This year is the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. With that and the developments this year, we decided to take a look back at the history of the church and the accompanying cemetery. Les Bergquist discovered much of the history from Carl and Amy Narvestad's "A History of Yellow Medicine County Minnesota 1872 to 1972."
In 1876, Christian Norwegian settlers met at Torger Johnson’s blacksmith shop, near what is now Sorlien Park, to conduct weekly worship. In 1881 they incorporated as “The Norwegian Evangelical Lutheral Society of Granite Falls, Yellow Medicine County, Minnesota.
The church purchased land for the cemetery in 1885, and finished building its first church in 1888. A dispute over predestination split the church from 1893 through 1943. They then consolidated and built a new church, finished in 1951.
The cemetery had separated from the church in the 1930s for reasons lost to history. In the Spring of 2017, Granite Falls Lutheran Church voted to assume ownership of the Hillcrest Cemetery real estate. The Church Council has appointed interested church members to serve on the cemetery committee, a committee of eight people. Granite Falls Lutheran Church - Hillcrest Cemetery Committee has then set new policies and guidelines to make Hillcrest Cemetery a welcome place for families of Granite Falls Lutheran Church and for the entire community. The operations and lawn maintenance has been completed by church staff, and church and community volunteers.