History of Gloria Christi

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About Gloria Christi

A Brief History of Gloria Christi

Gloria Christi Lutheran Church began its existence in February 1963 as Sherwood Park Chapel, a mission congregation served by Pastor Howard J. Patten in what was then west Greeley. Before it had its own facilities, the congregation worshiped at Franklin school.

In November 1963, the congregation broke ground for its chapel and educational wing, at a cost of $80,000. By the time of the groundbreaking, the congregation had chosen the name Gloria Christi ("Glory of Christ"), explained by Pastor Patten as "both a statement of faith and a prayer of dedication that the buildings will be used always and only to the glory of God." The new building was dedicated on August 30, 1964.

Pastor Patten was succeeded by Rev. Henry R. Rische, who was installed as pastor on February 6, 1966. Upon Pastor Rische's departure for Estes Park, Rev. Lyle Mueller of Trinity served as interim pastor until the arrival of Rev. Lambert G. Gabbert. Pastor Gabbert was installed in July 1969 and served as the congregation's pastor until his retirement in l995.

During Pastor Gabbert's tenure, the congregation added a fellowship hall, dedicated in June 1974, to the complex. It was named the Agape Center. (Agape is a Greek word for the unconditional love that God has for the world in Christ.) Also during this time, the congregation established a preschool as an extension of its ministry and in time included a daycare program.

Upon Pastor Gabbert's retirement, the Lord called Rev. Craig Bertram to be Gloria Christi's new pastor. The following year (1996), the Lord, through His Church, called an assistant pastor as well, and Rev. Darrin L. Kohrt assumed his pastoral duties that year. When Pastor Bertram accepted a call to Minnesota in 1999, Pastor Kohrt was recognized by call to be her one pastor.

In 2005, Pastor Kohrt accepted a call to Australia, leaving the congregation without a full-time called pastor for a year. Rev. John A. Frahm accepted the divine call to be her new pastor in October 2006 and was installed on November 5.   The congregation has an active program of devotions, service, and recreation for junior high and high school students. While Gloria Christi no longer operates a preschool/daycare, we continue to offer opportunities for young people in Sunday School, youth group, Vacation Bible School and more.   

Beginning in the 1990s, Gloria Christi further enhanced the beauty of its worship by beautifying its sanctuary as well. The congregation's singing is now accompanied by a pipe organ (1999). The addition of stained glass windows with traditional Christian symbols (2001), and new chancel furniture -- altar, pulpit, lectern, and baptismal font -- completed the process. However, the problem of access remained and did not allow of a solution in the existing sanctuary.

In 2006, the congregation completed two and a half years of planning to build a new sanctuary, accessible at ground level, on its property. The congregation hired Larry Steel and Associates as architects to design a new facility, including office space for the pastor and the parish secretary, and congregation's voters accepted the building committee's proposal to award the building contract to Growling Bear Company, Inc., of Greeley. On November 19, the congregation and its new pastor held the groundbreaking rites.

In August of 2007, after years of generous fundraising, careful stewardship, and dedicated work by the building committee and members of Gloria Christi, the new sanctuary and other facilities were dedicated to the glory of God alone for the preaching and teaching of God's holy Word and the administration of His sacraments. The new sanctuary provides greater accessibility for those with physical disabilities as well as additional seating capacity. The new sanctuary also is noted for improved acoustics for singing and organ music. Also appreciated are the new vestry and sacristy, which makes the work of the chancel guild and liturgical assistants much easier. The new sacristy also features a piscina for the reverent care of the sacrament after the Divine Service. Building on the catechesis of Pastor Kohrt, Pastor Frahm continued to lead Gloria Christi toward orthodox Lutheran teaching and practices, especially in regard to liturgical matters.

Today Gloria Christi Lutheran Church thrives as a vibrant liturgical community dedicated to the glory of Christ, the congregation's name. The church has Divine Services at 9:00 AM each Sunday morning, with Sunday School and Bible Class at 10:30. Gloria Christi continues to grow and manifest herself in the Greeley area as a gospel-centered, biblical, traditional, Lutheran congregation in mission through the Word and Sacraments of Jesus Christ, our crucified and risen Lord.

Divine Services are conducted according to the traditional liturgy, or order of service, of the Lutheran Church. This formal worship dates back hundreds of years, to the Lutheran Reformation and even to the early Christian centuries. Uniting today's Christians with the saints of past centuries provides continuity in a rapidly changing world. And the liturgy also provides a beautiful setting for the worship of God and receiving His grace.

Visitors will find the people of Gloria Christi friendly and welcoming, and the pastor is always eager to answer questions they might have about the church. Formal instruction classes are also available to those wishing to learn more about Lutheran teaching. And on any given day, one can see members working together as volunteers on many projects that are part of the life of the congregation, from grounds and building maintenance to hospital visitation.

Rev. John A. Frahm continued to serve as pastor at Gloria Christi until September in 2014 when he accepted a call to serve a congregation in North Dakota.   Gloria Christi continues to be served by Rev. Richard A. Bolland, who is called to be Assistant Pastor-Emeritus of Gloria Christi. In 2014 Pastor Bolland retired. In 2015 Rev. Stephen T. Weiss was installed as the current pastor of Gloria Christi Lutheran Church.  

Gloria Christi Lutheran Church (LCMS)

1322 31st Avenue

Greeley, Colorado 80634

(970) 353-2554

Visits since 12 December 2006  (counter may have been reset - technical issues)