A BRIEF HISTORY OF PEACE LUTHERAN CHURCH
Peace was officially organized on Friday, February 18, 1955.
Work was begun in the Arvada area by Rev. Martin Mayer of Bethlehem Lutheran Church. A branch Sunday School was started in the Junior Chamber of Commerce Hall during the summer of 1953. A year later plans were made for the stat of a congregation and, following a canvas in the area, Pastor Mayer began preaching regularly in September 1954. Approximately one-hundred people attended the first service.
In October 1954 a delegation asked the District Mission Committee to call a pastor and organize a mission congregation. Rev. Eugene J. Jobst of Ft. Dodge, Iowa was called and accepted, coming to Arvada in January of 1955 to lead the work of organizing the new congregation. A full listing of those serving Peace Lutheran Church as staff members is found at the end of this document.
A tract of three acres at Grandview Avenue and Field Street (then still an undeveloped area with no streets or utilities) was purchased for $14,000 with the 25 organizing families contributing about $1,500 toward the purchase. The remaining funds were borrowed from the Colorado District. Regular services were held in the Grange Hall at 5661 Wadsworth Avenue.
With the assistance and guidance of the District Mission Committee, plans began for a church building. Ground was broken on December 4, 1955 and the first unit, consisting of chapel and parish hall-educational area, was built at a cost of approximately $50,000. Dedication of the building was held on July 18, 1956.
In March 1958 an additional 6 2/3 acres, adjoining the original three-acre site to the west of the church building, was purchased. A loan from the Colorado District was used as the down payment.
Work under the first pastor, Pastor Jobst, continued with good progress until he accepted a Call as Executive Director of Lutheran Social Services at Wichita, Kansas, in September 1959. (Pastor and Dottie Jobst died in the flood of the Big Thompson, July 31, 1976.)
Growth of the congregation since its beginning was very rapid, especially with abundance of new housing in the Arvada area. In October 1961, it was necessary to go to double Sunday School sessions in order to have adequate space for our large enrollment. A planning committee for the building of a new church was appointed. After meeting with various architects, definite plans for our new church were made. Ground was broken on April 25, 1965. Dedication of a functional house of worship and educational facility was held on February 13, 1966. The total cost of our entire project, including organ, streets, furnishings and parking lot was approximately $255,000. Membership at this time was 650 communicants and 1,000 baptized souls.
In 1973, Peace Lutheran helped organize King of Kings Lutheran Church in north Arvada.
Ground breaking for the new educational building took place on March 23, 1980. The dedication of the educational building was held on October 26, 1980.
Peace has been a supporting posture toward the mission congregation, Shepherd of the Rockies Lutheran Church, Bailey, Colorado. We offer financial support through our Mission Trust Fund and our congregational budget. The Rogers Organ, which was replaced in 1986, was given to Shepherd of the Rockies.
The new pipe organ was dedicated in September of 1986.
In April of 1997, we broke ground for a new office addition to our facilities. We moved into the new facilities over Labor Day weekend, September 1997.
During the spring and summer 2000, the congregation built a large garage at the south end of the parking lot.
During the summer of 2000, the parish hall was renovated to serve as both a multi-purpose room and a second location for worship.
The first Sunday in September 2000, we dedicated the parish hall/sanctuary and began a parallel service (traditional in style) at 10:30 a.m. This project was undertaken and completed by members of the congregation.
On February 23, 2001 the congregation voted to build a new Sanctuary, an education wing, and renovate the present kitchen and Sanctuary.
In July 2001, the Capital Stewardship Program began. In November of 2001, the congregation had their Celebration Sunday to celebrate the gifts pledged toward the new Sanctuary, educational wing and renovation of the present facilities.
A Parents’ Day Out program began in September 2001. Barb Engelmann served as director until 2002; Ruth Butterfield until 2004, Jani Davis until 2004, and Lori Spitz began in 2006
On Sunday, September 15, 2002, we celebrated the ground-breaking for the new Sanctuary with an outside tent service. Each member was given a small shovel with the name of Peace and the date on it. While the choir sang, each person came forward to turn over a shovel full of sand.
