Granger Community Church

One of the first churches I ever spoke at when I worked for Purpose Driven Ministries was Granger Community Church.  It’s been nearly 7 years since I was last there but through the years I have continued to admire them from afar.  They are one of the most creative churches in the country and their pastors continually inspire me through their teaching, books and blogs.

Today I got to go back and actually be a part of one of their worship services.  A lot has changed through the years including their main auditorium.  It has been reconfigured and as you can see from the picture I took, it includes 5 huge screens, the 3 middle of which are in high definition.  The middle screen is 26 feet high by 50 feet long and is absolutely stunning when everything is going on in worship.  The band was great and they are participating in something I did when I was on staff at Chambersburg called the One Prayer series.  This year the theme is Unstoppable ______.  The video Granger chose to use was of Chris Hodges who pastors Church of the Highlands down in Birmingham, AL.  His message was Unstoppable Focus and it was very good.

We were visiting Granger with Chad and Tammie Chute who are the couple we just hired to be a part of the team.  They live in the area (at least for 9 more days) and  have been attending Granger on Saturday nights.  They commented afterward that they had not seen one technical glitch in all the time they’ve been attending…until today.  Now to be fair it was not Granger’s fault at all.  The mother of all thunderstorms came rolling through and I thought the roof was going to come in.  At one point 3 of the projectors cut out, including 1 of the 2 that make the center screen magic happen.  I was very impressed with the Granger team though.  They almost immediately went from what’s called an edge blend to a single shot on the remaining half of the screen that was still lit up.  I know that sounds like mumbo jumbo, but trust me…they did it fast enough that you know there volunteers/staff had trained for such a thing.  The problem with any projector but especially projectors of those sizes is that when they are turned off they need to go through a long cool down period and then they can be restarted again.  Again the crew at Granger did an incredible job of getting them back up and running without it being a distraction.  Great job by all involved and an awesome service…glad we got to go back!

Afterward Tammie’s parents invited us back to their house for lunch.  They are missionaries in South Africa home for a short break.  They are a great couple and it was exciting to hear all that God is doing through them on the mission field.  After lunch we went with the Chute’s over to visit the campus of Notre Dame.  Wow what a beautiful campus!  The architecture is stunning, especially in the basilica.  I obviously hold very different beliefs than the Catholic Church but I’m glad we toured around the campus and were inspired by the sights.

Followed that up with a dinner and meeting with a young lady we are interviewing to potentially be our Children’s Director.   Excited about the possibilities there and excited that our road trip is nearing an end and within a few days we’ll be back home.  Tomorrow we leave bright and early for another 3 hour drive and then I’ll be in meetings all day at the denominational office in Findlay, OH.

2 Responses to “Granger Community Church”
  1. Chad says:

    Had a great time and can’t wait to get to Harrisburg…Thanks for dinner

    • Rick Shafer says:

      It never stops the wonder that is our small world. Here we are now living in Orlando FL attending Northland Distributed Church (where today his brother-in-law Granger’s pastor is visiting). We moved here in 2005, retired due to a serious disability, to be with our new grandchild (now increased to 4 grandchildren). Now here is the irony: we moved from GRANGER IN, after 13 years living but 2 miles from the church, where we attended a few times Granger Community soon after its founding. It was there that I was introduced to contemporary Worship music; and we loved it. Then of course there was but 10 ft between us and the Worship Team and the teacher. But it was in the same building. To see it now is so thrilling and to think that Church built on a small hill, only viewable to the post office side, behind trees has now grown so much. We were there when our Pastor Hunter’s son or nephew don’t remember, was the Worship Leader; he now of course is back in Orlando associated with Pastor Hunter’s son’s church Summit. His son, by the way, gave the finest message I have ever heard at the funeral of his too young niece last year (Ava). So thank you Granger for preparing us for Northland. And thank you for refreshing my soul with your music and message.

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