History Extras

Grandview Cemetery History

On the top of a hill overlooking the Sioux River Valley and the Iowa - South Dakota border, was land used for burial purposes since the beginning days of settlement in the region. Swedish emigrant, Anders/Andrew Persson/Peterson deeded this land in 1879, to John Long, Andrew Swanson and Nels/Nils Peterson, reserving lots No. 54 and 55 for the heirs and the rest to the congregation of Swedish pioneer worshipers. In 1919, five years after the building of the Grand View Swedish Mission Church of Granite, IA, a deed was recorded in Lyon County where the heirs of the original owners deeded the land to the church. Located in Sioux Township in section 25, the cemetery was appropriately named Grand View Cemetery for the scenic 360 degree view of the surrounding area. Early in the years of the cemetery, access to the graves was by a steep wooden stairway on the south side of the cemetery. Imagine the caskets with pallbearers and mourners climbing the stairs. It was years later that Anton Swanson donated the land where the entrance and drive is now located. Carl Johnson donated the entrance gate. Graves were all hand dug, until the 1970’s, by Grandview Covenant Church members. Stories survive of attempts to dig into the dirt with pick axes in the cold of winter and fires set over the gravesite to warm the ground and the diggers. Fancy horse drawn hearses brought a few of those buried there to their final resting place but more often farm wagons brought these tough pioneers to the hill. The earliest date of death on a stone is from the grave of Betsy Peterson who was born in 1854 and died in 1876. She was the daughter of Nils & Anna Persson/Peterson, Swedish emigrants who lived about a mile from the cemetery. Many early pioneers from the area and Grandview Church are buried here, 1/2 mile west of the church building.

Grandview Cemetery Land Deed

- Land Deeds Book 80, page 548, No. 90 Recording Fee $1.10
Filed for record this 30th day of January A.D. 1919 at 10:20 a.m.
W.B. Rogers, Recorder by Addie Kemplay, Deputy.
Charles J. Long & wf. et. al. to C.T. Swanson
Warranty Deed:
Know all men by these presents: That Charles J. Long and wife, Emma Long, Anna Peterson, widow, Anna Sophia Ruud and Husband, Martin Ruud, Olive Swanson, widow, Iver Swanson, unmarried, Johanna Cline and Husband R. M. Cline, Carolina Swanson, unmarried, Ida Swanson, unmarried, Albertina Swanson, unmarried, all of the County of Lyon and State of IA, and Alma Severson and husband, Severt Severson, of the County of Minnehaha State of SD and Olga Sandbeck and husband Mathias Sandbeck of the County of Lincoln and State of SD, in consideration of the sum of One Dollar ($1.00) and other valuable consideration, in hand paid by C. T. Swanson of the County of Lyon and State of IA, do hereby sell and convey unto the said C T. Swanson the following described premises situated in the County of Lyon and State of IA, to-wit:
A Tract of land situated in the Southwest Quarter of Section Twenty Five (25) in Township One Hundred (100) North of Range Forty Nine (49) West of the 5th P.M. more particularly described as: Commencing at a point 62 rods East of the Southwest corner of said Quarter Section and running thence North 20 rods: thence East 16 rods: thence South 20 rods: thence West 16 rods to the place of beginning, and containing Two acres more or less.
And the said grantors hereby covenant with the said grantee that they hold said premises by good and perfect title: That they have good and lawful authority to sell and convey the same, and that said premises are free and clear of all liens and encumbrances whatsoever. And said grantors covenant to warrant and defend the said premises against the lawful claims of all persons whomsoever.
The grantor herein, Charles J. Long, being sole legatee and devisee under the Will of John A. Long, deceased, whose will was probated in Lyon County, IA, the proceedings in probate being known as Cause No. 100 Probate, in the District Court of Lyon County, IA. The said John A. Long, deceased, being identical with John Long, one of the grantees of the Premises herein described in the certain warranty deed from Andrew Peterson, dated March 17th, 1879, filed for record, March 17th 1879, and recorded in Book C, at Page 244, of the land deed records of said Lyon County, IA.
The said grantors, Anna Peterson and Anna Sophia Ruud being the residuary legatees under the will and Nils Peterson, which will was admitted to probate in the District Court of Lyon County, IA, and is known as Cause No. 200 Probate in said District Court and the said Nils Peterson, deceased, being identical with Nels Peterson one of the grantees of said premises above described in the certain warranty deed from Andrew Peterson above described as being recorded in Book C at Page 233 of the land deed records of said Lyon County, IA, and the said grantors Olive Swanson, Iver Swanson, Alma Severson, Johanna Cline, Olga Sandbeck, Carolina Swanson, Ida Swanson, and Albertina Swanson, being the widow and sole and only heirs at law of Andrew Swanson, one of the grantees in the warrant deed above described from Andrew Peterson as being recorded in Book C at Page 233, of the land deed records of said Lyon County, IA.
And the said Emma Long, wife of said Charles J. Long, Severt Severson, husband of the said Alma Severson, R.W. Cline, husband of the said Johanna Cline, and Mathias Sandbeck, husband of the said Olga Sandbeck and Martin Ruud, husband of the said Anna Sophia Ruud, each hereby relinquish right of dower in and to the above described premises.
Should the property described herein at any time be used for other purposes than a cemetery, said property shall revert to the Grantors or their heirs, named herein. This deed given to prefect the title to said read estate.
Dated this 11th day of December A.D. 1917.
Olive Swanson Iver Swanson
Johanna Cline R. M. Cline
Ida Swanson Albertina Swanson
Olga Sandbeck Mathias Sandbeck
Carolina Swanson Charles J. Long
Emma Long (her mark, witness mark by O.E. Holly & August Swanson)
Anna Peterson (her mark, witness mark by O.E. Holly & August Swanson)
Anna Sophia Ruud Martin Ruud
Alma Severson Severt Severson

