The first-known Seventh-day Adventist in Colorado was a young girl who traveled across the Kansas plains in a covered wagon in the 1860s.* She found work in the home of a Denver family, eventually marrying a miner named Shaw. They made their home in Golden.
Others followed—Mrs. Amy Dartt, who came from the 1844 Movement and settled in Boulder, and Mrs. Cora M. Thayer (later Mrs. Cora M. Jones), a long-time member of the Longmont church who eventually settled in Georgetown.
These three women were lights among the scattered mining towns and ignited other flames in the region.
After Elder J. O. Corliss held tent evangelism meetings in Boulder in the late 1870s, a congregation was established in this Old West territory. Another was organized in Longmont in early 1880, quickly followed by another in Denver with 21 charter members and with E.R. Jones as pastor.
In 1872, James and Ellen White traveled to Colorado to enjoy its beautiful scenery and invigorating mountain air and to recoup their health. They stayed in a cabin at 11,000 feet and so enjoyed their time that, according to Boulder County records, they purchased a 320-acre tract, which became a retreat for the White family.
The General Conference encouraged the creation of city missions during the 1880s and several were established, among them a city medical mission and workingmen’s home, a rescue home for women, a Bible school, and vegetarian cafés in Denver and Colorado Springs. These cafes were flourishing as late as 1902.
The Colorado Conference was organized in1882 when the General Conference recognized enough interest. It included Northwest New Mexico’s San Juan County, an easier drive from Colorado than from Texas in the Texico Conference. It was reorganized February 8, 1981 when it merged with Wyoming Conference and became the Rocky Mountain Conference.
The current office location was opened January 1, 1958 on S. Downing Street across from Porter Adventist Hospital which had occupied its facility since 1930.
Today, the Rocky Mountain Conference is one of 601 world-wide local conferences and home to 17,642 Seventh- day Adventists. A part of the 1.2 million members comprising the North American Division, it is made up of 129 churches, companies and groups, two camp retreat centers, and 23 schools, which provide a Christian education to more than 800 students. [Carol Bolden]
*Information taken from “History of the Boulder Seventh-day Adventist Church” in the files of the Boulder Daily Camera, and Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia, vol. 10.