They’ve worshiped in a school, a community center, even a former funeral home. And now, for the first time, they are worshiping in an actual church building of their own.
New Life CRC is the only Christian Reformed church in the expanding community of Grand Junction, Colo. It lived up to its name, growing to 83 families in eight years.
Grand Junction is in a verdant river valley near the Colorado/Utah border, halfway between Salt Lake City and Denver. The area is home to a growing medical community and is also a popular retirement spot and recreation destination.
New Life CRC began with church planters Ken and Judy Nydam, who moved to Grand Junction in September 1997 knowing only their realtor. Ken advertised in newspapers and networked in various circles to start Bible studies in their home.
On Mother’s Day of 1998, 75 people attended the church’s first official service in a local community center.
New Life continued to grow. In 1999 the church rented a former funeral home and held services in the building’s chapel. In 2001 it purchased the building with the help of a $250,000 loan from the CRC Loan Fund.
The church grew and hired additional staff, including a new pastor, Mark Quist, when the Nydams accepted a call to serve in the Boston area. Before long, the chapel was filled to capacity, and the congregation had to offer two separate Sunday morning services.
In 2004, the opportunity arose to buy a 60-year-old church building in the downtown core of Grand Junction. New Life’s leaders jumped at the chance. With the equity from their former building, congregational gifts totaling about $135,000, and a $625,000 loan from the Loan Fund, they were able to purchase the building for $1.45 million.
John Paxson, head of the church’s transition team, said working with the CRC Loan Fund has been a good experience. “They gave us a much better interest rate and term than we would have been able to secure from a bank.”