State of IA, Lyon County, SS:
On this 11th day of December A.D. 1917, before me a Notary Public in and for said County personally appeared, Charles J. Long and wife, Emma Long, Anna Peterson, widow, Anna Sophia Ruud and husband Martin Ruud, Olive Swanson, widow, Iver Swanson, unmarried, Johanna Cline and husband R. M. Cline, Carolina Swanson, unmarried, Ida Swanson, unmarried, Albertina Swanson, unmarried, Olga Sandbeck and husband, Mathias Sandbeck, to me know to be the persons named in and who executed the foregoing instrument and acknowledged that they executed the same as their voluntary act and deed.
Notary Seal O. E. Holly. Notary Public in and for Lyon County, IA

State of SD, Minnehaha County, SS:
On this 12th day of December A.D. 1917, before me a Notary Public in and for said County, personally appeared Carolina Swanson, Alma Severson and husband, Severt Severson, to me known to be the persons named in and who executed the foregoing instrument and acknowledged that they executed the same as their voluntary act and deed.
Notary Seal A. N. Graff. Notary Public in and for Minnehaha County, S.D.

Land Deeds, No. 132, Lyon County, IA No. 414 Recording Fee $ .50
From C.T. Swanson and wife to Grand View Church of Granite, IA
Filed for record the 10th day of March A.D. 1919 at 3:00 p.m. W.B. Rogers, Recorder by Addie Kemplay Deputy

Know All Men by these Presents: That C.T. Swanson and wife, Anna S. Swanson of Lyon County, State of IA in consideration of the sum of one dollar in hand paid by Grand View Church of Granite, IA the following described premises situated in the County of Lyon, and State of IA to-wit All of the lots contained in the Plat of Grand View Swedish Mission Cemetery, situated in the Southwest Quarter of Section, 25, in Township 100 North Range 49 West 5th P.M. being lots 1 to 70 both inclusive excepting however, lots No. 54 and No. 55 which are reserved from this deed.

Our Little White Church on The Hill
by Phoebe (Swanson) Johnson
(Tune “The Church in the Wildwood”)

Oh, come to the church in the country,
Our little white church on the hill,
Where the Master waits, now, to give welcome,
And each heart with new gladness to fill.

