By Michele Stotz
The Voice of Prophecy ministry officially opened the doors of its new home in Loveland, Colorado, on April 9, 2015, following 86 years in California. This new location felt like a bit of a homecoming, since H.M.S. Richards—the ministry’s founder—spent his early years in Loveland.
Voice of Prophecy speaker/director Shawn Boonstra said that his leadership team searched across America for the ministry’s brand-new home. After narrowing down the search to 11 cities, one candidate rose to the top: Loveland. And the Voice of Prophecy’s deep history in the area helped to cement this choice.
“I wish H.M.S. Richards were still alive to see that we’ve not only found a new home, but in a way, we’ve brought his ministry back home,” said Boonstra.
A Rich History
Richards and his family moved to Colorado when he was five, and the state made such an impression on him that he would become nostalgic later in life at the sight of the majestic Rocky Mountains.
For a time, his father, H.M.J. Richards, was pastor of the West Denver Church, and even received a speaking lesson from Ellen G. White after she heard one of his sermons and was concerned that he was straining his voice. His father later became vice president of the Colorado Conference— now the Rocky Mountain Conference—and the entire family was deeply involved in the church’s early days in this area.
Richards’ grandparents owned a farm on the outskirts of Loveland, so the family spent a lot of time there prior to building their own home in Loveland.
Education was also important to the family, and Richards’ father founded East Colorado Academy, which later became Campion Adventist Academy. Richards was one of the school’s first graduates, and today its elementary school bears his name.
These early years in Colorado stoked Richards’ passion for evangelism. While assisting and attending local evangelistic meetings, he made a decision to dedicate his life to Jesus, and in 1907 was baptized by his father in Lake Loveland. A few years later, he preached his first sermon in Fort Lupton, just north of Denver. Of course, that was just the beginning, but it laid the groundwork for a ministry that now reaches around the world with the Good News of Christ’s soon coming.
Looking to the Future
It was with this history in mind that the Voice of Prophecy opened its doors in Loveland and looked to the future with anticipation.
The dedication ceremony hosted more than 300 visitors and included leadership from the Rocky Mountain Conference, members of the local Chamber of Commerce and the community, and many church members—some of whom drove hours to attend the event.
“For our church in this region, the Voice of Prophecy is more than a place on the map,” said Ed Barnett, president of the Rocky Mountain Conference. “We are excited to officially welcome them as partners in mission.”
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was followed by tours of the facility, and attendees were excited to hear about ministry projects such as the weekly radio program, the ministry’s recent month-long series in Minneapolis, the DISCOVER Bible School, Bible distribution in the Arctic, and a humanitarian project that is rescuing young girls from human trafficking in India (watch a video about the project at vop.com/india).
“What better place than a city named ‘Loveland’ to tell the whole world about God’s love?” said Pastor Boonstra. “From behind these doors, people from around the planet will be listening!”
To learn more about the Voice of Prophecy’s ongoing projects, and to read Shawn and Jean Boonstra’s latest blog entries, visit vop.com.
–Michele Stotz is Voice of Prophecy director of public relations