History of Granger Emmanuel United Methodist Church
The development of Granger Evangelical United Brethren Church is the outgrowth of the work of Hopkins Grove United Brethren Church which was located 4 1/2 miles south-east of Madrid, Iowa. For many years the Granger Church was associated with Hopkins Grove United Church, in a Circuit, or shared preacher basis. This relationship terminated in the year 1938.
In the year 1892, The United Brethren Minister serving Hopkins Grove Church and Snider School House Appointment, (The Hopkins Grove Circuit) was invited to preach in the Odd Fellows Hall in Granger. The invitation was accepted and regular services were held there on Sunday evenings for two years.
In the summer of 1894, a United Brethren Church building was erected in Granger, situated on Lot 1, Block 3, of the original Town of Granger, Iowa. It was a white frame building of one room, and the dimensions were about 28 by 40 feet, facing the East. The cost of this building in cash was approximately $1100.00. A vestibule and steeple were added later. This building served the congregation until the year 1917. That year it was moved to the back of the lot and used for services during the building of a new church. Following the dedication of the new church building on August 26, 1917, the old building was sold to J.C. Snider, and moved to the Dallas Coal Company Camp, and was later destroyed by fire.
The new building which was begun in 1917, was a 56 x 56 feet building, with a full basement, and bell tower. Finished in stucco, with art-glass side windows, and two very large pictorial art-glass windows. The basement windows were of plain glass. On the day of dedication, there was sufficient cash and pledges to cover the cost of the structure. Many people of the community and membership of the congregation assisted materially in the project with donated labor. The estimate of cost of the building was $7,000.00 not including the donated labor and materials. The Bell for this church building was secured from the Leander Clark College, of Toledo, Iowa, by Wm. Haskell, who supervised the placing of the bell. The College was an educational institution of the United Brethren Church, and was merged with Coe College, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In 1974, the bell and belfry were removed from the church, a new entrance was built to shelter the steps, and a structure was built to house the bell. The bell was removed in 1997 and placed at its present location on the corner of State and Locust Street. More remodeling was done in 1984 and services were held in the church basement until the project was completed in 1985, the same year as the Granger Centennial Celebration. This church building was used for worship until it was demolished to allow completion of our current building.
Ground-breaking for our current church building was June 2, 1996. Dedication of the sanctuary and fellowship hall area was held on September 13, 1997. Ground was broken in July 1998 for the educational wing and completion and dedication was on September 12, 1999. With faith and prayers, our new church building has fulfilled the wishes for those who have long awaited a handicap-accessible worship center. We burnt the first mortgage for the church on April 21, 2002. Celebration of the burning for the second mortgage was held in January 24, 2010 with District Superintendent Wesley S. K. Daniel as guest speaker.
In 1954 the congregation celebrated their 80th anniversary as Evangelical United Brethren. In 1968 the Church merged with the Methodists and became Emmanuel United Methodist Church.