Approximately 1907 through 1909, Mrs. Nannie Howe held a Sunday School Class in her home.
Church was then organized in 1911. At that time, Drake students served as pastors. The olld Grandview gym was purchased for $300.00 and services moved to the church’s present location in 1912.
Seven years later, the church name was changed from Grandview Christian to Union Park Christian Church.
The first addition was built around 1924.
A new entrance. steeple, and chimes were added in 1944.
The parsonage was built in early 1950’s.
The Christian Education building was built in the fall of 1958.
From 1948 to 1955 we had a dining hall each year at the Iowa State Fair. Everyone helped – all ages from adults to young. The two youth groups served tables, the Jr group at noon and the Sr group evening meal.
Much of our money earned at the Fair went to pay for the Education Building. We held morning and evening services on Sunday, prayer service on Wednesday evening and choir and youth meetings on Thursday evenings.
Through the years, our church building has seen additional improvements to honor past church family members and to manage the general upkeep of the building. Improvements were made to enhance our Worship Experience and to support ongoing outreach events we provide to this community. The congregation continues to remain steadfast to meet the needs of this ministry, and we are looking forward to what the future holds in these areas.
Many leaders have led this flock, spending time in what is now referred to as the Pastor’s Study and in their homes in an effort to grow this ministry. We now remember:
• Mrs Nannie Howe – 1909
o Frank Andrews
o Mr Hedges (first name unknown)
o John Stubbs
o Ralph BcBridge, and
o Mr Reissinger (first name unknown)
o FW Mutchler – 1923-1933
o W S Johnson – March 4, 1934 through March 15, 1935
o Lavern Kinzel – May 11, 1935 through December 1, 1949
o Cecil R Murrow – January 8, 1950 through September 19, 1954
o Albert L Bradbury – August 14, 1955 through November 27, 1960
o Burnell R Krager – March 5, 1961 through Dec 24, 1967
o Lee Martin – August 4, 1968 through Oct 11, 1970
o Robert A McDonald – December 1, 1970 through June 11, 1978
o J. Howard Nichols – May 1979 through June 4, 1989
We also remember our beloved Pastor Robert E Connors – Jun 11, 1989 to his retirement October, 2014.
Under Pastor Bob’s tutelage, we moved away from the Disciples of Christ leadership , to becoming an independent, evangelical church firmly planting this Christian denomination on God’s truth (the Word of God). And proudly we proclaim Jesus’ Victory over death, through our Worship Experience, through praises and singing (or making a joyful noise) to God’s glory. We are now an Elder-led flock, continuing under Pastor Bob’s mantra – No creed but Christ, No book but the Bible, No test of fellowship but Character.
There is no greater test of our Character than in our service to others through our Love for our Savior Jesus Christ – in our words, in our actions, and in how we practice and express our faith to others. Through our history in this church, we have built many great friendships and grown together as family, through good times and bad, God continues to carry this church today.
It is through God’s Grace that we have come this far in our walk with the Lord – and now as we adorn these walls with a memorial emblem created by our beloved Women’s Quilting Group (hung on South wall of sanctuary) and through memories displayed of the church’s evolution (farthest to that) – we pray God’s hand in our continued work in this ministry, continuing to grow in His Teachings, always being mindful of God’s Grace as relayed in
Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Thank you Lord for your continued protection and firm hand in our diligent service to you. We pray that we always remain close to you in our daily walk and as a church body. May we always do you proudly through our service and to our name sake, in what this body of Christ is currently known as, Union Park Grace Fellowship Church. May we forever strive to fulfill God’s Great Commission by serving, in our fullest capacity, as Jesus Hands and Feet.