My husband and I moved to Granite Falls in the summer of 2009. We came from a major railroad hub in the Midwest. One of the first things we noticed about our new little town was the absence of train whistles as well as the sound of planes flying over. Imagine the look on our faces when we saw the sign across the major intersection of our town that read “RAILROAD DAYS OCTOBER 1ST”. I have to admit we laughed; for there was not a railroad within miles of our new little town. We did not know the history behind the sign.
That summer I began attending Community Bible Church at the corner of Wabash Ave and Menzel Lake road. I fell in love with the people of that little brown church.
Again, I did not know the history that made the church what it is today. As I began to read “Cloud of Witnesses” (by Charlene Webb and Connie Mace) the pieces fell into place. I had learned the history of the railroad in Granite Falls, but I did not know of other changes that took place through the years. Community Bible Church has been a lighthouse shinning out the light of the gospel through years of change here in our little town. This book tells of “sliver-haired warriors who battled on their knees to keep the Gospel of Jesus Christ alive at CBC and shinning out to the town of Granite Falls” for 121 years. The cloud of witnesses, begins with the first group that gathered to listen to a circuit riding preacher from Snohomish Congregational church in 1892 and continues to the group that gathers to hear sermons by Pastor Dan Moushey today. The book tells of the first children to gather with Campbell Robe for Sunday School in 1892. It tells of missionaries that went out to various parts of the world from the little church in Granite Falls. Though the names have changed through the years, the prayers of the “warriors” has not.
I quote from the acknowledgments, “this current work seeks to provide the reader with a richer, more accurate understanding of Granite Falls history and the spiritual battles fought in the community for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Yes, there was a railroad in Granite Falls. In 1901 when the first church building was finished Mr. Resigue, an engineer on the train that ran through Granite Falls and also a preacher, was asked to preach the first Sunday in the new building. This building was badly damaged in the “big snow” of 1916. It was later rebuilt and still stands today. Still shinning forth the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is a wonderful book of history and faith. When I picked it up and began to read, I was unable to put it down. If you are “original” to Granite Falls, you will recognize the history in this book. If you are an “import” to Granite Falls from some other part of the country, you will find the history very insightful. If you are a believer in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you will be challenged by the faith of this “Cloud of Witnesses”.