P.O. Box 4308
Frankfort KY 40604
Phone: 502-875-2607

Graefenburg United Methodist Church: Their History and Mission!

posted on January 03


(Article by Abbi Blosser, Photographs by Jocelyn Duke)

Graefenburg United Methodist Church was established in 1835, and has been serving Graefenburg and the surrounding communities for the past 183 years.

The church was originally established with the name Hardinsville, named after the town. Oral history says that the Hardinsville church purchased an already built church building at the bend of the tributary now known as Goose Creek.

Early maps indicate that the Shelbyville-Frankfort-Harrodsburg Turnpike crossed the tributary at Goose Creek in those days.

In 1856, the town was renamed Graefenburg, to avoid confusion due to another town being named Hardinsville. While the church was still known as Hardinsville for a number of years, the church name was changed in the early 1900s to Graefenburg to match the town's name.

Like all long-lived churches, Graefenburg UMC has had ups and downs throughout the years. In the mid-1800s, the major issues were over slavery and temperance.

Through the early to mid-1900s, Graefenburg was part of various circuits in the Shelbyville District, including a Lawrenceburg Circuit with Lawrenceburg and Tyrone and a Shelbyville Circuit with Rockbridge and Olive Branch (among others).

Today, Pastor Glenn Walker serves at Graefenburg UMC as part of the Bluegrass District. He shares here how Graefenburg UMC remains passionate about serving God in the community and the world:

Our little church is involved in several missions. We donate supplies and items to the Methodist Mountain Mission three times per year. We send financial support to the Children’s Home quarterly. We created 24 flood buckets and 20 Hygiene Kits for the Hurricane Relief. We participate in the Frosty 5K run to raise money for mission trips.

We offer community programs such as Vacation Bible School, Easter Egg Hunt, Trunk or Treat, and an outdoor Father’s Day Service on the creekbank. We host the annual Community Maundy Thursday Service, and participate in the other community services hosted at the other two churches.

In 2018, we have joyfully decided to raise our mission budget from $1200 to $1800, and doubled our support for our Missionary in Kenya. We support conference apportionments monthly, and are always willing to give to a special cause. We gave a donation to the local men’s shelter to allow expansion of their facilities. We have paid for families to help with travel for funerals. We maintain a Good Samaritan Fund, supported by our Sunday School class, to help those who knock on the pastor’s door for financial help. We help maintain and visit Colonial Hall in Shelbyville, a home for mentally challenged adults. We have monthly visitation in which we visit shut-ins and nursing homes. We also support the Christmas shoebox ministry.

 

VISION: We believe that if God changed the world with just 12 disciples, so can we. It’s not the size of the congregation, it’s the size of our God and our hearts that matters.
 
MISSION: To make Disciples of Jesus Christ, one hug, one good deed, one testimony at a time. 

You can find Graefenburg UMC online at https://www.facebook.com/GraefenburgUMC/ and at http://www.graefenburgumc.com.

 
There is a portrait of Bishop U. V. W. Darlington in the narthex, along with a plaque and a stone monument, detailing the life of a bishop who obtained salvation at our little country church in 1883, leading to a life in Christ that resulted in him being elected bishop in 1918. We will celebrate Bishop Darlington's 100th anniversary of becoming bishop during our biannual Homecoming on September 23, 2018.
 
~ Pastor Glenn Walker