In 1943 the government took possession of the area that included the small communities of Richland, Hanford, and White Bluffs for the construction of nuclear facilities. The project was initially called the Hanford Engineering Works. The Catholics in these communities at that time depended on services provided by the Kennewick parish. Father William J. Sweeney was the pastor at that time. The government gave the Kennewick parish permission to continue using the existing Lady of the Rosary Parish at White Bluffs for services. A security clearance and badge had to be issued to Father Sweeney for him to have access to the restricted area. Beginning in July 1943, Mass was celebrated every Sunday in White Bluffs for the construction workers. Because of the rapidly increasing attendance, Catholic services were transfered in August from White Bluffs to a small white tent at the construction workers camp being built at the old town of Hanford. The tent could seat only about 150 people. As the congregation continued to grow rapidly, a section was added to the tent.
In October 1943, a much larger tent was provided for services, which was used as a theater for the workers on weekdays. Mass was also celebrated t the Grange Hall in Richland. To assist in handling the rapidly increasing workload, Father Bernard Schiller was assigned to the Kennewick parish as Father Sweeney's assistant in May 1944. In June 1944, church services were moved again into a newly constructed large auditorium and theater in the Hanford construction camp as the congregation attending church had grown to more than 1500. At the peak of construction at the nuclear facilities, there were more than 50,000 people housed at the Hanford site. The last Mass in the new auditorium was held in February 1945, as a new church for Catholics had been completed in Richland. Mass in the new church was celebrated for the first time on Christmas of 1944.
The church was blessed on February 11, 1945 by Bishop Charles White and dedicated to our Lord under the title of Christ the King. At that time, Richland was still a mission church serviced by the Kennewick parish, which was part of the Spokane diocese. Father Sweeney moved from Kennewick into the new rectory in Richland in February 1945. His assistant, Father Schiller, remained in Kennewick. This arrangement continued until July 1, 1946, when Richland became a parish, separate from Kennewick. In 1950, Christ the King Parish became part of the newly formed Diocese of Yakima. Also in that year, members of the parish formed the CEE KAY Credit Union. Its services were available to all parish members. It continued to operate for many years.
The church building and its 11-acre site were purchased from the government in 1954. The change in ownership enabled the parish to begin plans for new construction projects. Early in 1954, a fund drive was initiated to finance the construction of an elementary school and a convent. In September, classes were started in the first three grades in the partially completed school. In 1975, Father John Heneghan was assigned to the parish as a co-Pastor. In 1976, Father Peter Hagel joined the parish also as a co-Pastor. In the Fall of 1977, the parish held the first Sausage Fest, a project for parishioners to work together to provide fun and entertainment for the parish and the community and to help with finances for the parish school. It has become an annual affair for the parish.
In 1976, Pope Paul VI bestowed the honor of Monsignor on Father Sweeney. He retired as Pastor in 1978 and Father John Murtagh became the pastor. In 1980, the old church was torn down and construction on a new one began. Mass was celebrated in the school gymnasium during the construciton period. The first Mass in the new church was celebrated on Palm Sunday, April 11, 1981. In 1983, Father Richard Wuertz succeeded Father Murtagh as the pastor. In 1986, two permanent deacons for Christ the King Parish were ordained by Bishop William Skylstad, and a third in 1989. Monsignor Sweeney died on January 9, 1996. He had served as pastor for Christ the King Parish for 36 years. In 1996, Father Thomas Champoux was assigned to the parish as an administrator. In 1997, Father Wuertz was reassigned to St. Francis de Sales Parish in Chelan. Father Champoux then became the new pastor. In 1999, a drive was initiated for funds to improve the church and school's parking, add new classrooms to the school and make an addition to the church. On May 30, 2001, Father Richard Wuertz died in Chelan. He had serve as pastor of Christ the King for 15 years. In 2003, plans are in the final stages for the church additions, which will provide a large meeting room and church office space.