Author: Dennis Partridge

The Catholic Church in Colorado

The teachings of Catholicism were perhaps brought to the Pike’s Peak country many decades before the first permanent white settlements were located. The Spaniards taught the principles of the faith to the Pueblos, but these tribes, for some reasons, failed to adopt completely the customs and their religious rites, even to this day, contain only a few features suggestive of the Catholics. The denomination proper did not have birth in this territory until about 1858, when the first white settlers began to come in numbers. Catholicism was the fourth denomination in the settlement at Denver, although the members erected the second church building in the village. The Town Company had extended to the churches the privilege of obtaining ground upon which to erect houses of worship, and the Catholics seem to have been about the only ones who took advantage of this offer, receiving land which afterwards proved to be extremely valuable. The first actual record of the Catholic Church in Denver is contained in the following excerpts from the Town Company’s books: “Mr. Clancy moved that a committee of three be appointed to see Mr. Guiraud in relation to a Catholic Church and that said committee be further empowered to reserve grounds for them, if they should determine to build a church in Denver City.” The Guiraud referred to in the above statement was a Denver merchant, of...

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Baptist Church in Colorado

The first Baptist Church in Colorado was established at Denver, September 25, 1860, with a membership of twenty-seven. These pioneers called this first organization the Rocky Mountain Baptist Church. Elder James Ripley was called to the pastorate, and J. Saxton and M. A. Clarke were the first deacons. Robert S. Roe was the first chief clerk. The congregation obtained the use of the courthouse from the owner, Judge Buchanan, free of charge. The members, however, soon scattered into various camps, and in 1861 the organization failed. In its best days, however, it not alone sustained the church but a Sunday school with nearly a hundred members. The records of the First Baptist Church in Golden show that it was established about August 1, 1863, and this justly claims to be the oldest existing Baptist church in Colorado. On December 27, 1863, the first meeting of those interested in the organization of a permanent Baptist Church in Denver was held, and a committee appointed at this time secured the United States court room on Ferry Street for its services. Rev. Walter M. Potter, who had been sent to the territory at this time by the American Baptist Home Mission Society, officiated. On May 2, 1864, the First Baptist Church of Denver was organized, with the following members: Rev. Walter M. Potter, Miss Lucy K. Potter, Francis Gallup, Henry C. Leach,...

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