First United Presbyterian Church of Grand Junction to celebrate 150 years on Oct. 10

COURTESY OF GRAND JUNCTION PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Special to the Chief
First United Presbyterian Church of Grand Junction, 302 12th St. S, will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding during a service at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 10.

First United Presbyterian Church of Grand Junction, 302 12th St. S, will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding during a service at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 10. 

The Presbyterian Church in Grand Junction was established June 5, 1870, a year after the town of Grand Junction was founded. The 150th anniversary occurred last year, but the celebration was postponed due to COVID-19. 

Services were first held on the second floor of the new two-story brick school house built that year at the southeast corner of Hager Street East and 12th Street South. The growing congregation built a church across the street in 1876, and church members approved a remodeling project in 1911.  

A new fellowship hall, classrooms, kitchen and restrooms were built in 1979 next to the original church. Services and program were then moved to the new fellowship hall while construction got underway on a new church structure. The sanctuary with new stained-glass windows, narthex, a pastor's study, church office and central corridor was completed in 1982 and connected with the fellowship hall, creating a handicap-accessible facility all on one level. 

The Presbyterian churches in Paton and Grand Junction voted in the early 1970s to share a pastor while each retained its own church building, governing board, deacons and financial operation. That relationship continued until 2017 when the Paton, Grand Junction and Presbyterian Churches formed the Greater Greene County Presbyterian Ministries The three churches maintain control over their own churches but share pastoral staff and various church events. An ordained pastor and commissioned ruling elder (layperson) serve the three congregations from the church office at First Presbyterian Church in Jefferson. 

The church held celebrations for its 25th and 35th anniversaries and a special two-day event was held for its 50th anniversary June 5-6, 1920. The church celebrated its 100th anniversary Aug. 30, 1970, with a dinner for 200 persons served in the East Greene High school lunchroom and a centennial program in the church. 

All three congregations will worship together for the anniversary at Grand Junction with fellowship and refreshments to be held after. The service will be conducted by the Revs. Kim Nofel and Wendy Pittman.