Grace Lutheran Church is located within the town limits of Prosperity, South Carolina, which is situated in the lower end of Newberry County.
The people of Grace congregation have been serving the community since 1859 – that’s over 160 years of celebrating and sharing God’s grace and love!
More About Grace’s History
“Newville” congregation, as this church was first known, was organized in 1859 while the town was called Frog Level, South Carolina. The first church building was dedicated in August 1859. Charter and early members were direct descendants of the first settlers in Newberry County, Lutherans who left Germany to escape religious oppression. The first Sunday School was organized in 1866, meeting on Sunday afternoons.
The early life of “Newville” was closely connected with that of Newberry College, as many of the early pastors were professors, theology students, or presidents of the college.
In 1878, the first church structure was torn down, and a new building was erected at the cost of $850. The church was dedicated on Oct. 2, 1878, as “Grace Church.”
Construction of a new church began in 1907, with the cornerstone laid on Nov. 21 of that year. The building was dedicated on May 1, 1910. The Ladies’ Aid Society purchased a robe for the pastor and put in pews, carpet, primary and choir chairs, and later gave a piano.
Construction of a church parsonage began in 1928 in the midst of the Depression years. The interior of the church building was renovated and, upon completion, was rededicated on May 7, 1939. New chancel furnishings were installed, including the back of the altar. The choir stall was also built.
The end of 1941 was the beginning of a crucial period as World War II was underway. On Dec. 14, 1941, only six days after the Declaration of War, ten members were in our country’s service.
In 1947, a Hammond Electric organ was purchased to replace the pipe organ, which had developed a faulty mechanism. The electric organ was dedicated on Aug. 10, 1948.
A new parish building was completed in 1951. It was dedicated on Oct. 26, 1952.
A remodeling fund was initiated in 1966, but by 1968, the congregation requested that plans be drawn up for a new church building instead of continuing with the remodeling plan. Preliminary building plans and drawings by architects Drafts and Jumper were submitted and approved at a congregational meeting on Jan. 16, 1972. Ground-breaking for the new church building occurred on Feb. 18, 1973. It was a day of mixed emotions – sadness over the demolition of a beautiful and beloved building and joy that a more functional edifice was being planned. This was the last service held in the old church building. The new church building was dedicated on March 31, 1974.
Groundbreaking for Grace’s new Ministry Center took place on Feb. 15, 2009. Construction began the following week, with wooden timbers being preserved and planed from the two decaying live oak trees that were removed from the front church lawn.
Blessing of the new facility’s “centerstone” took place as part of the 150th Anniversary Heritage Sunday on Aug. 23, 2009. The centerstone is inscribed, “Grace Lutheran Church Ministry Center: For God’s Glory – A.D. 2009.”
The New Grace Ministry Center was dedicated on Oct. 3, 2009 – exactly 131 years after the congregation dedicated its second edifice and adopted the name of “Grace.”