History of Shepherd of the Rockies in Bailey, Colorado
1980 – 1990
In January of 1980 a few people urged, pleaded and exhorted vicar Gary Fricke, who was serving Mt Hope Lutheran Mission in Evergreen, to please try holding a worship service in the Bailey area. Thus on February 17, 1980 the first service was held at the Bailey Fire hall in downtown Bailey with 31 people in attendance. The vision of this group was to build a church on the solid Biblical and Confessional Lutheran principles, a church where the Word of God would be taught in its truth and purity entirely; and where Baptism and the Lord’s Supper would be conducted according to the institutions of Jesus Christ.
On Easter Morning in April 1980 there was a join service held at the Farmer’s Union in Bailey with Mt. Hope. The Bailey community turned out with 184 in attendance. This settled the issue of whether to continue to hold to the vision of a Lutheran church in Bailey. From that day Bailey became a “preaching Station” under Mt. Hope of Evergreen.
In September of 1980, Vicar Gary Fricke was called to be the minister of Mt Hope in Evergreen and Pastor Gary Fricke was ordained at Mt. Hope. The Bailey group organized a church under the name of Shepherd of the Rockies and Pastor Fricke of Mt. Hope took on the duty of being their vacancy pastor. On January 19, 1981 Shepherd of the Rockies became a mission congregation of the Rocky Mountain District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.
As the congregation grew they moved from the fire hall to Shawnee Community Center, to the White Eagle chapel behind Bell Oil. Finally with the help of the Rocky Mountain District of LCMS they were able to purchase a home and property at 106 Rosalie Road. The home was refurbished into a worship area downstairs that seated 100 people and a Sunday School area upstairs. Finally Shepherd of the Rockies had a place to call God’s house.
In June of 1982, Shepherd of the Rockies was accepted as an official Congregation of the Rocky Mountain District of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.
In September 1984, Pastor Fricke, serving as Pastor of Mt Hope in Evergreen and vacancy pastor for Shepherd of the Rockies, received and accepted a call to be the first pastor of Shepherd of the Rockies.
In May of 1985 with a crowd of 120 people in the basement worship area and up the stairs it was decided that it was time to plan to build a church building. In April of 1986, the construction began on the new church building. Preston Oakley was the president; Ray Sporleder was the general contractor; Bob Jones and Mark Junge were the project foremen; Bud Greeley’s woodworking Shop was used; Myron Sage took on the rock work; Larry Huxoll did the tile and painting; and Florence Rohloff took on Park county for permits and restrictions and all that red tape. Pastor Fricke used his Army Corp of engineering training to run the grader. Everyone in the congregation was in on the act of building and helping with the construction of the church building. It was a great time with the congregation united with the vision of building a church building that would give glory to God.
In April of 1987 a temporary occupancy permit was obtained to hold the Easter Service. The floor was plywood and everyone sate on folding chairs with no communion rail or pulpit. Still the view of Mt. Rosalie through the front window encouraged everyone to increase their effort of completing the church, for no one wanted to return to service in the basement of the house.
On August 16, 1987, the new Sanctuary was dedicated to the Lord with Rev. Dr. Harlan Knapp as the guest speaker who pointed his finger at all the 186 in attendance to remember the vision of keeping God Word. The choir from Peace Arvada joined us with Jim Robinson playing the organ they had donated to our new church. Indeed this was a day of joy and praise to the Lord for His grace poured out upon us.
In 1994 Shepherd of the Rockies decided to start a Lutheran School. On September 6, 1994 Shepherd of the Rockies Community Lutheran School was started with Renee Minner teaching K – 4th grades and Bob Minner teaching 5 – 8th grades and Principal. On August 24, 1997 Paul and Jamie Herring were installed as the teachers of Shepherd of the Rockies Community Lutheran School for the 1997 – 98 school year. In the 1998 – 99 school year only preschool was offered and then the School was closed down because of lack of Students, funds and facilities.
2000 – 2010
On February 27, 2000 Shepherd of the Rockies celebrate their 20th Anniversary with a special service and luncheon. On June 6, 2004 Shepherd of the Rockies had a special retirement party for Pastor Fricke. In June of 2004 Shepherd of the Rockies extended a call to Pastor Pete Scheele of Shepherd of the Hill in Herman, Missouri and he accepted the call. Pastor Pete Scheele was installed at the pastor of Shepherd of the Rockies on August 15, 2004 with a special service and reception following.
At the end of April of 2008 the original house of Shepherd of the Rockies was torn down to start the construction of a new addition onto Shepherd of the Rockies. In June of 2008 the Labors for Christ came to help the members of Shepherd of the Rockies to build their new addition under the guidance of Richard Larson as architect and co-foreman. The Labor’s for Christ left the construction in October and the member of Shepherd of the Rockies did all the finish work. The new addition was dedicated on April 26, 2009. The large metal cross from the original house of Shepherd of the Rockies was placed on the new addition in July of 2010.
2010 – present
On August of 2014 the congregation celebrated Pastor Scheele’s 10th year of serving them with a special service and dinner. In December of 2015 the front windows of the sanctuary were replaced because they had weathered badly and the rain and weather was coming through them.