By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

McMinnville Church returns federal CARES money

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I'm so proud to see a church step up like this. I hope one day to see churches refuse the 501 (c)(3) designation so they can speakout.


Now this is news worth going viral! Good for them for doing what was right.


Pastor Garlinghouse--The Lord didn't provide. Valora Irwin did; you owe it to her generosity to assign credit where it is due.

Jeb Bladine

There's an interesting sidebar to this story -- something only an old-timer would know. So here, as Paul Harvey always said, is the rest of the story.

Valora Irwin died in 2002 at age 90. She was born in Sheridan, raised in Ballston, attended high schools in Sheridan and McMinnville, and set up home in Sheridan after marrying Thomas Irwin. She became office manager for our News-Register business a year before I was born.

From a young age, I knew Valora as strong and kind, and that when she said "Jump," you asked "How high?" She retired from her job after 27 years, just before I came back to McMinnville as N-R editor.

It took 18 years for Valora's gift to reach the church, and here, I think, is why:

Valora's little sister by 13 years, Irma Faye Lady, died last year in Salem. I assume that Valora set up her estate to care for Irma Faye before ultimately going to the church. Irma Faye, who lived to age 94, was long-time science and medical librarian at the Oregon State Library.

I'm thinking it took a year to settle all of Irma Faye estate, setting the stage for the church to receive its long-coming donation. And then make the praiseworthy decision to return its forgivable government loan.


Jeb, thanks for the local history.

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