“The Church at Redstone was founded in 1977 by several Crystal Valley families as a non-denominational Christian church. It was, and is, the only evangelical Christian church in the Redstone area since the early days of the century. While the church is patterned along New Testament lines of organization, and the message is undeniably Biblical, the ministry approach is geared to the more casual and hardy mountain community population.” (from a 1985 church newsletter)
The Church at Redstone existed in the minds and hearts of several people long before it was actually established in December of 1977. Jim and Bess Clarke, Louis and Melissa McBurney, Jim and Anita Denton and several other families felt a real need for a fellowship for believers in the Crystal Valley. They began to meet as a small group and started praying for a church in Redstone. From that point on the story is a series of miracles in answer to those prayers.
The first Pastor was Doug Self who had been serving as an associate pastor with another church in the area.
The first meeting place was a small building called the Sacred Heart Chapel. They were able to use the building by the grace and generosity of the Catholic Diocese. Catholic services for the community of Redstone had been held only occasionally during the summers in that little building.
The first service was held in that building on December 13, 1977. At that time there was no insulation in the building, and only a small heater that was barely adequate and all shivered through some chilly services. During winter the worship services were a “bring your own blanket” affair! The building has since been expanded, and now houses the Redstone Art Center and is next door to the current Church at Redstone building.
The Church met in this building for about eight years.
The congregation grew steadily during the first few years, and before long the little chapel was no longer adequate for the number of people attending. There was talk of building, but the church had little in the way of financial resources to bring that dream to reality. Then in the fall of 1986, the Catholic Diocese sold the chapel to help fund a new church building in Basalt. Our congregation had only three weeks notice to be out of the chapel before November 1. There was no other building in Redstone large enough to serve as a meeting place. We prayed about our need. We considered meeting in Carbondale for the winter months.
Then Ken Gray “accidentally” ran into Tom Stom who had bought and was moving the Trinity Lutheran Church building from Aspen to Marble to use as his cabin. It just happened to be coming up the Crystal Valley in November and by then there was too much snow for it be moved all the way to Marble. We worked out arrangements for it to be stored behind the coke ovens west of Highway 133 for the winter. We met there for the winter of ’85-’86, with a portable toilet and portable generator for power.