Oh, come, come, come, come
Worship the God of our fathers,
We trust Him as Counselor still.
May His Gospel Light always shine brightly
In our little white church on the hill.

How dear to us now is the chancel,
Where true hearts, in faith, have been wed,
Where our babes in God’s name have been christened,
And our youth in confirmation have read.

Here, loved ones, now gone, seem to linger;
In their stead, we labor today;
May we seek joy and peace in the Savior;
Love and praise Him each step of the way!

Our Pioneers Who Built Upon The Rock
by Phoebe Swanson Johnson - 1962
Written for the 50th Anniversary of the Grandview Covenant Church.

They crossed mountains, vast seas and wild prairies
In search of a happier, new way of life
Left old friends and kinfolk in Sweden
To win freedom from pressure and unending strife.

They chose God as their director and foreman.
His Work was their law, their comfort and Light.
With visions of new lands and homesteads
They pressed forward with steadfast, undaunted might.

Near the Big Sioux, their ox-teams they halted,
And here delved their dugouts on claims that they chose,
Where timber, wild fruits and water abounded -
Their trail’s end - a blessing, though Indians came close.

With “America Fever” they had thrilled in the Old World,
And God gave them a purpose - His Covenant plan -
To trust and to glorify Him in the New World,
A new age of service, as toil here began.

About eighteen-seventy-two - J. F. Wretlof
Came to seek and to shepherd this pioneer fold;
He would gather small groups in a sod house or shanty -
Home altars were hallowed - their faith was made bold.

Years later, Long’s schoolhouse and better home dwellings
Were places of worship. They now were in search
For a “Mission Friend’s” Meeting House. Humbly the preacher
And the faithful were praying. All worked for a church!

Their strong faith soon blossomed! The years now are fifty
Since this loyal, loved pastor consecrated to God
This Covenant Church; and Christ’s love has lifted
And freed many a life from its pilgrimage plod.

May we, too build on Christian foundation,
Have courage for new fields of service as they,
Keep our Lord’s saving Light aglow here in Grandview
And afar send His Love! - For this let us pray!

1914 Grandview Swedish Mission Church Star Quilt Names

In 1914, a large blue block quilt with a yellow star in each square was made by the Ladies Aid Society of the Grand View Swedish Mission Church with people paying to have their names sewn in red on points of the yellow stars. The Ladies' Aid auctioned the quilt off and Charley Long bought it for $60. It has been said the quilt was destroyed in a fire in the Long home years ago but lists of the names included on the quilts were found in the personal papers of C.T., Anna and Mabel Swanson. Historians and family members may find it interesting to see the community members from another time named on the quilt.

