Grace United Church of Christ

Grace United Church of Christ dates its history to the foundation to around 1760 when a church was built at Rudes’ Hill. This building housed a Lutheran and Reformed Congregation.

These groups moved to the area of Middle Road in 1783 when they combined with Pine Church. At that time the Reformed Congregation became a part of the Mill Creek Charge which included 7 Reformed congregations in Shenandoah and Rockingham Counties.

The Reformed congregation began work on its own church building in 1874 after ending its union agreement with the Lutheran congregation of Pine Church. Levi Rinker donated the land for a church, cemetery, and parsonage. The church building would be dedicated on August 29 1875 and the name Grace was officially adopted. This sanctuary’s design provided separate entrances and seating areas for men and women, a feature that was customary at the time period.

In 1915 the Chapel School House was donated to the church by Sally Hepner and moved to the church’s “hitching grounds.”
The structure housed the church’s Sunday School, its social hall, and kitchen. It was also used by the local 4-H Club, the Grange, and the Farmer’s Exchange.
When he arrived in 1921 Rev. William T. Brundick reported Grace lacked an altar, pulpit, furnace, and a proper coat of paint.
After negotiating with the congregation who resisted his efforts to alter the church, some members apparently feared a furnace would “blow up the Church,” he was able to make changes. A furnace, alcove, new pews, communion table, electric lights, and pulpit were added.

Additional changes occurred in the 1950s and 60s. Grace became Grace United Church of Christ when the Reformed Church and Congregational Christian Church merged in 1957. A new educational building was constructed to replace the school building in 1962. The new wing contains six classrooms, a library, and Pastor’s Study.