The congregation held a voters’ meeting on November 17, 2002 to discuss future plans, since the City of Arvada regulations had raised the cost of the new sanctuary to more than was budgeted.
On March 5, 2003 the voters’ approved to go ahead with the construction of a new sanctuary after trimming the cost back.
As of April 11, 2003, the final papers were signed to begin construction of the new sanctuary.
Construction of the new sanctuary/narthex/classrooms began in May 2003 and finished in February 2004.
Remodeling classrooms in the educational wing for an Early Learning Center area began in February 2004.
The first service in the new sanctuary was held on March 21, 2004.
The new sanctuary, narthex and classrooms were dedicated on Palm Sunday, April 4, 2004. Upgrades to the sanctuary would continue as money was raised. Among the upgrades are the stone wall behind the altar, stained glass windows donated by various groups and individuals, acoustic panels, and new paraments and hangings designed and made by Lois Haggerty.
On May 23, 2004 the New Early Learning Center was dedicated; it opened the end of August.
The year 2005 was a year of celebration of the 50th Anniversary for Peace Lutheran Church. Many activities of thanksgiving were planned including: concerts, special meals, services, etc.
The Koinonia Worship Experience began on September 7, 2008.
DCE Tim Lindeman started the SMP program September 2009 – will serve a vicar-type capacity for next 2 years
September 2009 – Peace’s mission statement is changed from Know-Grow-Go to Worship-Connect-Serve.
The Koinonia Worship Experience ceased on October 18, 2009
In the summer of 2007, Pastor Dave Ahlman took a sabbatical to oversee the filming of Together for Good, a movie based on the experience of adopting their son, Josiah.
Denver Lutheran High School closes in May 2011 and consolidates with the Parker campus. Efforts to create a NW campus begin.
Summer 2011 – Peace sent a group through Living Water International as a mission trip to dig a well in El Salvador
Summer 2011 – The field in the SW corner of the property was sodded to encourage outdoor use of our property including a Community BBQ in conjunction with the Harvest Festival each year.
Pastor Tim Lindeman is ordained on January 8, 2012.
A new kitchen and library were dedicated in early 2012.
Orris Gjesdal retired as custodian at Peace, May 2012
Tom Ninneman began duties as custodian at Peace, June 2012
Summer 2012 – Peace sent a group through Living Water International as a mission trip to dig a well in Nicaragua
Lifetree Café ministry began in July 2012
A Capital Mission Campaign was held in early 2014 for debt reduction, launching Mission Denver Northwest, Hospitality/Building Enhancement, and Technology Upgrades. New mission statement: Reaching Our Community With Christ. (Discipleship Process: Worship – Connect – Serve)
Pr. Larry begins working with Mission Denver Northwest (Circuit Initiative) in March 2013 and becomes Peace’s Missionary-at-Large in April 2014
Don Damborg began work as part-time Director of Contemporary Worship Music in September 2014.
Rachel Webb began work as part-time Director of Traditional Worship Music in October 2014.
Everett Gidlund began work as part-time Media Coordinator in the fall of 2014.
Stephanie Warner resigned as Director of Student Ministries in January 2015 to become a stay-at-home mother.
Sarah Whitlock serving as part-time Interim Student Ministry Assistant early 2015.
Don Damborg began work as part-time Director of Christian Counseling, May 2015.
Sarah Ross began work as Director of the Early Learning Center, June 2015.
Bart Johnson was inducted as Student Ministry Intern on June 14, 2015.
Ruth Furr was installed as Director of Student Ministry on October 31, 2016.
Jon Griesinger began work as part-time Director of Contemporary Music in June 2017.
Fall 2017 – Peace Early Learning Center expanded to include all-day child care as well as early learning opportunities.
September 2017 – The Community BBQ and Car Show returned with great success.
Kent Patton began as Facility Manager in February 2018.
Polly Wegner retired as Director of Adult Discipleship in May 2018.
Cynthia Mawe began as New Members/Assimilation Coordinator in May 2018.
Anna Stumpf began as Traditional Music Coordinator in August 2018.