The Beginning – 1905
At the turn of the century, 1900, Henderson consisted of an elementary school, hotel, railroad depot, blacksmith shop, barber shop, cheese factory, general store, the Grange fraternal organization for farmers, and a post office. The only religious influence was a Sunday School started in the late 1800’s and taken over by Mr. Ralph Byers in 1897. By the end of 1904 Mr. Byers convinced a few people that Henderson needed a church and on March 26, 1905 the following people met to sign the charter:
Mrs. W.A. Yeager Mr. S.A. Jessup
Mr. Charles Jenison Mrs. Mary Snyder
Mrs. M.L. Miller Mrs. Nellie Jessup
Mrs. Lottie Jenison Mrs. Louise Coffey
Mrs. Pruda Morris Mrs. A. Weimant
Mr. W.K. Clay Mrs. Hannah Myers
Mrs. Nettie Rucker Miss Elsie C. Myers
Mrs. Sophia C. Clay Mrs. Hannah Diffendafer
Our First Building – 1907
The first church services were held on the second floor of Mark Morris’s General Store where the Grange also met. In 1907 the church affiliated with the Congregational Church and received a grant from the Home Mission Board to help erect the first church building on an acre of land east of the railroad on what is now 120th Avenue. This land was donated by Mr. Brose McCool. The bell which we still use was given by an evangelist, Jim Norvell, who held special services to create interest in starting the church. The church building was built in 1907 and dedicated in 1909. An Addition to the west side of the church was built in 1920 and provided classrooms for the Sunday School.
Between 1908 and 1920 Mr. W.F. Youngclause, Mr. Norman R. Curtis, and Mr. Ernest A. Blodgett served as pastors. In 1920 Mr. Byers returns and under his direction the addition for classrooms was built and paid for. Mr. Byers retired in 1934 and the congregation selected Mr. Homer Van Loon to replace him.
In 1931, the Congregational Church expanded to become the Congregational Christian Churches as Christian churches merged with the Congregationalists.
After fire destroyed the Henderson School in February 1949 the church was used for some of the classes. In October 1950 fire struck again–this time it was the church. Damage was confined to the rear of the chapel, but the entire interior of the church had severe smoke damage and had to be redecorated.
Mr. Van Loon resigned and was replaced by Mr. Earl Bethrum in late 1951. He was instrumental in establishing a youth group. In January 1958 the church called Mr. Reinhold Klein who served for five months. Rev. Klein was the first ordained minister to serve at Henderson. Mr. Leroy G. Allen, former Assistant Superintendent of the Colorado Conference of Congregational Churches, started pastoring in June 1958.
The New Building – 1960
Early in 1960 during Mr. Allen’s ministry, the members decided to build a new building. After services on August 14, 1960, ground was broken for the present building which was constructed around the old church. The first services were held in the new building on the second Sunday in December, and the new church was dedicated on January 7, 1961. The bell tower was erected and the bell rang again on Sunday morning in 1963.
Under the leadership of Rev. Allen, the church voted to affiliate with the newly formed United Church of Christ in late 1961 or early 1962. The United Church of Christ was formed from the merger of the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Church of America.
Mr. Allen resigned in 1964 and the decision was made to call a full time pastor. Mr. Jeffrey Hoy and Mr. Emil Pietz served the church until November 21, 1965 when Mr. David Felton began a new era for Henderson as its first full time minister. Mr. Felton resigned in 1968 with Rev. Martin Murray named as Interim Minister.
In 1972 new chimes were installed in the sanctuary and the church held a “Burning of the Mortgage.” In 1973 the redecorated chancel was dedicated as a memorial gift from Bill and Georgia (Rucker) Miller and was designed and completed by Rev. Mettling, Willard Myers, and Darrel Ryden. One acre of land was purschased in 1974 adjoining the church to the west and north for $6,000. Randy Henderson, a student at Iliff School of Theology, was hired as an associate minister.
Still Going Strong after 75 Years – 1980
Mr. Robert Kinsey was called as pastor in April 1976 and served through mid-January 1979. In 1978 Ted Barnhart was hired to coordinate the Christian education program, Connie Colgate replaced him, both were students at Iliff. Kinsey was replaced by interim minister Rev. Harris E. Heverly and led the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the church.
The Roast Beef Dinner served between 500-600 in October 1982. Fifty students attended Vacation Bible School under the direction of Mary Jo Cooper. The Food Bank was begun in 1985 by Elsie Brown. The first Heritage Award–given to Francis McConnell, and Lay Person of the Year Award to Elsie Brown established. The 80th Anniversary of the Church was celebrated with the installation of Timothy Merrill as minister.
In 1987 the church was enlarged with the addition of a new classroom on the second floor above the garage. Rev. Marty Drew was called to replace Rev. Merrill in 1990. The youth group was reorganized in 1991. Following the tragic death of Rev. Marty Drew in the spring of 1991, Rev. John Gaudreau was called to serve as interim minister. In March of 1991 he was called as the church’s 20th pastor. Rev. Gaudreau served the church until 2000, at which time Rev. Timothy Merrill came back to serve as pastor. Associate ministers Kelly Jo Carter, Angela Menke, and Derek Krehbiel served the church from August 2001-May 2002, September 2002-2005, and September 2005-2009 respectively.
A Century of Ministry – 2005
Henderson Community Church celebrated their centennial anniversary during the year of 2005.
Rev. Rob Hundley was installed as minister in February 2009. Rev. Jane Anne Ferguson served as interim from January 2012-June 2013.
Rev. Loren Richmond Jr. was called by the church in January 2014 to serve as pastor. The church turned 110 years old in March of 2015 and put on a celebration worthy of 110 years in August 2015, with approximately 250 people attending from the community to celebrate with us.