Sharing God’s Love from the Heart of Castle Rock

A Christ-centered Community Since 1905

In 1905, a group of mostly English and Welsh pioneers shared a vision to form a spiritual community in the growing frontier town of Castle Rock. Our church was formally organized under the name St. Peter’s Church as a mission of Epiphany Church in Denver, and in October, 1905, listed 24 communicants in the parish register. By early 1907, the church’s name had been changed to Christ’s Episcopal Church.

The congregation purchased land at the corner of Fourth and Lewis Streets in 1906 (for $200), where, with the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ellis, they built our first church. A Colorado marble cornerstone was laid that summer, and a small church building grew, built of hand-cut rhyolite blocks by local stonemason Charles Herb and his helpers. Tradition has it that church members carried the heavy stones from the local quarry to the site, and helped lift them into place. Bishop C. L. Olmsted consecrated the new church building on April 23, 1907.

Christ’s Church c. 1907.

Originally, the church consisted only of what is now the nave of our chapel (the central section with pews). It had no bathrooms, no running water, and no central heating. In 1911, the sanctuary (the raised altar area) was added to the east end, along with a new entry on the south side. Still, the church had no bathrooms, no running water, no central heating — and wouldn’t until 1954.

Christ’s Church after the 1911 additions.

The Rev. Earl Schmeiser established our Sunday school program in 1920, which was served for many years by Mrs. Ruth Ball Schweiger. Classes were held in the church on Sunday mornings. Worship services were held Sunday nights.

In 1950, Christ’s Church became a mission of St. John’s Cathedral, and in 1954, a mission of Ascension Church in Denver. A significant change was made to the church building in 1954, when a kitchen, a gathering place, bathrooms, and a furnace were added. When Christ’s Church gained parish status in 1957, the congregation purchased a house just west of the church to serve as a rectory for the Rev. Charles Pitkin. This house now serves as our administration building. The education wing was built in 1965, a bell tower was added in 1969, and in 1974 our pipe organ arrived.

Christ’s Church in the 1970s.

In 1980, Christ’s Church established a mission in Parker, Colorado, which grew quickly and soon became self-supporting. That mission is now St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. In 1989, the church purchased the house at 420 Cantril St. and remodeled it to serve as a rectory, allowing the former rectory to become a parish house with office and meeting space.

Both Douglas County and Christ’s Church experienced explosive growth during the 1990s. Under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Fredrick (Rick) Meyers, membership and programs grew, allowing and requiring the church to add both an assistant rector and a deacon to the staff in the early 2000s. Our current music director, Kathy Mordeaux, also joined the staff at this time.

By the late 1990s, planning for future growth was already underway, and in 1996, the parish bought the two small houses north of the church on Lewis St. Christ’s Church now owned nearly the entire block bordered by Cantril St. on the west, Lewis St. on the east, 5th St. on the north, and 4th St. on the south. As the parish continued to grow during the early 2000s, it became clear that the historic 1906 church building was filled to the point of bursting.

Christ’s Church Sanctuary

Following a series of parish meetings, the church decided to build a new sanctuary. Plans were drawn, budgets were established, pledges were made, and construction began. By the late summer of 2005, finishing touches were being applied to the new sanctuary, and in September the bishop consecrated our new worship space. (BTW: When we observe Celebration Sunday in September each year, among the things we’re celebrating is the anniversary of the blessing of our new Sanctuary in 2005.)