Historical Sketch of Grace Church

Excerpts from the 150th Anniversary Book (circa 1947) compiled by the Anniversary Committee

It appears from historical information that the South Fork Valley was first settled about 1760 by immigration from the State of Pennsylvania. They were mostly of German descent, and mostly Lutheran and German Reformed. They had no place to worship other than private homes, and in the summer time they held services in barns and on the lawns under the shade trees.

These original settlers were anxious to have a place of worship so they met in consultation about the matter and set about to find a desirable place to erect a house. Soon a site was secured and on January 14, 1797, a deed was made by Samuel Jarrett to John Yoder and John Heffner, trustees, consisting of three and one-half acres, for the sum of $8.00.

It seems by historical facts that it had been the rule and custom in their native land to build UNION HOUSES for public worship and school houses. After this agreement was concluded all the good old settlers, as faithful brethren, determined to erect a house, all worked together and soon the material was on the ground. It was a LOG HOUSE twenty-five by thirty-five feet and was erected about the year 1797. The work was done by Daniel Conrad and France Bikle. After it was completed it was dedicated to God as a place of worship, and was called GRACE CHURCH.

The history of Grace Church, covering the period of time from 1797 to 2012, may be divided into four parts, centering around the four buildings, namely:

Please click on the photos to find out about the four parts.
The Log House

The Log Homes

The Brick “Union” Church”

Brick Union Church

The Brick Lutheran Church

The “New” Brick Church