for control, to evangelism Nestorians, Armenians, Muslims, Jews and Zoroastrians. ETW

1971- Jesus transformed lives of young men on drugs in the Shiloh home of Idaho Falls, part of the Jesus movement network of Shiloh Youth Revival Centers. CMB

1972- Jesus brought a Vietnam war veteran, a marine for 20 years, to Idaho Falls to win souls for Christ and serve as pastor in Idaho Falls for 39 years and a leader in the community. CMB

1973 – Jesus gave courage to one faithful couple to pioneer a new Christian school that would exist for almost 25 years in training hundreds upon hundreds of young people in Biblical values and academic excellence; while on the other side of the river, Jesus blessed and filled with the Spirit a couple to joyfully touch so many lives through the Sonshine Inn Coffee House Band. ETW

1981 – Jesus brought to the city, “Mister Gospel Guitar,” the first CCM artist from out of the state to sing and as a nationally known evangelist to preach the gospel. ETW

1983 – As this little girl trusted in Jesus to be her Savior In Idaho Falls, he then called her later to be an ambassador of Christ’s love in Rexburg where she has served for the past 20 years. ETW

1984  – A book came out of Idaho Falls that shared the story of a man’s journey with Jesus and Mormonism and began to circulate all around the country. ETW

1988 – Surrendered by a loving church family, Jesus called a young 18-year-old boy to preach his first Bible message which ended up being a catalyst for life-long ministry in Idaho Falls. ETW

1989 – Jesus nudged the hearts of some high school graduates in Idaho Falls to join their musical gifts and form a Christian band that would be taking the gospel of grace and forgiveness into the bars and night scenes all around the area over the span of several years. ETW

1991 – In answer to many prayers, Jesus sent rain to break a severe drought in Eastern Idaho. CMB

1992 – Jesus gave a man who was born and grew up 8,600 miles away from Idaho Falls a heart for serving the underappreciated, and in 1992 brought him to Idaho Falls to counsel troubled teens, found the Family Care Counseling Center, open his home to homeless men, foster dozens of children and serve as an interim pastor of several Idaho Falls churches. CMB

1993 – Jesus brought a former hard-partying cowboy whose life He had transformed to Idaho Falls to plant what became the fastest growing evangelical church in Idaho Falls for the next 25 years or so.  CMB

1994 – Jesus brought 14 churches together and a speaker from Texas to hold a tent revival in Idaho Falls that focused on spiritual renewal, Christian unity and missions. CMB

1995 – Jesus began the Berean Baptist Church of Idaho Falls.  ETW

1996 – Jesus gathered his people for a “Jesus is Lord” Crusade at the Civic Center Auditorium for the purpose of renewing the church’s calling to worship, edify, and evangelize.

2002 – Jesus stretched and blessed the faith of a small, handful of Christians to acquire a trailer park and operate it as “A Refuge Ministries” for the span of ten years—a place of housing, prayer, and ministry to those out in the margins. ETW

2016 –  Jesus enlarges the hearts of a Christian family with a wonderful business dream; and after extensive planning, prayer, and a blessing from their local pastor, this family opens up a downtown bagel shop that becomes a warm place for ministry groups to gather from all over the city, to discuss, to pray, to read, to study, to fellowship, and to listen to Jesus music. ETW

2018 – Jesus instigated the beginnings of Providence Downtown Church. ETW

2019 – In building upon past evangelical ministerial associations, on the National Day of Prayer, Jesus birthed the new name, Eastern Idaho Pastors Coalition, among a group of pastors where the mission statement is as follows: “Connect pastors to one another and Eastern Idaho to Jesus.” ETW

2020 – In answer to much pray, Jesus restored an Idaho Falls pastor’s life and health after multiple open heart surgeries and 3 months in a coma, confirming His word to him that he had more work to do.  CMB

2021 – Jesus expands the church in Idaho Falls by starting Westernsprings Cowboy Church, The Gathering, UR His Church, and Reach Church, and by sending a man to start Young Life.  ETW


Names, sources, supplemental information

1882: Rebecca Brown Mitchell; see section 5.3.1 of https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/jesus-church-called-and-sent and also https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/rebecca-mitchell-supplemental-mater;  Rebecca Mitchell arrived in Eagle Rock on June 6, 1882, and immediately got to work.  She held Sunday school on June 11, and her day school began June 12.  

1885: Rev. T. M. Stewart, quote from “Eagle Rock Academy – A Card to the People of Eagle Rock and Vicinity,” by Rev. T. M. Stewart, published in the Idaho Register, August 22, 1885.  

1886: See the report of the storm in the Idaho Register, May 22, 1886.  When the storm hit at 2:20 pm on May 19, 1886, there were 53 men working in the roundhouse and the only one injured was John McMillan whose ankle was sprained and slightly fractured.  The article reported, “Had it not been that every stall in the round-house was occupied by an engine, a terrible slaughter of men would have been the result.  As the circumstances were it is almost a miracle that all escaped so safely, for the heavy timbers came crashing down with sufficient force to demolish cabs, bells, whistles and hand-rails of the engines…”  Debris from the house of Mr. D. A. Taylor fell on his wife and two young children but they too escaped without injury.    

