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Grace Baptist Church Celebrates 25th Anniversary This Sunday

By Staff | Jun 25, 2009

A celebration for the Grace Baptist Church of Emmetsburg is being organized in honor of its 25th anniversary. A special guest is invited to the celebration for a day of fun and worship.

The celebration will take place at the church on Sunday, June 28. Activities will begin with a church service at 10 A.M and a BBQ lunch to follow at noon. Entertainment will begin at 1 P.M. featuring a return performance by Matt Hoffland, a musician, dramatist and comedian. Everyone is welcome to join in the celebration.

The Grace Baptist Church of Emmetsburg has experienced many changes, from moving to building. In the 1960s Simon Frey of Estherville used newspaper ads to bring people together and start a church. Property was later purchased at 209 North State Street. The house was finished and the garage converted into a chapel area. Seven families came together in 1984 to create the Grace Baptist Church. The first service was held on March 4, 1984 with Dana Pennington and Chet Coolbough leading the congregation until Pastor John Runyan became the fulltime pastor on Jan 1, 1985.

After Thanksgiving in 1988, enough funds were raised to buy one square block at 2801 17th Street. The Methodists of Curlew sold their building and furnishings to the growing Grace Baptist Church and the building was moved to the recently purchased land on 17th Street. Because the Church finds it important to minister to the youth, a learning center was built in 1995.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held March 12, 2000 in order to add a building purchased in 1999. Until the new facility was ready in January of 2001, services were held at the Iowa Lakes Community College auditorium.

Pastor John Runyan moved to Minnesota and Pastor Curtis DeFord filled the position on Dec 9, 2001. Activities took place April 24-25, 2004 in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary. Pastor John Runyan and the state representative for the Iowa Association of Regular Baptist Churches, Rev. Joe Hayes, provided special messages. In November 2006 the First Baptist Church of Curlew was moved to the property at 2801 17th Street. With the help of Senator Jack Kibbie, Representative Marcie Frevert, and a video message by Pastor John Runyan, the sanctuary and fellowship hall were dedicated on Sept 9, 2007.

Sunday School is available for all ages at 9 A.M. with the worship service following at 10 A.M. Other activities offered include Word of Life for children at 6:30 P.M. on Wednesdays and a small group ministry for all ages at 6 P.M. on Sundays as well.