History

The Grant Evangelical Gree Church had it’s beginning on a Sunday afternoon the month of June 1985, when Collin and Jeanne Malmkar and Tim Malmkar met with Pastor David Johnson, of the North Platte Bethel E-Free. Two weeks later a meeting was held with Pastor Johnson and then District Superintendant Charles Crabtree, along with about fifteen others. Collin & Jeannie Malmkar, Lloyd & Sharon Jantzen, Jerry & Carolyn Harms, Noel & Kareln Bullock, Steve & Chris Jaques, Bill & JoAnn Beckler, Dean & Dorthy Hach, Jack & Betty Friderick. Together it was discukssed what the Evangelical Free Church is and what it’s doctrinal statement is. It was then decided by Superintendant Crabtree and other Evangelical Free Church officials to have an information meeting at the Grant Legion Hall, which was attended by forty to fifty people.

The first worship service which was held the morning of March 2, 1986 in the former local theater in Grant. It was led by Daryl Jantzen.The midwest District Superintendant then contacted several ministries of the district and a different pastor filled the pulpet each Sunday morning thereafter.

Pastor Gordon Langlie, serving the Sidney Evangelical Free Church came on Tuesday evenings and held a Bible Study in the book of Ephesians. This study continued for a time and then Pastor Langlie accepted the call to pastor the Grant Evangelical Free Church until a full time pastor could be called. A pulpet search committee was selected: Terry Jensen, Collin Malmkar, Noel Bullock, Lloyd Jantzen, Jerry Harms, and Steve Jaques. Pastor Dennis Gooden was called he accepted the pastorate at the Grant Evangelical Free Church the year of 1988. The first church board consisted of; Collin Malmkar, Noel Bullock, Jerry Harms, Rick Harms, Dean Hatch, Dennis Hutt, Lloyd Jantzen, Steve Jaques, and Terry Jensen.

A non profit corporation became reality on March 30, 1989. A special service was held to thank and honor the Mother Church who helped the Grant Evangelical Free Church through it’s infancy.

Land was purchased and building plans were chosen. Acupancy of the new facility at 200 west 10th took place at Christmas time in 1990.

The year of 1994 a Christian School was started with grades K-8 being offered. First school board members were Rick Harms, Jarret Malmkar, & Jim Hanson. Classes were held in the church basement.

The mortgage on the church building and property was paid off in fulll by December 1998

Pastor Dennis Goodin resigned as pastor of the Grant Evangelical Free Church during the year 2000. A pulpet committee was selected they were; Shannon Malmkar, Lloyd and Sharon Jantzen, Jim Hanson, and Brett Bullock. Before a new pastor was found, two interim pastors filled the pulpet. They were Pastor Carlson from Minesota, and Pastor Jerry Swesey from Imperial, Nebraska.

Pastor Russ Gaar. Along with his wife Jeannie and children Kasey, Krystal, Kaleb,and Kenyon accepted the call to serve as pastor of the Grant Evangelical Free Church December 4, 2001. As we began to outgrow the facility, plans to add on to the church were discussed. A new worship center, offices, foyer and mens restroom were completed in January of 2006. This indebtedness was paid off in Feburary 2009.

A small business adjoining the east side of the church property was purchased and became the Student Ministries Building, Associate Pastor office, and a large meeting room. The project was completed in June of 2010 after months on renovation.

Early in 2011 the church saw a need for hiring a 2nd pastor to help Russ with the ministries. During the month on July 2011 Pastor Christopher Heslep with his wife Ashley accepted the call to serve as Associate Pastor. He served until 2014 then returned to school to receive his doctorate.

Playground equipment was purchased and installed on the southwest corner of the church property. Projest completed in June 2012

In the year of 2009 Grant E-Free along with New Life Church began a ministry to support orphans in Africa. CARE Uganda started out as a partner of Children’s Hope Chest who coordinated the sponsoring of children in Kayango Uganda. On Launch day all 100 orphans were sponsored by the local church and still are! After many trips over the ocean, the organization has grown from children meeting in a pastor’s home for meals and devotions, to a 5 acre plot that serves as care poing for over 100 sponsored children. They officially became independent and named CARE Uganda in the spring of 2013. The plans for 2016 are to finish a school on the care point site.