In 1988 the Community Mennonite Church formally organized in Grand Junction, Colorado, with 24 charter members. It was an outreach church planting ministry jointly sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Mennonite Conference and the Mennonite Board of Missions (Mennonite Church). In June 1987, Henry and Pat Wiens, members of the Glenwood Mennonite Church, were appointed as church planters in Grand Junction after Henry graduated from Hesston College's pastoral ministries program with financial aid from the Rocky Mountain Conference. The Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions sent five single young adults, associated with its Youth Evangelism Service ministry program, to Grand Junction for four months to help facilitate the church planting effort. After a core group of Mennonites met for Bible study for some months, public worship services commenced on Easter Sunday, 3 April 1988, in the basement of a bank building near the downtown area. The majority of the people in the congregation were not of Mennonite ethnic descent; rather they represented a diversity of backgrounds, including Baptist, Catholic, Mormon, and un-churched. Within two years, the group had grown to an average Sunday morning attendance of 50-60. A church building was purchased and dedicated on 29 October 1989. However, difficulties were already being experienced, and by late 1990 the loss of leadership and ensuing discouragement resulted in declining numbers and interest. A small group continued to meet in homes. During 1991 Leonard and Veve Garber of Elkhart, Indiana, spent three months in Grand Junction, helping to revive the work. During 1993-94, under the pastoral leadership of Lee Arney, the group explored new ways of reaching out to its surrounding community. Nevertheless, the fledgling congregation continued to struggle and eventually dissolved in 2001.
Unrau, Harlan D. In Pursuit of Land, Health and Mission: A History of Mennonites in the Mountain States Region. Printed in Canada by Blitzprint Inc., 2007.
|Author(s)||Harlan D Unrau|
|Date Published||December 2011|
Cite This Article
Unrau, Harlan D. "Community Mennonite Church (Grand Junction, Colorado, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2011. Web. 19 Apr 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Community_Mennonite_Church_(Grand_Junction,_Colorado,_USA)&oldid=79821.
Unrau, Harlan D. (December 2011). Community Mennonite Church (Grand Junction, Colorado, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 April 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Community_Mennonite_Church_(Grand_Junction,_Colorado,_USA)&oldid=79821.
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