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The flock grows

The growth of the community has given rise to several new churches. Some have established church buildings, but many are housed in temporary quarters. Their congregations gather in homes, business buildings and schools.Grace Community Church met at Latigo Trails Equestrian Center in the beginning, until they rented space two doors down from Frankie’s, Too. Congregations from Abiding Word Lutheran Church, St. Benedict Catholic Church, New Horizon’s Lutheran Church and Aspen Ridge Church all meet at a variety of school locations in Falcon.”There is bit of a stigma with schools,” said Jay Klopfenstein, pastor of Aspen Ridge. “People are not sure if you are legitimate, or if you are going to stay around. It will be different when we have a building.”The stigma associated with meeting as the schools is just one of the challenges the churches face in the community.The main challenge for many of the new church developments is twofold: financial barriers to building a new church and convincing people that the church is legitimate without a permanent building.”When you think about church development about 50 to 100 years ago, a community as a whole would come together and say we need a church; let’s start a church,” said Pat Jeffrey, pastor of Grace Community Church. “The culture today does not necessarily say that, so bringing together the people and the financial resources is a big challenge.”The culture of the community also seems to impact churches. “Developing a culture in our community that is hospitable is also a challenge,” said Tim Singleton, New Horizons Lutheran pastor. “We want to stay away from the club mentality and keep an understanding of our purpose, not our own self interests; we are here to serve and to do mission in Christ’s name.”Despite the challenges to locations, the community has responded positively to the influx of churches.”Most folks recognize that we are doing the ministry that God has called us to do, even though we are in a temporary location,” Jeffrey said. “Some people look upon us as not quite arrived as a church because we are in a storefront location.”But the number of people attending church is increasing. Churches that have been here for a few years, such as Grace Community and Aspen Ridge, average 125 to 200 people who participate in their worship services. Newer church developments, like New Horizons Lutheran Church, are starting to receive more visitors and remain hopeful that the Banning Lewis housing development will bring in more members. “Because Falcon is a new community, families move in, and they are looking to make connections, looking to make new relationships and friendships,” Singleton said.Many of the church developments have plans to build in the near future. Aspen Ridge Church has just purchased land off Eastonville Road. They hope to break ground in the next couple of years and build the church in phases.Grace Community Church owns land west of the old Falcon high school on Stapleton Road. Within the next year and “in God’s timing,” Jeffrey said they plan to build a 6,000-square-foot church, twice the size of space they now occupy.Four months ago, New Horizon’s Lutheran Church purchased property off Woodmen Road – the property where the yellow house was located. They currently use the house for worshipping space during special events like Ash Wednesday, Thanksgiving eve and midweek Lent services. For the time being, they plan to establish their congregation, develop their ministries and eventually build a church where the raised cross now sits.Are there too many churches?”In Colorado Springs, it was crazy,” Klopfenstein said. “There were hundreds and hundreds of churches, which did affect us. It is sort of that ‘fast food mentality’ of our culture, if people don’t like it, they will try something different.”And many people prefer a variety of church options.”God did not make one kind of tree, one kind of fruit, or one kind of human being. There is room for all of us,” Singleton said. “There isn’t one way of being Christian. The diversity of churches benefits society; not everyone wants a cookie cutter church.”Jeffrey said the new church developments are a source of stability for a community that is experiencing growing pains. “The growth of the community and the growth of churches is an opportunity to reach people with the truth of the gospel,” he said. “We can have a positive moral and spiritual impact upon the DNA of this community as it continues to grow.”Falcon’s churches:

  • Abiding Word Lutheran Church
  • Aspen Ridge Church
  • Black Forest Chapel Church
  • Cowboy Church of Peyton
  • Faith Bridge Church
  • Falcon Baptist Church
  • Freshwater Fellowship Church
  • Grace Community Church
  • Gateway Church

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