A Brief History of UMCE

The first Methodist Church to come to Evergreen, Colorado arrived just before the turn of the century.  The congregation erected a white, clapboard Church on Main Street, at the site of what is now the Little Bear Saloon.  However, after only 15 years, the congregation dissolved and the building was moved.

It was not until August 1, 1971 that another Methodist congregation formed a church in Evergreen. Although covenants made in the 50's declared that the only main-line congregation was to be Presbyterian, Methodists felt the need to establish their own house of worship. The United Methodist Church of Evergreen was formed and officially recognized as a congregation in the Rocky Mountain Conference of The United Methodist Church. The Reverend Harold Raines was appointed as the first pastor, serving until 1976. From that small, but determined, group we currently have about 300 members, constituents, kids and youth.

The first building, containing the sanctuary, was begun in 1973. Built in-the-round, with all furniture moveable, its concept was to have a sanctuary that adapts easily to multiple uses such as meetings and concerts. The self-image of "here to serve the community" continues as an integral part of the congregation's heritage, as countless groups use the Church facilities regularly.

During the Pastorate of The Reverend Don P. Sperber (1976-1983) the preschool was established under the leadership of Sharon Gobel. And when the house adjacent to the Church went on the market in the early 80's, the decision was made to purchase it, even though there was no money for a down-payment. Since it was bought on faith that the funding would become available, it became known as Faith House. It served as a parsonage occupied by Rev. Al and Laura Brown. It was also used to house offices and meeting spaces.

The congregation enjoyed the experience of both a co-pastorate and a woman clergy-person with the appointments of the Reverend Bill Kirton and the Reverend Bonnie Benda, from 1983 to 1986. The Reverend Al Brown served as Pastor from 1986 to 1990, introducing an annual vision process known as "Dreamstorm," which revealed the need for additional building space.

The Reverend Dick Vickery was appointed Pastor on July 1, 1990, and the building expansion became a reality when ground was broken in September, 1991, and the construction completed in time for Easter in April, 1992.

In 2002, the church purchased the house at 3715 S. Ponderosa, adjacent to Faith House. It was purchased in anticipation of building a new church on the property, a dream of the Imagine Tomorrow campaign.

The Reverend Scott Schiesswohl was appointed to serve our church as pastor on July 1, 2003. Scott came to us from Community United Methodist Church in Park City, Utah. He had served ecumenical positions in Wyoming and Indiana as well. 

In 2005, after many years of service as a parsonage and as additional meeting space, Faith House was razed. A parking lot now occupies that space. 

The Rev. Todd Everhart was appointed pastor on July 1, 2009. He came to us from Rinn United Methodist Church in Frederick, CO.

Pastor Russell Fletcher was appointed the pastor July 1, 2013. He came to us from Paonia United Methoidst Church in Paonia, Colorado. He is a native of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Together he and his wife Diane have served some of the larger churches in Mississippi over a 40 year career.  

The Rev. Deb Olenyik came to us as pastor July 1, 2018 after serving churches in Colorado and Wyoming since 1984 (churches in Indiana prior to that). She served for nine years as a District Superintendent and as the Bishop's area-wide transitional church developer.  

The Rev. Sarah Clark was appointed the pastor on July 1, 2021. She came to us from Grace United Methodist Church in Billings, MT. She believes that the church is at its best when we are nurturing one another in faith through worship, prayer, and learning, and then going into the world to live out that faith as witnesses and carriers of God's justice, mercy, and hope. She sees her role as pastor as one of empowering disciples for the work of ministry through preaching, accompanying, and administering the sacraments of the church.

Our Church is known throughout the community as a dynamic congregation that emphasizes personal faith and spirituality, relationships in Christian community, and outreach to the world  around us.