182 Names on Ladies Aid Star Society, Grandview Swedish Mission Church, Large Name quilt - 1914: Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Newberg, Selma Clauson, Hilda Hillberg, Clara Hagstrom, Aurora Hagstrom (Chicago, IL), Mr. Aug. Carlson, Mrs. Aug. Carlson, Carl Carlson, Mrs. Lottie Anderson, Beda Anderson, Hulda A. Carlson, Edith D. Carlson, Miss Minnie Lawson, Mrs. Emma Peterson, Mrs. Albert Bennett, O.E. Holly, Anna Holly, W.V. Amidon, Mrs. W.V. Amidon, B. Twamley, Geo. T. Haggardt, Mrs. N. J. Haggardt, W. F. Herbst, N. E. Getman, Dr. W. Webber, E. C. Ellingson, Thoman Stein, John Johnson, Sam Gunderson, H.S. Anderson, David Bonander, John Bonander, Carl Bonander, Ebba Hildring, Nellie Hildring, Axel Bonander, Mrs. Axel Bonander, Oscar Bonander, Edgar Bonander, Evelyn Bonander, Mildred Bonander, Harold Bonander, C. T. Swanson, Mrs. C. T. Swanson, Mabel Swanson, Mr. Emil T. Swanson, Miss Phebe C. Swanson, Elmer C. Swanson, Mr. Aug. Swanson, Mrs. Aug. Swanson, Lawrence C. Swanson, Irene M. Swanson, E. Virgil Swanson, Alice C. Swanson, Albin T. Swanson, Marvin A. Swanson, Raymond Swanson, Alpha B. Swanson, A. P. Johnson, Albertina Johnson, Carl Johnson, Joseph Johnson, Lena Carlson, F. E. Carlson, Mr. Charley Long, Mrs. Emma Long, Ferdinand Long, Fromalt Long, Miss Amanda Long, Axel Long, Johannes Long, Betty Long, Selvi Long, Rosella Long, Palmer Long, Carl Long, P.J. Newberg, Anna C. Newberg, Olive Nelson, H.E. Thompson, W. A. Hansen, Mrs. W.A. Hansen, Sondays skolan, Rev. J.F. Wretlof, Mrs. A. Wretlof, Rev. Herman Carlson, Rev. Karl O. Axelson, Rev. Emil Akerlund, 1914 (in center), Rev. O. H. Miller, Rev. Gustaf F. Palmer, Johnan Stenning, F. J. Hollinbeck, France A. Ericson, A. F. Swanson, Mrs. Carolina Swanson, Miss J. M. Swanson, A. John Anderson, Geo. A. Castle, Louis Castle, Marguerite Castle, Larchwood Auto Co. Buick and Ford, Chas. Shade, J. H. Peacock, Minerva L. Peacock, George W. Fagan, Hilda R. Fagan, Isaac Swanson, Mrs. Isaac Swanson, Swan Swanson, Ed Swanson, Anthon L. Swanson, Ida M. Ohlson, Alfred Ohlson, Nel Martin, Mary Martin, Berneice Martin, Sigrid Martin, Marvin Martin, Andrew Anderson, Mrs. Andrew Anderson, Mildred Anderson, Vivian Anderson, Reinhold Bergh, Lydia Anderson, Berger Anderson, Filip Anderson, Lawrence Anderson, Viola Anderson, Eric Anderson, Mrs. Eric Anderson, Mrs. Herbert Bjork, Mr. Oskar Call, Robert Anderson, Albert Swanson, Mrs. Albert Swanson, Ethel Swanson, Melvin Swanson, Harold Swanson, P. J. Anderson, Mrs. P. J. Anderson, Freeman Anderson, Theodor Anderson, Lloyd Anderson, Mr. Peder Garvy, Mrs. Peder Garvy, Secilja Martin, Louis Martin, Wm. T. Martin, Line Wood, Marie Wood, Ingeborg Wood, Felix Wood, Alexandria Wood, Anna Peterson, Hilda M. Ruud, Nels Ruud, Karl A. Ruud, Fredrik Ruud, Carolina Swanson, Olga Swanson, Ida Swanson, Iver Swanson, Albertina Swanson, Carl Grevellius, Mrs. Carl Grevellius, Kathryn Mc Kenna, Mrs. S. Quist, Gertie Quist, Roy Roberts, Mrs. R. Roberts, Anna C. Roberts, Mrs. Tobias Iverson, Mr. Geo. Larson, Mrs. Geo. Larson, Tom Tweet, Mrs. Tom Tweet, Charlie Moeller, Dr. Z. T. Holtzclaw, Julius H. Rowe, Mrs. Minnie Rowe, and Lloy Handcock.

60 Names in smaller Ladies Aid Star Society, Grandview Swedish Mission Church Name quilt, 1914: Anna K. Strand, Regina A. Strand, Ida E. Strand, Olga B. Strand, Clara Strand, Thure Johnson, Clara Johnson, Nettie Johnson, Leonard Johnson, Olof Olson, Werner Gustafson, Hulda Gustafson, Elof Gustafson, U.S.A., 1914, Edwart Hildring, Mrs. Signe Hildring, Tord Emil Hildring, Gilmer Hildring, Tord T. Lee, Mr. Emil Monson, Mrs. Emil Monson, Miss Emma Anderson, Albin Nelson, Mr. August Anderson, Mr. Hans Buesen, Mrs. Hans Buesen, Miss Bertha Buesen, Mr. Oscar Quist, Mrs. Oscar Quist, Mrs. Robt. Wilka, Helena Wilka, Mrs. Wm. Grotewold, Mrs. T. G. Bennett, Granite Union Society, Mrs. L. Moeller, Mrs. O.J. Feay, Mrs. S. Sorenson, Otto Lund, Mr. Gabe Berg, Mrs. Tilda Berg, Miss Alma Berg, Miss Ivy Berg, Miss Nora Berg, Mr. Lawrence Berg, Mr. Loyd Berg, Mr. A. G. Swanson, Mrs. A. G. Swanson, Blanche Swanson, Arthur Swanson, Elsie Swanson, Doris Swanson, Howard Swanson, Mr. C. T. Swanson, Mrs. C. T. Swanson, Mabel E. Swanson, Mrs. Augusta Newberg, Ada Hagstrum, Agnes Laugen, Mr. Bratlie, and Mrs. Bratlie.

