Church History
Englewood Bible Church: A History
By: Virginia Smith with help from Barbara Burget
 

The First Christian Church of Englewood was started in 1907 by a group of people who felt the need to worship the Lord together. They first met in the Roosevelt School which was located on Clarkson Street, across from Swedish Sanatorium. In 1910 the church was organized as a Christian Church. Until pastors came to serve the church, the pulpit was filled by preachers from Denver churches. Early ministers included Rev. Axton, Sidney Bedford, J.A. Shoptaugh, Arthur Strongman, Walter Loupe, E.A. Sharpe, Harry Stender, William B. Schrader, E. Van Farell, Marion A. Brown, T.R. Miller, and William Oeschger.

The church raised enough money to buy lots at the corner of East Floyd and South Logan and transferred to the new location in June 1913. Prior to the transfer a brick basement church was built. This basement was used as the church facility for more than twenty years. Under the pastorate of G. D. Pontius, an upper floor was erected on the basement church and the building was dedicated on June 20, 1937.

In February 1941, Rev. Sherman H. Miller, his wife Dorothy, and son Sherod came to the church. Every Sunday evening was a musical service with Sherman singing, playing trombone, and his musical saw. His brother Aaron sang and played trumpet and Aaronís wife Elaine played saxophone. Dorothy wrote Christmas pageants and volunteers in the church made beautiful costumes and scenery. Colored lights were used to enhance the effects of the pageant. It was all very impressive. People from all over the metropolitan area came to see the pageants and even with two performances per evening, people had to be turned away. The pageants were about timely subjects of the day and they were written with the Bible and the Lord woven into every day life-like circumstances. Many people were impressed and saved at the pageants.

The church grew and supported missionaries on foreign fields and at home. Numerous people were saved in the church and baptized. By 1948, the church on Logan was too small. Thirteen lots were purchased on South Grant and East Eastman for a new church. A beautiful church building was erected in 1949 for approximately $150,000.00. No pledge system was used in obtaining the money for the new church. Only as God laid the need on the Roosevelt School Logan hearts of the members and friends of the church to pay their tithes and offerings was the need met. A building fund was then set up for a new Sunday School unit and that goal was met in 1957. Two lots for additional parking space were purchased for $3000.00. This financial need was met by free will donations.

In the Logan Street church, two Sunday morning services were held to accommodate all the people who attended church. It was necessary to continue the two worship services in the new church. There was special music at all the morning services. A lot of talent among the church members was used and sometimes special guests were invited to add their talent to the services. Two Sunday Morning Bible Schools were conducted, one at 9:45 AM and another at 11:00 AM. There were two teachers for each class which rotated teaching and filled in for one another when one had to be absent. A special ìgettogetherî was held once a month to help new members become more easily acquainted.

Evening services were informal with special programs of music, slides, reports from missionaries on furlough, revival services, hymn sings, testimonies, moving pictures, and much more. Average attendance was about 425.

Total membership of the church was about 1650. Active membership was about 1325. In the year of 1952, $11,422.86 was given to missions and missionaries. The church had two choirs: an adult choir and a youth choir. The adult choir sang at the 11:00 AM service and the youth choir sang at the 8:15 AM service and the 7:30 PM service. Once a year, the youth went on tour to perform at various churches. Youth choir members stayed at various homes of the churches where they sang. There were strict requirements that each member had to meet to earn enough points to go. A few requirements were attendance in church, Sunday School, youth meetings, and choir practice; scripture memorization; bringing new people to church; bringing Bibles; and writing and giving their own testimonies.

Besides home ministries, Mexico was one destination where they went door-todoor and witnessed to people. Even though the kids were given a quick course in Spanish, it was hard to communicate. Some of the Mexican citizens could speak English which helped. A lot was learned on these trips, not only by the youth but also by the youth sponsors. Testimonies were given by the youth to the church about their experiences.

The church sponsored its own youth camp for the young people. A rich spirit-filled experience was reaped by most who attended the one-week camp. The best of speakers were provided and the music was wonderful and inspiring. Usually the camp was in Jarre Canyon. Lives were re-dedicated and first time professions of faith were made.

In the month of May, the church recognized all its youth groups by holding Ground breaking for Grant St. building Camp banquets. The graduating seniors were especially honored with a baccalaureate service. The banquets were quite elaborate but no charge was made. They were held in the church basement and the mothers decorated so beautifully and prepared the food. The decorations were far more beautiful and elaborate than any fine restaurant or public place in town.

