Our History

A Brief History

The first recorded instance of church activity in Gunnison was recorded in 1870. By 1882, a number of churches from varying denominational backgrounds made their way to the area. It is an interesting historic note that among those churches was The Methodist Church. The building that first housed the Methodist Church was torn down in 1888 due to a poor foundation.  This building contained a stained glass “Cowboy Window,” which would be donated later to Community Church; it remains on display in the foyer to this day.  The stained glass “Cowboy” has become a part of the artistic design that adorns the Sanctuary, and for which Community Church remains known.  In 2019, a “stained glass cross” was also incorporated in the new logo to perpetuate both our commitment to the gospel and to honor the historic part this church has played in the Gunnison Valley.

In 1918, a large group of Gunnison citizens met at the courthouse to discuss God’s work in Gunnisonthe vision for Community Church was born out of this meeting.  The decision to incorporate two separate congregations into one was made, and in May of 1918, Community Church held its first services.  Since that time, Community Church has played a part of Gunnison and the greater Gunnison Valley; seeking to serve Christ and the people of our mountain community.  Much has transpired over the past 100 years and by God’s grace Community Church has always been here to faithfully play the part God has assigned to her.  Of note:

  • 1918: Services were suspended in October of this year in an effort to halt the spread of Influenza
  • 1922: The mortgage on the first property was retired
  • 1927: The need for a larger facility led to the purchase of 8 lots
  • 1935-39: Webster Hall was built, refurbished and developed into a community center
  • 1941: The first pledge was received for the construction of a new church building
  • 1942: Ground was broken on the new church building in April.  The church building incorporated a great deal of construction material salvaged from the dismantling of the Lake City Bridge railroad trestle that spanned the Gunnison Riverthis included narrow gauge rail used in the walls in place of rebar and the beautiful, rugged timber beams that fly over the auditorium
  • 1945: The new church building, named The Biebel Chapel, was dedicated in May
  • 1951: Community Church became an affiliate church with the Colorado Council of Churches
  • 1960: Community Church joined the National Council of Community Churches
  • 1961: A cross was placed on the west wall of the sanctuary
  • 1969: The stained-glass windows were commissionedthe windows were constructed by Pat Julio of Western State College; completed and dedicated in 1979
  • 1975: A large cross was mounted on the east wall of the exterior to the church
  • 2012: The cross was removed in place of a sign bearing the church name with an embedded crossdesigned, constructed and installed by Terry Klug
  • 2018: Community Church celebrated 100 years of ministry in Gunnison
  • 2019: The Church unveiled a new, more graphically-driven logo that incorporates elements that are characteristically Gunnison County: mountains, valleys and water serve as the backdrop to a  prominently featured stained glass cross, which is distinctly Community Church and it  represents the gospel of Jesus Christ that is the hope of our city, state, and world!
Pastoral Succession

Reverend James S. Ferris

May 1918

June 1920

Reverend Clem Davies

December 1920

January 1922

Reverend William S. Jones

May 1922

September 1926

Reverend Donald H. Tippett

September 1926

September 1927

Doctor Benjamin Eitelgeorge

October 1927

June 1932

Reverend Harry G. Kenney

August 1932

September 1933

Reverend Gabriel S. Upton

October 1933

June 1935

Doctor George Nuckolls

June 1935

March 1949

Reverend Melvin C. Dorsett

March 1949

September 1950

Reverend William C. Sipe

February 1951

August 1959

Reverend Sterling McHarg

August 1959

March 1970

Reverend John Heidbrink

June 1970

July 1971

Reverend Charles B. Dreyer

September 1971

September 1986

Reverend Ralph Adamson (Interim)

November 1986

April 1987

Reverend J. Shan Martin

July 1987

August 1996

Ian Wrisley (Interim)

August 1996

August 1997

Reverend Steve Moorhouse

August 1997

June 2014

Pastor Greg Meier

December 2014

February 2018

Pastor Larry M. Nelson

February 2019


Optimistic Future

As Community Church embarks upon her 101st year of serving our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ in ministry to the people and families of Gunnison and the greater Gunnison Valley, our faith finds every reason to be bold because of 100 years of God’s faithfulness.  We begin the next chapter of our story as a church with a new pastor and exciting challenges before us.  Our leadership is resolved to trust God for the “greater things” of which Jesus spokewe believe our best days of kingdom work are yet before us!

Community Church is a non-denominational church, uniquely positioned by God to be a leader among Christian ministries in our city and throughout the valley… worshiping our great God, encouraging the unity of the Spirit, boldly proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, faithfully preaching the whole council of God, and serving the needs of our city with compassion as the hands and feet of Jesus.

Community Church has a rich and interesting history, for which we have God to thank and praise, but our history-making days are not over.  We have a bright future as God’s people in a day and age where clarity on the gospel and urgency for God’s work in the world is critical.  In short, we are optimistic about our future… because God remains faithful, Jesus is the answer humanity is searching for, and because the church that boldly, unashamedly proclaims the gospel of Christ is the hope of the world!  We desire to make much of Jesus Christ from the mountains of Colorado to the remotest parts of the world!


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