Church History

Early Pioneers Form a Religious Community
In 1873, religious services in a community of Swedish settlers began when Rev. John F. Wretlof, a 29 year old preacher from Boone, IA, arrived near the Sioux River in Sioux Township, Lyon County, IA. Pastor Wretlof was born Dec. 26, 1843, in Göteborg, Sweden, and had immigrated from Sweden, August 3, 1864. He came to Rock Rapids, IA, on the stage in May 1873, transferred onto a mail wagon to Larchwood, IA. He then set out on foot across the open prairie, in search of Swedish settlers that he had heard lived in this region. After walking most of the day in the tall prairie grass, he heard a dog barking in the distance and followed the sounds of activity to the Jackson dugout along the Big Sioux River, about one and a half miles southwest of Granite, IA. He stayed with the Jacksons for a few days and met with other Swedish pioneers in the area, sharing God’s Word in preaching, song and prayer.

These settlers introduced him to more Swedes, taking him to the North into Dakota Territory (they tied the cow on the wagon and took her along so they’d know where to find her after the trip), where Pastor Wretlof eventually started two more congregations; The Beaver Valley Lutheran Church, of Valley Springs, SD and Swedona Mission (Covenant) Church, north of Brandon, SD. Pastor Wretlof soon brought his bride of one year, the former Augusta Johnson, to the community, and they homesteaded near Valley Springs, SD.
Various traveling missionaries from Dakota Territory/South Dakota also visited the region regularly from the early beginnings of the community. Organized mission meetings were held in the woods for the next 39 years at John and Johanna Longs’ on the IA side of the Sioux River, Peter and Anna Newbergs’ on the Dakota side of the river, and Isaac and Carrie Swansons. Families met in a school house for about 31 years, near John Longs, with Rev. Wretlof coming about every third Sunday to lead the worship service, as well as meeting in other homes near the Sioux River. Mrs. Isaac Swanson usually gave him lodging while he was in the community in the early years.

As years passed, the number of people increased on the land, including more immigrants from Sweden, allowing the religious community to grow. From about 1904 to 1914, the religious meetings were held in the homes and groves of: Axel and Olga Bonander’s northeast of Granite, Charles and Emma Long south of Granite, Martin and Anna Ruud’s southwest of Granite, and Charles and Anna Swanson east of Granite.

The Grand View Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Mission Church - estab. 1912

On August 3, 1912, the Grand View Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Mission Church of Granite, Iowa was organized in the home of Charles and Anna Swanson on section 21 of Sioux township, under the supervision of Rev. Wretlof. Five families were the foundation of this congregation. The first members included: Mr. and Mrs. Charles Long, Cecelia Martin and Willie, Mr. and Mrs. August Swanson, Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Swanson and Mabel, and Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Swanson and sons Swan, Edward and Anton, a group of 15 members with Rev. Wretlof. Rev. Wretlof was elected chairman, L.C. Meberg, acting secretary; and more families joined the congregation. A subscription list was circulated by the members, for support in the building of a church. Trustees; August Swanson, Charles Swanson and Swan Swanson were commissioned by the congregation to build a church, one and one half miles southwest of Granite, on an acre of ground donated by Swan Swanson.

