Methodists around Littleton in the 1870\’s were first served by circuit-riding ministers, much like those who traveled the eastern frontiers a century earlier. In our case, it was Father John Dyer, the \”Snowshoe Itinerant\” of Colorado\’s Summit County fame, who made calls and held the camp meetings. Finally we were organized in 1890 into a Methodist \”Society\” with nine members by the Rev. John Collins, English-born preacher who started many churches along the Front Range. Meetings were held in various halls above downtown Littleton storefronts until a tent was acquired and pitched on Main Street. A \”Tabernacle\” with frame sides and a canvas top soon followed. It often leaked, and undeterred members sat through services holding umbrellas. They persisted in erecting the first permanent structure in 1900. It sat on Nevada Street, one-half block north of Main.
This core building was used continuously until 1958, although many additions and re-modelings were made. In December 1940, a few days after the 50th anniversary celebration, it was nearly destroyed by fire. The church reopened three months later, refurbished and expanded, using largely volunteer labor and materials.
By the late 1950\’s a different decision had to be made. The population explosion in and around Littleton filled the church to overflowing. Should we enlarge the old building or move and build anew? Growth was toward the east of downtown, and the Methodists followed by moving up the hill to Shepperd and Datura Streets in Windermere Parks. The site had been part of a 15,000-tree apple orchard planted in the 1880\’s. Men from the church, armed with chain saws, cleared the lots.
Financing of new churches was not easy to come by, and fifty members had to personally co-sign a mortgage of $70,000. It was a true commitment.
The first unit of the new church opened in 1958 and was the multipurpose sanctuary/meeting hall/dining room called Grant Fellowship hall. It was debt free when the new sanctuary, education wing, and chapel were added in 1965. The new sanctuary, features massive beams of Oregon fir and a striking art glass \”Window of the Holy Spirit.\” In the glassed-enclosed breezeway which connects the first building with the newer one hang photographs which depict many of the chapters in our church\’s history.
Littleton United Methodist Church celebrated its centennial throughout the 1989-1990 year with the theme, \”First Century of Christian Service.\” Now in our second century, we acknowledge and give thanks for all the faithful who have paved our way.
Window of the Holy Spirit
1. The Eye of God: The third verse of Genesis says, \”Then God commanded, \’Let there be light!\’ —and light appeared.
2. The Earth: Earth\’s sphere shown in the turquoise hues as seen from space.
3. Six Pointed Star of Creation: This star is the ancient symbol of Creation.
4. Alpha: Directly to the right of the highest point of the star is the Alpha. \”In the beginning when God created…\”
5. Tablets of the 10 Commandments: Given to Moses on Mt. Sinai, by God.
6. Burning Bush: To the immediate left of the Commandments–from where the voice of God called Moses to service.
7. The Chi Rho: Or Signum Die is in red. This monogram of Christ is one of the earliest Christian markings. It is comprised of two Greek letters \”X\” and \”P.\”
8. Old and New Testaments: The two stars to the right and left of the Chi Rho. The left represents the Old Testament; the right, the New Testament.
9. Descending Dove: Light blue-gray in the upper center, representing the Holy Spirit bringing gifts from God to us.
10. The Halo: The golden halo gives an aura of omnipotence.
11. Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Emanating from the halo are seven gifts–wisdom, faith, knowledge, healing, working miracles, speaking God\’s message and discernment of gifts.
12. Anchor Cross: Beams shining down from the Holy Spirit, lead to the Cross. In early times this represented faith, trust and the sureness to God.
13. Sheaf of Wheat: Almost at the foot of the cross, rising from a background of brown. In Jesus\’ parable, the grain which fell on good ground flourished–as does Christian faith in our lives.
14. Word of God: Notice to the right of the wheat, the lighted candle. The Word of God is a shining lamp to our lives.
15. Three Golden Rays: These three spears of golden light focused downward from the halo represent the Trinity.
16. The Phoenix Bird: Soars gracefully upward from the earth colors with its beak reaching toward the upper right hand star and shaping the right wing of the dove. It gives promise of Eternal Life.
17. The Cross: The empty Cross heralds the Christian hope and assurance of Everlasting Life.
18. The Double Crown: The Crown of Thorns, with its message of selfless suffering, is mingled with the Kingly Crown of Victory.
19. Omega: Slightly above and to the right of the Crown. Coupled with the Alpha, it means \”The Beginning and the End,\” \”First and last,\” from Revelations.
20. Small Star: The smaller six-pointed star set against the deeper purple backdrop echoes the larger one at left. John 1 says, \”The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.\”
21. The Chalice: The example of sacrificial love, instituted at the Last Supper.
22. The Tri-Foil: Intertwining circles, or tri-foil, is an ancient sign of the Trinity and Eternity, because it has three portions that have no beginning and no end.
On Being Methodists
We are a church that encourages a strong pulpit. The people come expecting to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaimed powerfully.
We are a church that encourages a strong, warm-hearted personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Jesus Christ is at the heart of everything we do.
We are a worldwide church. You can find a United Methodist church, mission, school, hospital, or clinic in many villages, hamlets, towns, and cities around the world.
We are an open, inclusive church. Our members come from every culture and every socioeconomic group, and all are embraced. In addition, we have been at the forefront in encouraging women to give strong leadership in the church, and therefore we have more women clergy than any other denomination.
We are a giving church. Persons who join The United Methodist Church promise to serve God and support the church with their prayers, their presence, their gifts and their service; and that pledge of loyalty enables us to give generously to benevolences and mission efforts.
We are a church with a family spirit. That family spirit enables us to be there for each other in our joys and sorrows from the cradle to the grave.
We are a church that owns and operates many colleges, hospitals, children\’s homes, and homes for the elderly. We also operate the oldest church-owned publishing house in the world.
We are a church that reaches out with deep compassion to help hurting people. Our UM Committee on Relief is quickly on the scene all over the world to provide aid, love, and care to victims of natural disasters, ethnic violence, and warfare.
We feed more than a million children every day.
We are a church with a great social creed that has been an inspiration to all in Christendom.
We continue Christ\’s ministry of preaching, teaching, healing, and caring.