March 23, 2016
Granite Falls United Church of Christ (Congregational) is located in the wonderful and gorgeous Minnesota River Valley where the Yellow Medicine and Minnesota Rivers combine. They were formed in 1872. This year they will have been in continuous existence for 144 years. The settlement of Granite Falls was less than 2 years old and there were less 30 people living in the community at that time. The congregation had been meeting in the open air throughout that summer and then began worship in an abandoned log cabin with a sod roof that had been used as a school the winter before. In 1874 a church building with a steeple was begun.
Reverend Dan Maiden is the pastor and average attendance fluctuates, but 25 – 50 is normal.
This congregation engages in the policy of allowing the church to be used by other community groups whether they have someone affiliated with the congregation or not. A TOPS group, Circle Sentencing, and Narcotics Anonymous all meet in the church. They have been used for the Senior Center Meal Site and gathering place on occasion. Spring fundraising groups use this church to sort out flower bouquets. The congregation is very active in delivering meals to the shut-ins with a program called Dinner at Your Door. There are members who enjoy helping with building Habitat for Humanity Homes, especially in the Mississippi area. They are located across the street from the local Food Shelf and each year they dedicate 2 months of their mission moments to the awareness of the needs of the hungry and fundraising for the MN Food Share program.
The place they really shine is the ecumenical nature of this congregation. Open to all kinds of diversities, welcoming and helping, praying and caring about and for the world at large is who they are.
People love to worship with them because they are a small, friendly, family style church, but also because they really do practice a welcoming and caring atmosphere.