Holt-Delhi Historical Society

Established 2014

History of Grovenburg Church

Shortly after 1840, Henry Grovenburg and sons Jerome, Harry, and Frank, came from New York to Delhi Township, where they settled in the west end of the Township. The settlement took the name "Grovenburg" after the family, which it is still known as today. As the community grew, many residents were anxious for a Sunday School, so "Aunt" Jane Grovenburg was an instrumental force in its founding. 

At first, preaching services were conducted by traveling preachers, or circuit riders. Everyone around went to hear them. "Uncle" Jerome Grovenburg was noted as the gracious host to nearly every visiting preacher. Per an early Church Register, the Grovenburg Sunday School Class was organized in March 1862 with 18 charter members. The first minister was Rev. Andrews who stayed for four years. 

On October 24, 1885, the Grovenburg Church found a home on a half acre of land at the northwest corner of Wallace Fisher's farm. There, a 24' x 36'  church building was constructed of "good wood and on a good stone wall." Steven Pratt and son Henry built the original church. "Uncle" Jerome Grovenburg was another of the builders. He made the seats and the pulpit. "Aunt" Jane Grovenburg gave a cupboard. 

On April 19, 1886, the building committee developed an entrance for the church building, with a set of doors and a tower, 6' x 8' in size with two jogs. In January 1890, posts were set around the church. A church bell was acquired from Lansing. Also at that time a janitor was employed for $12 per year. 

New horse sheds, including one for the minister, were built in the 1890s on both the north and east sides of the church building. Not every family had a shed. A horse hitching post was built in 1899. 

For a period, Grovenburg and Alaiedon constituted a Circuit. The class was grouped with Maple Grove, Dimondale, and Holt, but was joined with Robbins in Aurelius for 34 years. Grovenburg became a single point church in 1981. 

Church Additions

October 1911 -- The floor was raised, windows were raised, a basement dug, a one register furnace was installed and a kitchen built in the south west corner. 

April-August 1937 -- Annex Constructed; E. Clement Jarvis gave $1,000 to the church for remodeling in December 1936. The annex was constructed beginning in April 1937. The original donation was increased several times. On August 14, 1937, a Homecoming was held, and on August 15, 1937, a dedication was held for the new addition. In November 1938, there was a fire in the annex which was covered by insurance and repaired. 

August-October 1953 -- Sunday School Rooms Constructed; The church board voted on August 13, 1953, to build the addition. On October 24, 1953, the new Sunday School space was dedicated with Bishop Reed giving remarks. 

1956-1960 -- In February 1956, Mrs. Lily Jarvis donated $10,000 for future remodeling of the church. These funds were used for a major and final addition on the church. Built off the west end, the addition included a chancel area, office, and foyer space. The new church was consecrated on September 25, 1960. Albion-Lansing District Superintendent Howard Lyman gave the consecration address. 

1981 -- With a $50,000 gift from Mrs. Lily Jarvis, paired with the sale of half of the Grovenburg-Robbins Parsonage to the Robbins United Methodist Church, and the gift of one acre of land north of the church from Ralph and Bettie Hart, Grovenburg built a parsonage of its own in 1981 when it became a single point charge. 

Grovenburg Methodist Protestant Church Pastors
Rev. Andrews
Rev. J.C. Gibson
Rev. Edmonds
Rev. Jesse Prior
Rev. Lafayette Hutt
 1868-1870, 1873-1874
Rev. W. Nichols
 1870-1871, 1874-1875
Rev. A.H. Shepherdson
Rev. E. Hough
Rev. J. Braggins
Rev. S.P. May
Rev. James Latham
Rev. James Riley
Rev. A.L. Thurston
Rev. J. McPhail
Rev. B. Worden
Rev. L.D. Abbott
Rev. S.P. May
Rev. C.L. Ellis
Rev. F.H. Perry
Rev. C.D. Paxon
Rev. Mark Daniels
Rev. Charles Perry
Rev. J.A. Morey
Rev. William Bradley
Rev. O. Carlyle
Rev. Charles Quinn
Rev. Archie Soule
Rev. R.C. Powell
Rev. J.H. Reilly
Rev. Mical R. Saigeon
Rev. Archie Bragg
Rev. William Prouse
Rev. J.C. Searles
Rev. John McCue
Rev. Thompson
Rev. Archie Scott
Rev. George Bedell
Rev. William Prouse
Rev. Richard Terwilligar
Rev. A.M. Bostwick
Rev. Harry L. Watkins
Rev. Earl J. Plumb
Grovenburg Methodist Church Pastors
Rev. Wilson M. Tennent
Rev. Lloyd Meade
Rev. Paul Merginer
Rev. Merton Jacobs
 June 1951-September 1951
Rev. Russell Waldron
 September 1951-November 1951
Rev. Malon Jones
 December 1951
Rev. Floyd Wallace
Rev. James Moores
Rev. Francis Johannides
Rev. G. Robert Webber
Rev. Jerold Salisbury
Rev. Maurice Glasgow
Assoc. Rev. Paul Merginer
Grovenburg United Methodist Church Pastors
Rev. Joseph Huston
 1978-1981; 2009-2017
Rev. Paul J. Wehner
Rev. Martin DeBow
Rev. Kyewoon Choi
Rev. Melanie Young
Rev. Richard Duffey