1896: https://history.idaho.gov/2020-suffrage-exhibit/ – And Rebecca Mitchell was a leading spokesperson for this women’s suffrage, https://documents.alexanderstreet.com/d/1009656441

1919: J. Christy Wilson Sr. served as a missionary in Persia for 20 years, and his son, J. Christy Wilson Sr. pioneered Christian missions in Afghanistan. See more of his story and references in Section 6.3.1, https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/jesus-church-called-and-sent  

1971: One 18-year old was lived at the Idaho Falls Shiloh home and greatly benefitted by it was Anthony Harper, now publisher of the Intermountain Christian News. Read his testimony at http://www.imcnews.org/paper/drharper.php.  

1972: Bishop George Foster Jr. came to Idaho Falls to speak at a revival at Community Church of God in Christ and stayed to pastor New Hope Temple COGIC until his death in 2010. [confirm dates that George pastored in IF]

1973: Pastor John and Sue Lovegrove began the Gethsemane Baptist Christian School, which spanned from 1973 to 1997. The Sunshine Inn Coffee House, a nondenominational youth group center, was located at 184 First Street; prior to November 1973 it was known as The Upper Room Coffee House and met at 200 ½ First Street.  See Post Register announcements of Sept. 7, 1973 & Nov. 11, 1973.

1981: Lorie Swisher recalling the visit of Dwayne Friend, one of the first Christian music artists to visit Idaho Falls.

1983: Susie Lacy became a Christian in Idaho Falls. She married Pastor Joe Lacy in 2001 at Berean Baptist Church in Idaho Falls, and they started serving Christ together at Grace Baptist Church in Rexburg.

1984: Beyond Mormonism: An Elder’s Story by James Spencer.

1988: Todd Wood along with Colan Deatherage preached on a Sunday night at Gethsemane Baptist Church.

1989: Mikey Middleton tells the story of the start of the Christian band, Great Mercy.

1991: There were extended drought conditions in Eastern Idaho that began in 1987.  Numerous churches and prayer groups called out to the Lord for rain, including the Northwest Prayer Network, which held a prayer retreat at Harriman Park in May of 1991.  Reports from that prayer gathering were given in a Concert of Prayer held at Alliance Covenant Church on May 17, 1991.  While rains came that summer that supplied the need for the year, 1992 continued to be dry, so much so that the Post Register published a front page article on April 1, 1992 entitled “Pray For Rain,” quoting Upper Snake River watermaster Ron Carlson speaking to the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce.  Groups did continue to pray for rain and God again answered those prayers.

1992: Thana Singarajah was born and grew up in the predominantly Muslim nation of Malaysia.  He came to Idaho Falls after studying in England and later Multnomah Bible College in Portland, and working for nine years as a counselor in American Falls. See section 6.1.5 of https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/jesus-church-called-and-sent

1993: See section of 5.2.2 of https://barnescm2.wixsite.com/jiif/jesus-church-called-and-sent, which was written after an interview Charles and Todd conducted with Pastor Rick Brown on Jan. 13, 2013.

1994: See the article “14 Churches Participate in Revival” in the Oct. 7, 1994 issue of the Post Register. The meetings were held in a tent at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church; the revival was led by Rev. Joey Jeter of Texas Christian University.  Other speakers included local pastors Don Paterson, Lorenzo Silva, Dick Miller, Joan LaLiberte of the Fort Hall Mission, and speakers from New Life Assembly, Youth with a Mission and other Idaho Falls churches.

1995: The first Sunday gathering for Berean Baptist Church was in the home of Jim and Janean Deatherage.

1996: Speakers at the Crusade were Calvary Chapel Pastor Rick Brown, Christ Community Church Pastor Dave Gibson, and First Evangelical Free Church Pastor Dave Bass.  The 15 churches sponsoring the crusade were First Baptist, Cornerstone Assembly, Skyline Christian, Roberts Community, Alliance Covenant, Living Faith, Rigby Presbyterian, Salvation Army, First Nazarene, Eagle Rock Baptist, Shiloh Foursquare, Calvary Chapel, Christ Community, Evangelical Free Church, and New Hope Community.  The Crusade was held on Sunday September 29, from 7 to 9 pm, with a youth rally before the crusade at Shiloh Foursquare Chruch. See Post Register article of Sept. 13, 1996.

2002: Brad Stanger tells the miraculous story of purchasing a trailer park. The current business at this location is Shady Rest Campground in Idaho Falls.

2016: Lynn and Gene Winter officially open City Bagel in downtown Idaho Falls – https://www.eastidahonews.com/2016/10/city-bagel-bakery-now-open-downtown-idaho-falls/

2018: After months of teaching Sunday evening devotionals at the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission, Todd Wood and Warren Cuppy follow Christ’s calling to start Providence Downtown Church in the nearby Rogers Building on Sunday, March 11, 2018.

2019: Mike Ghiglia, Steve Molsee, and Todd Wood met together in the afternoon at the fellowship hall of Eagle Rock Baptist Church.

2020: Anthony Manzanares, pastor of Community Church of God in Christ, had a heart valve replaced in 2013, but in April, 2019 he began feeling very sick.  After a year, he ended up in the hospital in Salt Lake where the heart valve was replaced, but a bacterial infection led to needing additional open heart surgeries and put him in a coma for 3 months.  Groups around the country and in other countries were praying for him, and Jesus, in response to those prayers, and in faithfulness to many words that He had spoken to Anthony, brought him on the road to recovery.  To hear Anthony share a full account of his healing, listen to the video posted by his wife October 23, 2021 on her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/laura.manzanares.77.

2021:  Aaron Livingston and his family come to directing Young Life in the greater Idaho Falls area.


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