There have been times over the past 100 years when congregants at Hancock Christian Reformed Church wondered how long their beloved rural house of worship would remain intact.
The economic hardship that hit the western Minnesota farming community has also hit this church, founded in 1912.
So perhaps the fact that Hancock CRC is around to commemorate its centennial is reason enough to celebrate for the 100 people who call the church home.
“Despite questions of survival at times, simply because of size, God has really blessed this church with a vibrant group of dedicated people,” said Rev. Harrison Newhouse, who has served Hancock CRC for several years. “They’re very dedicated to their church and to their community, and that has made a big difference.”
The church built its 100-year-celebration around Hancock’s annual July 4 festivities, welcoming back four former pastors to look back on the church’s history.
The celebration centered on the theme “Celebrating 100 years of God’s Love and Grace.” Nearly 300 people enjoyed times of praise and potluck, a town parade, and a reunion. It culminated in a worship service that included plenty of singing, including “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”—a hymn Newhouse says encapsulates the church’s long-standing relationship with its tight-knit community.
“It was a great, great weekend,” Newhouse said.