Church History

In January of 1992, a group of people began a Bible study using the Heidelberg Catechism. Unknown to them was another group in Rapid City with a zeal for the Reformed faith, which had also been meeting for Bible studies. Rev. Peter Grossmann, being made aware of both groups, was instrumental in bringing them together for Bible study and fellowship in each other’s homes. The first meeting was in the home of Scott and Diane Marble. By May of 1992 this unified group held their first worship service in the home of Roger and Eileen Gallimore. Unbeknownst to him, the Rev. Herman Van Stedum preached via a tape from 1 John, with a message entitled, “How to Worship.”

For over a month they continued to meet in homes for Sunday worship, and they also continued to meet each Wednesday evening for Bible study. In May they met with Rev. Dorman Savage and Rev. Maynard Koerner of the Home Missions Committee. Following this, the group officially decided to affiliate with the Reformed Church in the United States (RCUS). The five charter families were the Gallimores, the Kuipers, the Marbles, the McPhersons, and the Starkenburgs.

When it came time to give a name for the church, there was no question. Almost simultaneously we said grace. For each of us recognized that we who were once miserable sinners who hated God in our heart, and demonstrated so in our thoughts, words, and deeds, were transformed by the living Word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit into followers of Christ. And this was completely by grace! Praise God from whom all blessings flow. The last Sunday of June 1992, Grace Reformed Church held its first public worship service in the Days Inn of Rapid City, with Rev. Robert Grossmann conducting the service. This continued until January of 1993, when we began meeting at the YMCA. On July 18, 1993, we began meeting at our present building (newly purchased from Calvary Chapel) on N. Haines Ave.

The first sermon in our present building was delivered by our present pastor Rev. David Fagrey, at that time a third year student at Mid-America Reformed Seminary and serving as our summer intern (incidentally, it was during that same summer that Rev. Fagrey proposed to his wife Bonnie while hiking up Spearfish Canyon).  On August 8, 1993, Rev. Dorman Savage was installed as our congregation’s first pastor. Rev. Savage faithfully served our congregation until June of 1998, when he took a call to become both the Regional Home Missionary for the Colorado Front Range and the pastor of Blue Cliff RCUS. Rev. Fagrey succeeded Rev. Savage in June of 1998.  We give all the praise and all the glory to our Almighty God for His grace, strength, and mercy in building His church.