The Christmas pageant was still written by Dorothy Miller or one of the young people. It was put on entirely by young people and was presented twice to accommodate crowds. Many people were reached for Christ through this ministry.

Headed up by Mother Baldwin and others, the ladies in the YCL class took birthday cakes to patients at National Jewish Hospital. They had to wear masks while at the hospital and had a precious time with the patients. Some of the ladies had opportunities to sing in other hospitals and were accompanied by Mavis Hitchcock playing a small organ. Other ladies would go from bed to bed visiting patients and leaving them with tracts.

The Ladies Missionary group met every Thursday at approximately 11:00 AM. The afternoon began with a covered dish luncheon and short devotion and was followed by quilting, making layettes for the Pregnancy Crisis Center, sewing, or wrapping bandages for the leper colony. The ladies visited the organizations for which they were sewing every Christmas, every Easter, and at many other times during the year. They also visited the VA hospital, distributing socks, t-shirts, and tracts. After many years, not enough people could continue to be active and regretfully the Ladies Missionary was discontinued. Some of the group continue to meet today and pray for the missionaries.

The Cradle Roll Mothers met the first Wednesday of every month for a covered dish luncheon. ìTrain up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.î Thelma Smith was the leader of this group.

There was a Watch Night Service on New Yearís Eve. The church was full each time these services were held. It was a very special time for all to start the New Year by praying the old year out and the New Year in. People who attended gave their favorite Bible verse or gave their testimony.

A Fishers of Men Fellowship Dinner was held on the first Monday every other month during the winter months at 6:30 PM. This was a time when men in the church invited their friends out for dinner and Christian fellowship. These meetings were very popular with the men.

Ladies Missionary Group ñ 1995 Singing Christmas Tree 13 continues in the present day. Wonderful volunteers in the church write programs, teach classes, and over-see activities. The children enjoy this Spirit led activity.

Once a year the deaconesses of the church sponsor a Widow’s Dinner. This tradition was started by Dorothy Miller. Invitations are sent to all the widows in the church and other widows are invited by word of mouth. All are welcome. Volunteers of the church prepare a lovely meal. There is entertainment and a brief Bible Message and prayer is given. A prize is won by one lady at each table. Various methods are used to determine which lady wins. Many lonely widows enjoy sharing time together.

During the Vietnam Conflict, Barbara Burget and Jerri Hoffhines headed up a group of people who put together care packages for the young men and women in the Armed Forces. One hundred ladies baked all kinds of fruit cakes, cookies, candy, etc. Sunday School classes donated money to mail the packages to approximately 75 individuals serving our country.

Hope Dodrill organized a ladies trio, known as the Joy Tones, who served the church with their singing for 40 years, beginning in 1956. The trio began with Hope, Jo-Etta Turner, and Barbara Burget and later included Norma Norwood and Joyce Howell. They group retired from singing in 1996.

In 1965, Pastor David Groen came to the church with his wife Betty and daughter Lorrie. Lonnie was born after they came to the church. Dave served as youth minister for ten years. Betty worked along with Dave and we had a wonderful, large active group of dedicated youth. In 1975, Dave became the associate pastor. He was very active in helping Pastor Miller in his many duties until he resigned the position in 1988. Pastor Groen served as interim pastor during the times the pastorate was vacant. Betty played the piano and organ and worked with Dorothy Miller on the church dinners. Sometimes they teamed up to give wedding and baby showers.

Rev. Sherman H. Miller retired in 1977 after 36 years of faithful ministry. Dr. Harold Warner came to the church in 1977 with his wife Eleanor and their sons Philip and Keith. Pastor Warner had an amazing knowledge of the Bible. He was a good preacher. Many were blessed. He pastored several churches and was a full time evangelist for fourteen years prior to coming to the church. He carried on many of the programs that were already in existence and, in addition, started a telephone ministry called ìDial a Spiritual Up-liftî and a monthly publication called ìThe Focusî. Under Pastor Warnerís leadership, the church continued to grow. He had plans for the future of the church for growth and expanded ministry but the Lord called him to Florida where he had an opportunity to reach a much larger number and also have an Barbara Burget, Hope Searles, Norma Norwood Vacation Bible School Praise the Lord.

In 1980, Adrian House served as our pastor. His wife, Juanita Hummel House, grew up in our church. They came with three sons: Torrey, Mark, and Paul. Pastor House was a very caring man. He loved people. Prior to coming to First Christian Church of Englewood in June 1980, he established a church in Wyoming and was president of Western Bible Institute in Morrison, Colorado. He was serving in a pastorate in Nebraska when he was called to First Christian Church of Englewood. He was loved by many people. The Lord called him to start a new church in Highlands Ranch in 1985.

