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History of the Graefenburg Christian Church

 

     The Graefenburg Christian Church was originally located at 671 Graefenburg Road. There are no known records available that indicate the actual beginning date of the congregation or construction of the meetinghouse. The earliest record is the deed registered at the Shelby County Courthouse on November 12, 1866 whereby the building was purchased from Shelby County School District #22 for the sum of $5.00. The original trustees were: Abel Jenkins, John Orr and J.J. Gaines.

     The deed was made to "The Church of Christ" at Hardinsville with the stipulation that the church keep the fence dividing the property in good repair during its existence. The deed also stated "that the school reserved the right to hold examinations, binding themselves to keep the church in good order during such exhibitions."

     Hardinsville was the original name of the town where the church is located. Since there is another Kentucky town with the same name, the Post Office had the name changed to Graefenburg. A few older members of the congregation can still recall a half-century ago when more people referred to the town by its original name than by its present name.

     Two well-worn Bibles have been preserved through the years. Inside the oldest is the inscription: The Church of Christ at Hardinsville, Shelby County, KY. The copyright of the Bible is 1867. Inside the other Bible remains a handwritten note saying, "Compliments of a friend to the Christian Church of Graefenburg," dated September 1889.

     The heritage of the Graefenburg Christian Church stems from the nineteenth century "American Restoration Movement" in which the terms "Church of Christ" and "Christian Church" were used interchangeably in the effort to restore the New Testament Church. Based upon the inscriptions contained in the two old Bibles, it appears that, by the turn of the century, the name of the church had changed from "The Hardinsville Church of Christ" to the "Graefenburg Christian Church."

     Records of past ministers date back to 1916; Howard Stevenson, 1916; James Faulconer, 1919-1921; G. Fry, 1921-1924; Joe Faulconer, 1925-1926; Gene May, 1927; Thomas Giltner, 1928-1929; Al Corbett, 1930-1934; Everett Reynolds, 1935-1936; W.A. Guy. 1937-1938; R.C. Lorimer, 1939-1941; George Roberts, 1942; Roud Shaw, 1943; George Roberts, 1944; Albert Lorber, 1945-1946; Leroy Tracy, 1947; Darrell Norwood, 1947-1948; George Watson, 1949-1963; James Lane, 1963-1965; Vaughn Reeves, 1966; Bobby Towles, 1967-1968; Obie Clark, 1969-1974; Eugene Neyhart, 1975-1981; Brent Daifron, 1982; John Herndon, 1983-1985; E. Paul Perry, 1987-1995; Ric Toney, 1996-2002; Jonathan Wells, 2002- June 2011.

     In May 2008, the congregation moved into a new building on the eight acres of land it owns at the intersection of US 60 and Highway 151. With this relocation realized, the church is now located one mile east into Franklin County.

 

(Submitted by Grover Hill)

 

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