Even though their 85-year-old church had dwindled to approximately 18 people, the congregation of Grangeville (Idaho) Christian Reformed Church was determined to keep its doors open. Now two years later, Grangeville CRC has approximately 50 members, re-established programs for all ages, and a new minister.
Pastor Michael Gulotta is a bivocational pastor who also works as the overseeing postmaster at the local post office.
“There is an energy in the people; they stay longer after worship service. They laugh and fellowship with one another. . . . A family is being created; our God is joining us together, “said Gulotta.
A friend Gulotta made through a food co-op asked him to consider being a speaker at Sunday services when Grangeville was without a pastor. Through mentoring from other CRC pastors, Gulotta received a license to exhort and later became commissioned as pastor in June 2013. His wife, Mary Ann Gulotta, said, “There is a sense of excitement, awe, and thankfulness in our church. Our family feels very blessed and privileged to be a part of such a rich heritage. We are so very thankful for the faithfulness and determination of those dear saints . . . who persevered in the midst of difficulty.”
Alice Kingma, church member who grew up at Grangeville CRC said, “Our church has been through many different stages, since the church was organized. But God has always been with us. Since the Gulottas have been with us, we have several new members, and I feel God's hand is definitely [at] work in the church now.”
Church members have begun to come together for cookouts and offer outreach events for the kids in the church and community. Joel Weimer, a new member who recently moved to the Grangeville area said, “. . . being Reformed in our theology we were thrilled to find a Reformed church as close as Grangeville. The 70-mile round trip to attend Sunday worship, class, and fellowship is well worth the effort.”