RAPID RIVER - The Rapid River Congregational Church is celebrating its 125th anniversary. The church was organized in Aug. 28, 1888. Rev. Bill Rafuse serves as the pastor of the church, beginning his ministry at the church in October of 1996.
Several special events have been planned by the anniversary committee with the main focus taking place in the month of August. Former church ministers, Rev. Larry Balleine of Monticello, Wis., and Rev. Gregg Swope of Stillwater, Minn., will be guests and will participate in the Sunday, Aug. 4, Communion service that begins at 10:30 a.m.
During Aug. 5-9 from 6-8 p.m., Vacation Bible School will be held in the church parish hall. On Sunday, Aug. 11, the church will host a picnic in the Rapid River Park following the morning worship service. Rev. Devin and Yvette Chisholm of Standish, Mich., will offer a musical concert following the picnic.
Pastor Bill Rafuse and wife, Donna, extends a welcome to join them as the Rapid River Congregational Church celebrates its 125th anniversary. October marks 17 years of ministry for the Rafuses at the church. Several special events and activities have been planned, with “Homecoming Meal” tickets currently on sale.
One of the celebration's highlights will be the "Homecoming Meal" to be held Saturday, Aug. 17, at 6 p.m. in the church parish hall. The meal will be dedicated to past and present church members of the congregation. Meal reservations need to be made; the church's Women Fellowship members are selling the meal tickets.
A musical program, under the direction of Linda Frisk, will be featured for the church's 10:30 a.m. worship service on Sunday, Aug. 18. The Aug. 25 worship service will have Rev. Susan Safford-Gaul of Sheboygan Falls, Wis., as the guest speaker. Rev. Gaul spent her childhood at the Rapid River Church. Brenda Eagle-Ransom of Sault Ste. Marie will participate in the 10:30 a.m. worship service on Sunday, Sept. 1. Eagle-Ransom is a lay minister who attended the Rapid River Church when she was growing up.
One of the church's specialties is the fellowship time that follows every Sunday service. It is hosted by the church's congregation under the leadership of the Women Fellowship. Most Sundays it consists of an entire meal served, which includes potlucks.
The anniversary committee members are: Kathy Combs, Barbara Cotey, Joan Quick, Susan Taylor, Amy Alverado, Lori Hardwick, Robin Phillips, Linda Frisk, Georgie Safford, and Rev. Bill Rafuse.
The public is welcome to attend any of the special events.