Children's Christmas programs were held in 1912 and 1913 at the Charles T. Swanson home. The gatherings for these Christmas programs lasted until 3 or 4 a.m., before the wagons and sleighs headed on their way home in the early hours of the day. (There had been several programs in the community in the past as well.) Rev. Wretlof had started instructing the first confirmation class of 7 members, which was confirmed in the new church in 1914.

Anna (Mrs. C.T.) Swanson conceived the idea of forming a Ladies’ Aid society. On March 18, 1913, the ladies of the community were gathered at the Swanson home, under the direction of Rev. Wretlof, to meet every other week with Mrs. Swanson as their first president. The society held large dinners for the community and invited others of the region to their fundraisers. Their income was said to be several hundred dollars a year, used for local and missionary purposes. This group did much sewing, including making a large blue block quilt with a yellow star in each square. People paid to have their names sewn in red on points of the yellow stars. The Ladies' Aid auctioned the quilt off and it was bought by Charlie Long for $60.00, and was lost in a fire at the home. (In 1982, the societies name was changed to Covenant Women.)

A constitution was adopted and the church was given the name of The Grand View Swedish Mission Church of Granite, IA, affiliated with the Swedish Christian Missionary Society of South Dakota. Erected during 1913 - 1914, a stone foundation supported the gothic, stained glass windowed church with the grand staircase leading up to the front doors. The new church building was 26 x 48 ft. in size, comprised of eight rooms with a front arched auditorium with a slanted floor and a furnished basement. It was meant to hold about 200 people. The building was lighted with gas and heated with a hot air furnace. Upstairs, furnishings were procured including the beautiful altar oil painting (for $113.) “Ascension” and a piano, won in a contest by Mabel Swanson for the church. The total cost of the church was $5,094.14, most of which was paid before it’s dedication, on Sunday, May 31, 1914. Before a large gathering of people, this church was dedicated to be a House of God, to worship Him in, and to be a spiritual light, full of warmth and guidance of the people, with the hope that many may find their soul’s salvation. Rev. Wretlof, Rev. O. H. Miller of Stockholm, SD, and Rev. K.O. Axelson, South Dakota traveling missionary, all took part in the dedication services, setting the church aside for its most high and holy mission.

The Sunday School was organized by Pastor Wretlof, on April 26, 1914. Miss Mabel Swanson was the first superintendent and over the years many faithful superintendents, teachers and students have been active in making it a vital part of our church through song, lessons, special programs and summer Bible School.

In 1918, with old age approaching, Rev. Wretlof, was aided by Rev. Emil Bergren from Swedona Mission church to give pastoral aid. He would motor down from Swedona about every other Sunday to preach an afternoon service. In 1919, a seminary student, Rev. Arvid Carlson from North Park College in Chicago, IL, was called for the summer. He also interchanged with Rev. Bergren in preaching in Swedona and Salem, SD churches. Rev. Wretlof resigned, March 24, 1919, and only months later, on December 1, 1919, our faithful shepherd and minister of 46 years passed away in his home in Brandon, SD. May there always be a Peace of Christian Love over his memory.

A parsonage was conceived by the congregation and about 2 acres of ground (the former Quist place in the NW corner of Granite) owned by C. T. Swanson, was considered a good central location in the community. Rev. Bergren commissioned the trustees; August Swanson, C. T. Swanson, and Ed Swanson to purchase this land and a deed was recorded and improvements on the house were made.

The church got its first resident pastor, Rev. R. A. Larson, from Worthington, MN, who came with his family, June 9, 1921. At this time he brought about the church opening to the English language, with morning Swedish services and evening English services. Rev. Larson also organized the Young People Society in 1921 with Emil Swanson as the first chairman. This group started out meeting weekly for teachings and social time in area Christian homes. After three years Rev. Larson preached his farewell sermon Sunday, July 13, and left Granite, July 22, 1924, for Buffalo, NY.

Successors to the pulpit at Grandview were Rev. Samuel Hogander, The Rev. Charles Carlson and the Rev. Herman Carlson, who resigned in 1930. During the vacancy which followed his resignation the church was visited occasionally by different pastors. Rev. Bergren, at this time fieldsman of the South Dakota District, assisted the church considerably as did Rev. Raymond A. Johnson. Rev. H. R. Jacobson began his ministry in the spring of 1934, and served the Grandview and Swedona churches jointly. In 1946, Rev. France Ericson took charge and in the same year the church joined the Northwest Conference but remained in the South Dakota District.

