The Holy Spirit may always have been in Cripple Creek, Colorado. On the 11th day of June 1893, Charles Ysla Grimes, recently ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church, stepped down from a stagecoach and stood at the top of Tenderfoot Mountain, looking down into the crater bed at the mining camp of Cripple Creek. His first assignment was to bring the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to this raw, wild place where men were seeking only one thing…gold.
Previous to Grimes’ arrival, Bishop John Franklin Spaulding paved the way for the Episcopal Church in Cripple Creek by holding services in Shield’s Hall over the Arcade Saloon on Main Street in Old Town Cripple Creek. Bishop Spaulding was responsible for Charles Grimes’ assignment to the rough, remote little mining district.
Father Grimes’ first service was held in the hall above the Kentucky Liquor company Saloon. Among the miners were those from the Anglican Communion. Many of the men came from the British Isles and they appeared to be as hungry for the Word of God as they were for the gold.
Two lots on the corner of Carr Avenue and Fourth Street were soon purchased with the support of an organization committee and a Women’s Guild set up by Bishop Spaulding. The Women’s Guild soon attracted other women in the district, who in turn brought their families to services. On November 26, 1893, the new bell rang out and called the first worshipers to the little brick church on the hill above Bennett Avenue. Behind the church were the new Parish House and a Free Reading Room. The church and lot were valued at $2,140 and the parish house at $1,500.
From these humble beginnings, through tumultuous years and decades of war and strife, births, marriages and deaths, happy times, sad days, furious flames, and dreams come true, the tine Parish of St. Andrew has prevailed. The bell that called worshipers to that first service was the only thing salvaged from the cruel lames that destroyed the town on April 25, 1986. Today, it steal peals and services have been continues. The church has never closed its doors to those seeking the solace that only communion with God and the Holy Spirit can bring.
Welcome to Saint Andrew’s.
May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.