Work of the Lord may give way to road work in Whatcom County

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by ERIC WILKINSON / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 19 at 12:40 PM

KENDALL, Wash. -- A massive roundabout could be built right where a church sits in the tiny mountain town of Kendall.

The Department of Transportation is deciding whether to take church property by eminent domain and leave parishioners looking for a new place to put their pulpit.

"It is a David and Goliath issue," joked Pastor Vern Yadon. "Only, I don't have five stones."

The church has sat at the intersection of Mount Baker Highway and Highway 547 for almost 113 years.  The state would pay the church market value for the property, but Yadon says that's not nearly enough to cover the half-million dollars or more it would take to relocate.

"We are powerless," he said Monday. "We have no money and we have no clout."

Despite its remote location, the intersection is a busy one, carrying 4,000 cars per day. It is a major thoroughfare between Canada, Mount Baker and Bellingham. There is at least one serious accident there every year, according to WSDOT, and the location has been targeted for a safety upgrade with federal road money.

The DOT is looking at several other options that could spare the church, and Yadon says he has heard officials are quite aware of one formidable power broker on his side.

"There was a woman with the county who said, 'We would really like to have that property, but we don't want to argue with God,'" he said.

For now, the congregation of about 40 faithful will have to be just that, and pray their church will still be standing once the DOT's decision is delivered.

"We have to say, 'Thy will be done,'" said Yadon, "and trust."

The state hopes to have a decision on the design of the roundabout by the end of the year. An open house, which will include representatives from the Department of Transportation, will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Kendall Elementary School.
 

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