Mayflower Church dedicates renovation project

Posted 2/24/09

The Feb. 22 worship service program focused on celebrating dedication of the first major renovation in more than five decades to Englewood’s …

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Mayflower Church dedicates renovation project


The Feb. 22 worship service program focused on celebrating dedication of the first major renovation in more than five decades to Englewood’s historic Mayflower Congregational Church.

Pastor Paul Ramsey said it was appropriate to celebrate since the service and the barbecue that followed marked a milestone for the congregation of the church at West Cornell Avenue and South Acoma Street.

“We are no longer treading water,” he said. “This is a major step in the right director as we move forward into what I feel will be a bright future.”

The $350,000, two-year project opened up the sanctuary, redid the alter, put down new carpeting, upgraded wiring and put in an elevator.

To preserve the historic appearance of the church, the outside changes were designed to fit in with the church architecture by adding another tower on the south corner and retaining the building’s white-painted exterior.

While the church got a $15,000 grant, the remainder of the money came from congregation donations. Ramsey said the largest single donation was made anonymously.

He also said the church was blessed by the fact many of the contractors opted to donate some of the labor and materials. He said if the church would have paid full price for everything done to the building, the bill for the renovation probably would have topped $600,000.

Members of the congregation as well as family and friends joined the Feb. 22 celebration. Ramsey said he was excited because about 175 people came out to help dedicate the renovation.

Longtime member Betty Wallace joined her daughter Barb Whitney at the service and stayed for the barbecue. She smiled as she said she liked everything but her favorite part of the renovation is the elevator.

Wallace said she started attending Mayflower Church in 1935 and still tries to remain active. However, she now walks with a cane and said, while she could still get up the steps to the sanctuary most of the time, there are occasions where climbing the stairs was tiring and difficult. She said the elevator will make it much easier for her and it will make it possible for those who could no longer climb the steps to the sanctuary to once again come to the worship services.

“The project came out better than my wildest dreams,” she said. “All the work is just wonderful and it was done tastefully and in keeping with the church, but enhancing what has been here so long.”

Her daughter, Barbara Whitney agreed. She said the way the renovation and addition fit right in with the way the church always looked just blows her away.

There were a lot of compliments on the projects and an atmosphere of celebration at the barbecue. However, things weren’t so festive or happy seven years ago when Ramsey arrived at a church that was considering closing its doors for good.

In 1999, the small, aging congregation was steadily shrinking and the building needed work. Ramsey agreed to pastor the church but not to focus on closing down, but rather looking at ways to keep the doors open and the congregation growing.

To help financially, the church leased space to other Christian organizations and began reaching out to the community and the people in the area.

John Tucker said he often has to work Sundays but attends Mayflower as often as he can because it reminds him of the small church his family attended when he was a child.

“My wife and I were looking for a church when we got to this area,” he said. “We tried a number of congregations and, about a year ago, a neighbor invited us to Mayflower. The people greeted us as we came in the door and it was so warm and friendly, we decided this is the church for us.”

Mayflower Church was organized in 1904, the year after Englewood incorporated, and it’s the oldest church in the city.

Initially, the congregation met in a small building at the rear of the same location. The congregation received by Colorado Congregational Conference consisted of five members.

In 1908, Pastor Elmer Test urged construction of a new building. The cornerstone was put in place in 1910 and the church’s articles of incorporation were filed in September of that year. The new building was dedicated in 1914.


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