About West Granville
West Granville Presbyterian Church was founded in April 1860 as "Die erste Presbyterian Kirche." In the wake of the threatening Civil War, the 26 German Calvinists who formed the initial membership forged ahead to build the Cream City brick building which houses the congregation to this day. In its infancy, the congregation showed a strong commitment to its mission, providing assistance to newly freed slaves through the Freedman's Board.
Originally all services were offered in German, and it was not until 1913 that English was adopted as the only language used in worship and Sunday school. The church was a struggling small congregation and often shared a minister with another church or at times had no minister at all. It is noteworthy, however, that the congregation never hesitated in its intention to be part of the Greater Milwaukee religious community. Special collections for the relief of human suffering and community needs were taken regularly, and giving was generous.
We are moving into the 21st century with a firm mission to provide Christian witness to our neighborhood and the world.
Timeline of Key Church Events
- West Granville Presbyterian Church founded by 26 German Calvinists.
- Edgar G. Bletcher, a student pastor, arrives at the congregation.
- 94 congregation members.
- Edgar G. Bletcher ordained and installed as pastor.
- Activated a program to welcome new citizens to our country, sponsoring and supporting numerous immigrants to our community.
- Participated in the civil rights movement through the Covenant of Open Housing and Project Friendship, as well as in many inner city cleanup, repair, painting activities.
- Rev. Edgar G. Bletcher and Ruling Elder Fran Beverstock participate in the March on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1963.
- Became a partner in mission with the House of Peace, headed by Brother Booker Ash.
- Construction of an addition to the original building, providing a fellowship hall, Christian Education classrooms, office and meeting facilities. Used by many neighborhood organizations, making West Granville an active participant in its local community.
- Worked with other congregations in the Northwest Milwaukee area to establish Granville Interfaith Program for the Elderly.
- Rev. Edgar G. Bletcher retires, marking nearly 40 years of service to one congregation.
- Brief tenures by Revs. Tom and Mary McKnight.
- Undertaking of a mission study which confirmed that West Granville was committed to being a fully participating member of the Northwest Milwaukee community.
- Rev. Dee M. Anderson installed as pastor, making his the third installed pastorate for the congregation in the past 60 years.
- Worked with the other congregations in the Northwest Milwaukee area to establish a fully licensed nursery school which provided area children with opportunities for growth from 1988-1996, and a tutoring partnership with Maple Tree School.
- A blended merger with members of the Perseverance Presbyterian Church adding a new chapter to the history of our congregation.
- 150th Anniversary Celebration