Broomfield United Methodist Church
Friday, September 19, 2014
Broomfield United Methodist Church: 1888–Present
In 1888, a congregation of 12 founded the First Methodist Church of Broomfield.
They started out gathering at Lorraine School, Dry Creek Valley School District No. 25, at 112th and Pierce St. (about 1 mile east of Wadsworth Ave. and 1 mile south of present Main Street). Services and the program of the church continued at the school until after 1900, when they started holding their meetings in a home on 120th Ave. just west of Allison St.
In 1906, even though the area was sparsely settled, plans for building a church took shape. On Allison Street in original Broomfield, the cornerstone of Warren Chapel was laid in 1907 and the cement block church was completed in 1908. Rev. A. F. Glover faced many obstacles with such a small congregation, but discouragement ultimately gave way to perseverance. One money-raising project was a church bazaar started in 1906 and held in the upstairs of the building by the railroad tracks near Wadsworth where an appliance store was located. This building burned down in 1907. However, the bazaar started in 1906 became an annual “hard work, good time event.” A turkey dinner was added to help raise funds for church improvements.
During the war years of 1915 to 1918, the church made little progress but its doors never closed. On May 21, 1921, the Church of Broomfield dedicated the Warren Chapel with appropriate ceremonies followed by a basket supper.
By 1927 and 1928, Sunday school attendance was very large, probably the result of the population increase that often accompanies war. The annual church bazaars continued with gratifying results.
During the Depression years, referred to as the “Dirty 30’s," this agricultural community suffered from drought and a drop in farm prices. During that time the official board members were all women. They brought money to the church through cookbook sales, farm sales, continuing with their bazaars, and the annual turkey dinner.
In 1934, the church built in 1907 underwent considerable remodeling. Rev. Leon Foster discovered the Wesley Chapel building and cemetery on the corner of 120th & Huron and used it from 1891 to 1933.
The Chapel was weathered and vandalized but lumber could be salvaged, as well as 13 original stained glass windows. Those windows were installed in Warren Chapel and later moved to the present location of BUMC at 10th Avenue and Daphne Street. The remaining lumber was used for construction of a new three-room parsonage, now a private residence located near the old Turnpike gates. During World War II, the need for a bigger change became more apparent and once again the congregation met the challenge to expand.
In 1947, construction of a new church home was begun at 11923 Allison Street and completed in 1950. During construction the congregation worshipped in the Crescent Garage Hall located on 120th Avenue. Dedicated members gave of their time, talents and money to provide adequate facilities of worship, Christian training, and teaching the women’s society. The Women’s Society of Christian Service and the ladies of the church helped by pulling nails, serving meals to other workers, and leading a successful pledging program to raise money. The first church-sponsored Vacation Bible School was held in 1951.
In 1947, a land company chose this area to develop, calling it Broomfield Heights. The spectacular growth of the Broomfield area since 1954 could hardly have been anticipated in 1947. The population jumped to 6,500 by 1963, and the need for a bigger church was once again apparent. Groundbreaking for the new church at 10th and Daphne Street was held on May 26, 1963. In October 1963, 75 years after the first church service was held in the Lorraine School, the cornerstone was laid for the new church, and the first services were held in the new sanctuary on March 1, 1964. Consecration services were conducted March 15, 1964, by Bishop Glenn Randall Phillips. Application by the Broomfield Methodist Church for annexation into the city of Broomfield was accepted by the City Council February 1966. The old church building on Allison Street was sold to the Broomfield Community Baptist Church, and in 1968, the name of our church was changed to Broomfield United Methodist Church to reflect the merger between the Evangelical United Brethren Church (EUB) and the Methodist Church.
The parsonage grew in relation to the church. In 1958, two new bedrooms and a bath were added to the parsonage. In 1960 a new parsonage was purchased at 1200 West 8th Avenue, and in 1961 the old parsonage was made into an educational unit.
In 1983, a beautiful new sanctuary was constructed, and the stained glass windows from the old Wesley Chapel were restored and hung in the church in 1986.
The congregation moved into the new addition to our church Christmas 1999. The addition included a sanctuary, family life center, and a children's education wing. September brought the first students to our new Apple Tree Christian Preschool, which moved into the education wing in January 2000.
Some other items of interest not mentioned earlier but which should not be overlooked in any historical account of our church: the pulpit, dedicated to the memory of G. Dexter Johnson, a dedicated member of the building committee, and the lectern were built by Earl Bailey. The three tall white crosses on our front lawn were originally designed to grace a tower at the front entrance. In the interest of economy the tower gave way to the present plan. The heavy wooden cross hanging over the altar was in the original contract, but alterations by Don Ransom enhanced its beauty. From 1967, services, weddings, etc. have been enhanced by the organ chimes that were purchased with memorial funds.