Under Pastor Houseís ministry, the church became a charter member of AWANA in 1981. AWANA is a program designed to teach children, from age 3 through high school, the truths of Scripture. The club year coincides with a traditional school year and meets once a week. During a club meeting the children play games, listen to a Bible lesson, and recite Scripture verses memorized during the week. First Christian Church implemented the program through sixth grade and it continues today under the leadership of Commander Lee Salazar.

Pastor Herb Rogers, his wife Marie, and son David came to First Christian Church of Englewood in 1986. He had pastored at many churches and was a very friendly man, reaching out to the entire congregation. He had a wide knowledge of the Bible and was a very good preacher. He continued with the activities that were already established in the church. In 1989, he accepted a pastorate in California.

A group of elders from the church went to Ketchikan, Alaska to extend the call for Rev. William Haan to accept the pastorate of First Christian Church of Englewood. He came to our church in June 1990 with his wife Bonnie Jean, and children Greg, Nick, Suzanna, and Lisa. Pastor Haan was a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and a former Air Force pilot. It was while he was at the academy that he received the call to be a pastor. Under Pastor Haanís leadership, the name of the church was changed to Englewood Bible Church. Rev. Robert ìBobî Hayes came to the church in March 1990 and served as youth pastor under Pastor Haan. Pastor Haan served as pastor until 1999.

Each year the city of Englewood hosts a Holiday Parade. For three years the church entered floats in the parade. The first year the float won first prize. The following two years, the church float took second prize each year. It was a big team effort on the part of many who attended to get these floats built and down the street in working order.

In 1999, Pastor Bob Hayes became interim pastor. His wife Becky has worked in the church, plays piano, and sings. Bob and Becky have two boys, Dan and Andrew. Bob works hard in the church. Under Interim Pastor Hayes leadership, our church became an Elder led, Congregationally-ruled church. He has started many new things. The church now has a senior singles ministry called the Knothole Gang. Knothole is a play on the words ìNot wholeî because the members are without their mates. Once a month the Gang has a fellowship meeting at the church at which time they receive an update on coming activities. There is a local activity once a month and an out-of-state trip once a year. Past trips have included visiting Hawaii, South Dakota, and Israel; taking cruises to Alaska and the Caribbean; and taking several trips to Branson, Missouri.

Bob started the Neighborhood Night Out Block Party sponsored by the church. The whole church invites the neighborhood to the church for hot dogs and all the trimmings. People bring salads and other food to go with the meat. There are rides and entertainment for the kids. Pastor Ken Evans entertained the crowd with his ìmagicalî illusions at one of the gatherings. Some of the kids tried to ìtrip him upî, but they didnít succeed. The purpose of the Neighborhood Night out is for the church to get to know the people around the church; for our neighbors to get to know the church; and to encourage them to come to the church. A large number of people come each year for the celebration.

Pastor Bob is a wonderful caring man. Despite his busy schedule, he is always there for people in time of need and celebration. He has officiated at weddings, anniversaries, funerals, and other things.

From 2001 until October 2007, Pastor Bob Hayes and Pastor Ken Evans served as co-pastors, sharing in the responsibilities of the church. Bob preached at the 9:00 AM traditional church service and still teaches the YCL Bible Study at 10:30 AM. Ken preached at the 10:45 AM contemporary service known as ìRock Solidî. The Rock Solid service is generally a younger age group. The Praise Band in this service uses several musical instruments and they sing a lot of praise songs. Ken also taught a 9:30 AM Bible Study class. Ken and his wife Joanna lived in Israel for a few years and had a good understanding of the people in that region and what is happening in Iraq and the Middle East. Ken was an archeologist and his artifacts from the Holy Land were amazing. Some were thousands of years old. Ken and Joanna live in Englewood. They have one son named Kenneth Ryan.

On Wednesday evenings Kathy Dodrill heads up a team of volunteers to put on an all church dinner known as ìFeed My Sheepî. The dinner is always very good. A small donation of $3.00 from each person who attends keeps the cost to the church down. Of course, those who are unable to pay are never turned away. After the dinner, there are elective Bible Study classes for adults, BreakAway (Middle School youth group), and AWANA.

God is blessing the church. The congregation and leaders of the church trust that great things will be accomplished as God directs and as the Holy Spirit continues to minister to the lives of the people.