In 1904 Mayflower church was organized, meeting in private homes. The first church building, located on the back of the present lot, was a one room building, covered inside with green burlap, heated with a coal burner. The first minister, Rev. MacArthur, served 1906-07; earliest recorded membership was five in 1906. Our first female minister, Kate Haus, served 1912-13 for $14/ per week.
The basement was completed in 1910, dedication was 1914. The bell was installed in the belfry of the west tower about 1918. Sunday School attendance in 1921 was over 200, with overflow classes being held in the old North Elementary School across the alley on Bannock Street. We added a kitchen and west parlor in 1924, and in 1930 the lectern and altar. Rev. Ray Steakley was the first long-term minister, 1939-48. Upon becoming full-time in 1947 his salary was increased to $2080/year. The Parsonage was purchased at 2957 S. Bannock St. in 1943, and in 1946 three basketball teams were organized.
In 1949 a fundraiser enabled payoff of the mortgage, major remodeling and purchase of an organ. Three years later we bought the house and lots south of the church for $7000, with the owner, Joe Glandon, retaining a lifetime residency. Upon his passing in 1960 we acquired possession and the property was converted into lawn.
At the time of Mayflower’s 50th anniversary (1954) we had 386 members and 346 attending Sunday School. The next year groundbreaking occurred for the new Educational Wing. In 1957 we installed a newer Wurlitzer organ, and the five foot oak cross was constructed behind the altar, donated by Arnold Kautz.
Our next long-term pastor was Rev. Herbert Hosanna, 1962-72, during which time we got new Pilgrim hymnals 1963, new organ 1964, Choir robes 1966, and new pews and carpeting, which were dedicated May 3, 1970. Rev. Hosanna went to Germany on a denomination exchange early in 1964.
During the 75th Anniversary celebration (1979) the stained glass windows were refurbished and the memorial reredos (wood mosaic) was installed surrounding the oak cross. The symbols repeat those depicted in the art glass windows. Membership was 201. A new $14,000 Allen organ was installed in 1981.
A 1990 hailstorm damaged the roof, broke windows, damaged siding and flooded the basement, sparing the stained glass windows. A new book, “Englewood Colorado, Its People and History 1903-1993” included Mayflower history.
By 2001 the membership had shrunk to about 36. Rev. Paul Ramsey was brought in from Mission Denver to oversee anticipated closure of Mayflower. Several parishioners followed him, most of whom are still with us today. In 2001, Wellspring Congregation joined as a tenant, occupying the fellowship hall until 2007. By 2002 Mayflower Congregational Church was up to 88 members!
In 2004 Mayflower celebrated 100 years! The next year we voted to become Open and Affirming, following the lead of many UCC churches. 2006 saw the beginning of major fundraising with ACCESS MAYFLOWER. This involved adding a 3rd (south) tower as the main entrance, complete with elevator (replacing the northeast tower as the main entrance). We also added two bathrooms, one on each level, remodeled the front of the sanctuary, updated other restrooms and the office, added plexiglass windows in the Pine Room and bought upholstered chairs for overflow as well as installed a new playground. The final fundraising was held in 2009 and the $350,000 loan as paid off in 2012.
In 2007 Lighthouse, a Messianic Jewish community, joined as a tenant in the lower level of the education wing, with Saturday services. The next year His Hands, a food and clothing bank, opened as a tenant in that space Tues. & Wed. of each week, moving to a donated building in 2012. Crossfire church joined as an additional tenant in August 2013 with Sunday services.
Our current organ was donated in 2014 by Josh and Jacob Thompson, in memory of their father, William (Bill) Thompson. New ceiling fans were donated by Betty Wallace in memory of her sister Lois Minor.
In 2015 Gina Harvey, Mayflower’s able Music Director since 2007, graduated from Iliff School of Theology in June, becoming Chaplain for two medical facilities. We shared in Gina’s Ecclesiastical Council on October 22, 2017, and she began service as our new Associate Pastor for Worship and Pastoral Care following her ordination at Mayflower on November 12, 2017.
Mark Nelson, who had been renting space for art classes since 2008, opened Blackridge Artists’ School at Mayflower. Blackridge holds workshops with nationally known artists, and periodically auctions off original artwork.
By December 2015 the old entryway in the northeast tower had been converted into a History Room with pictures and articles from Mayflower’s 111-year history. In 2016 Mayflower again reinvented its outlook by adding an overhead screen to the sanctuary.
Beloved Community, a Mennonite congregation led by Rev. Dr. Vern Rempel, began a sister church arrangement with Mayflower in January 2017, holding their services in our sanctuary at 1:00 p.m. Sundays.
And as of October 22, 2017, in the 16th year of direction under Rev. Dr. Paul Ramsey, Mayflower is poised to begin a concentrated push to expand our membership and begin further renovations to this venerable building, hoping to serve the community for another 100+ years!
- Pat Athey, Mayflower Church Historian