UNION — Grace United Methodist Church held a Homecoming celebration on Sunday, celebrating 142 of worship.
Grace United Methodist Church held its annual Homecoming worship service and celebration on Sunday, with church members, their family and friends, and former members who have moved away in attendance.
The day began with a meet-and-greet and registration in the church’s breezeway area before the service began. Those in attendance enjoyed looking over information and photos in “Yesterday and Today: A View of Grace Over the Years” by Fannie Lee Sparks, which covers the history of the church from 1873-1989.
The service included special music provided by Caroline Bradley Smith — who grew up in Grace UMC — and her husband, Larry Smith. Music was also performed by the church youth choir and adult choir, and soloist Joyce Hart Strickland sang “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” during the offering.
The service also included the dedication of the new cross in the church, and the plaque was presented by Trustee Chairperson Tommy Sinclair. Flowers on the alter were given in celebration of Grace’s Homecoming and in loving memory of Sara and Ed Blackmon.
Services were led by Pastor David Bauknight, and special guest, the Rev. Dr. Paul Harmon, delivered the sermon entitled “Unless The Lord Builds the House,” discussing the importance of having a strong foundation.
Following the worship service, the celebration moved to the church fellowship hall, where everyone enjoyed an enormous spread of food and a play, “Amazing Grace” by Betsy Trakas, which was based on the history of the church. The play included a look at how Methodism first came to Union County — dating as far back as 1786, how Grace UMC came to be and how it was named. Trakas said she tried to include some light-hearted stories in the play about some of the people mentioned.
The church was named by Benjamin Dudley Culp, who furnished the rock for the church — free of charge — from his own private rock quarry. The congregation gave him the privilege of naming the new church, and he chose the name “Grace,” saying, “She shall be called Grace and may she never fall from grace.”