115TH ANNIVERSARY SERVICE, February 22, 2009
Grace United Church of Christ has a long tradition of good people coming together and working toward a common goal with outstanding results. They formed a congregation, a church, so this generation and those to come can worship and teach others about our wonderful Savior, the Lord Jesus.
With this goal in mind, in 1893 the Reformed Church Board of Missions commissioned Rev. W. H. Shults to form a church in Massillon Ohio. On February 22, 1894, "The First Reformed Congregation" of Massillon was organized with forty charter members. They tell us this was a beautiful day and with seven Reformed ministers present, they had three services that day. The first service was at 10:00 AM, then 2:00 PM and the last at 7:00 PM. These services took place in the United Brethren Church building at the point where West Main St. meets what is now Lincoln Way West. The church building was purchased that same year from the Brethren congregation as they were moving to a new church building.
This was our church from 1894 to 1931. It was an old building, but had good lines, with a steeple tower that reached high into the sky. Here our congregation came together and grew. In 1931, in the midst of a great depression, this bold congregation built a new church. Through faith, courage, giving and fundraisers, the church mortgage was paid for and burned with fitting ceremonies on February 20, 1944. Since then our challenges have been many, but they have been met with the same faith and courage that brought success to our founders. Though the generations have passed away and new ones have come on, our goal remains the same??to worship and teach others about our wonderful savior Lord Jesus.
Today our coffee hour, after the 10:00 AM, service is dedicated to the 115th anniversary of our churches founding. Everyone is invited and a special cake has been prepared.
Reading given at both services on February 22, 2009.