The story of Grafton United Methodist Church goes back to the very early settlement of Jackson Township when Tommy Grafton, a veteran of the war for independence and a native Virginian, moved his large family here in 1806. They settled on the north side of Old Troy Pike just east of where the church now stands where the family burial plot can still be seen.
In 1836, James Grafton donated one-fourth acre of land for the construction of the Grafton Methodist Episcopal Church in 1838. The first church was located 200 yards northwest of our current building. It was the first Methodist Church in the township. Just 26 years later in 1864, rapid growth of the congregation rendered the original building inadequate and a second larger structure was erected to replace it.
By 1912, the floor of the second the building was growing weak. It was decided that a third building would be needed. Construction began early in 1912, and every member donated something; not only money, but timber, windows, loads of gravel, meals for the workers, and nearly all the labor required to construct the building. The entire project cost $2500 and was paid for in cash.
In 1925, the church was struck by lightning, severely damaging the roof. In 1937, electricity was added when Dayton Power & Light ran electric lines down Dialton Road. The 1950s and 60s brought the addition of bathrooms, windows, paneling, carpet, and the brick enclosure over the front steps. In the 1990s and early 2000s, a new roof, projector, sound system, media center, new front doors and a paved parking lot was added.
While our existing facility has served the congregation well for the past 105 years, the continuing increase in membership and the number and size of community outreach fellowship programs maximized the building space. To deal with these challenges, in January 2015, the congregation overwhelmingly voted in favor of undertaking a building expansion project. Construction of a 6,000 square foot addition began in May 2017 and was completed in August 2018. We held our first worship service in our new multi-purpose room on September 9, 2018 followed by our dedication/open house celebration on October 7th with over 250 attending. God has shown us so much favor. He has blessed us with this wonderful, new facility, and we are using it extensively to advance His kingdom.
New building projects for 2020 include; remodeling the old church basement into a new Children's Wing, and we are adding on a new classroom and storage space.