Our Story

Historically, there has been very few places to legally skate in the city of Lynden, WA.  Due to liability issues, most area businesses and organizations will not allow skateboarding on their property. Likewise, there is no official designated area for skateboarding within the Lynden City limits.  The nearest skate parks are located about 15 miles away in the city of Bellingham, WA (click here for a view of the Belligham Skate Park), or in Canada, which requires travelling acrross the US-Canada Border.  Although these locations are relatively close, the distance is still far enough to make it difficult for most local skateboarders to access such parks as often as they would like.    

In 1997 some members of Third Christian Reformed Church, a local church, noticed this trend, and the fact that there were a good number of skateboarders hanging out, and skating in their back parking lot.  The members of Third were faced with a choice as to whether they would prohibited such activity on their property, or embrace it.  They chose to embrace it.  In order to do this they invested in a costly insurance policy that was needed in order to address the liablity issues.  In addition to this, they also began purchasing and building ramps, boxes, and rails to be skated, a temporary part-time staff person was hired, and the possiblity of hosting weekly skate sessions in the summer of the following year was researched and explored. 

Some guidance and direction was found from a skatechurch in Portland, OR, and in the summer of 1998 Lynden skatechurch began meeting. It was given the name, "Third Alley Skate Ministry," to highlight it's location and purpose. The location was Third Church's back parking lot, which is directly connected to an alley way that runs through the church's property.  It's purpose was to connect with, minister to, advocate for, and serve the needs of local skateboarders. Due to the fact that most locals skaters were regularly refering to the location and sessions as skatechurch, the name was eventually changed to Lynden skatechurch in late 2005.

The sessions were held, and are still held on Monday and Thursday nights for about two hours.  They have always consisted of about an hour and forty-five minutes of skating with a fifteen minute break about mid-way through the session.  The purpose of the break is to build into the lives of skaters by encouraging them, and telling them about God's love, and His purpose for life.Time is spent by either having the skaters share their highs and lows from the week to be prayed for, or by having one of the Lynden skatechurch staff give a very brief message for skaters to reflect upon regarding the Bible and life.  Members of Third Church community also regularly provide snacks (baked goods and fruit) for the skaters to enjoy during the break, and to help replenish their energy for the next half of the session.

In the early years, Lynden skatechurch sessions were only held during the summer months (July - September).  At the end of the summer of 2005, it was decided, however, that the need was great enough that plans were made for its programming to be expanded to a year round schedule.  In order to do this, a permanent part-time staff was hired, and arrangements were made to secure a indoor location to host skatechurch somewhere within the Lynden City limits. The Henry Jansen Ag Center at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds was found, and skatechurch has been meeting regularly during the Fall, Winter, and Spring months (October - June), in a section of the building ever since.  Likewise, Lynden skatechurch still continues to meet regularly in the parking lot of Third Christian Reformed Church during the summer months.  In the future, skatechurch hopes to build and/or acquire their own regular facility.