Rev. David Kline accepted the call as full-time pastor in 1950. In 1952, he was succeeded by Rev. Ralph Powell as supply preacher. In 1953, Robert Fuchs (Fox), a student of the Baptist Seminary in Sioux Falls, took over the pastorate. Rev. France Ericson resumed duties as interim pastor in 1955.

A Martha Missionary Circle was organized in 1955, in the home of Mrs. Ethel Palmberg, who was elected the first president. Its activities included projects such as sewing for the mission fields, childrens and retirement centers. They have sponsored various students in foreign countries and after 30 years of faithful service their responsibilities were turned over to the Covenant Women.

Grandview Covenant Church of Larchwood, IA - estab. 1958

Rev. Paul Nelson served Grandview from 1957-1965. During this time a new constitution was adopted in January 1958, establishing the church name as the Grandview Covenant Church of Larchwood, IA. During the next 12 years, the church was served by students of the Baptist Seminary in Sioux Falls, they were: David Samf (Sems), Jerry Edinger, Gale O’Neil, David Ehman and David Rushton. From 1977 to 1980, Dr. Ralph Powell returned to Grandview, assisted by John Ziulkowski, another seminary student.

The AWANA Youth Club, was started in 1975. It reached out to all denominations. When this group started, they met once a week during the school year in the Larchwood Gym. Volunteer leaders and helpers prepared a very spiritual and enjoyable evening for the boys and girls of the community. The AWANA club dissolved for a time but has become active again since 2002. The Awana program was reinstituted in an effort to teach community youth about the Bible. Evening meetings are held at the Larchwood Recreation Center.

Terry Lundquist, a graduate of North Park Seminary, served 1980-1981. Dr. Ralph Powell returned in 1981 to serve as our faithful and conscientious pastor, assisted by Baptist Seminary students: Harold Schroeder, Michael Campbell, Scott MacDonald and Tim Friez.

Modernization and improvements have come to the church as the years have passed. New electrical and pluming brought lights, improved kitchen facilities and restrooms. On May 25, 1941, the congregation had electric lights for the first time at our evening services. Pews, replacing the folded theater chairs and a new pulpit were installed in April of 1962. The pews and new pulpit were a memorial gift in honor of Carl J. Johnson. An addition was built onto the back giving room for another classroom and later office. Evergreen trees were planted to surround and protect the church on top of the highest point in Lyon County. In 1983, an addition was built, expanding the sanctuary to provide seating for an additional one hundred people, adding space for a new entry, Sunday school rooms, and a reception area in the fellowship hall in the basement. Dedication services were held November 20, 1983. Carl and Tracy Dieters donated land to the East and ample parking and a garage was added to the church grounds for the growing church.

The church celebrated their 75th anniversary September 12-13, 1987, when there were 32 families having membership. The church was active with Covenant Women, Sunday School, a Young People group, Daily Vacation Bible School, and the Awana Youth Club.

Constitution and By-Laws Revised in 1988

Constitution and By-Laws of the church were revised Sept. 25, 1988. The purpose of this church is to unite believers in fellowship for spiritual edification, for the winning of sinners to Christ, and for the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ through home and world missions.

Following those before, with faithful service to Grandview were, Rev. Jack Brooks, Rev. Heidi Wiebe and Pastor Harriet Shelton. The last two graduates of North Park Covenant Seminary. Pastor Hans Eric Nelson, another North Park Graduate served the congregation from 2002 to 2004 followed by Pastor Penny Nance and Steve Corum. Pastor Richard Gordon served from February 2015 to September of 2019.  The period following has been filled by Dr. Nathan Hitchcock and various other Interim Pastors who are serving our congregation of attendees from South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa.

We are happy to celebrate history that is past, experience that is present, and hope and assurance that is our future. Praise be to God for our heritage.
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