A Church with a Heart for Missions
Garden Ranch started thirty-seven years ago in 1979 as a neighborhood church. We began with twenty-seven people in the home of our first pastor and wife, Ernest & Goldie Gouge. Three months later we rented a preschool building on Morning Sun behind the King Soopers on Academy Blvd. & Austin Bluffs Parkway.
Through God’s provision and leadership, the church purchased property on Van Teylingen Drive, first moving in a modular building that became our offices and classrooms, and later built our current church building. We met for our first service in the main building on Thanksgiving Eve, November 1983.
Ernest and Goldie laid a great foundation for the church. They had a heart for missions, taking trips to Honduras and starting the GRBC Builders, which has been active every year since, building and remodeling churches throughout the Western United States. Ernest & Goldie served the church until their retirement in 1990.
Ernest (Buddy & Sue) Hinze came to serve as pastor in 1990. They also had a heart for missions. During this time Garden Ranch became the mother church for Open Bible Baptist Church. At that time Garden Ranch started an ESL program, particularly working with Vietnamese refugees, and partnered with two other local churches to help begin a Vietnamese congregation. Upon retiring from Garden Ranch in 1996, they went to Southern Asia to serve as missionaries.
In 1996 David (& Jan) Fitzgerald became pastor of Garden Ranch. Over the last few years the church has sent people on short-term mission trips to Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Also, the church for many years has hosted a Hispanic ladies Bible study on Wednesday mornings, a Chinese Bible study on Monday nights, and an International Bible study on Saturday mornings.
Garden Ranch began as a conservative, Midwestern styled family congregation. At that time, we were a good match for our community, but over the years our community changed to a more urban, and ethnically diverse population.
As we prayed for God’s direction, we were led to look beyond the four walls of the church into our community. Our focus was no longer just taking care of the needs of our members, but the impact the gospel could have in our community.
As we looked at what our community had become, we saw an increasing number of Hispanics, especially in the twenty-two multi-housing communities within a ten-minute walk of Garden Ranch. Statistically, there are 8,000 Hispanics within a two-mile radius. So, we felt lead to launch a Hispanic congregation. In 2015 we invited a Puerto Rican couple Jonathan Ferré and Myrna Rodríguez to come launch the Hispanic Church Gracia y Verdad.
On December 2018 Pastor David and Jan retired after servir this Church for over 30 years; our hearts are sad to see them leave but are excited to see what God has in store for them. While the next Pastor that God has for our Church; we have the pleasure to count with Pastor Lewis Adkinson, as the Interim Pastor.
We look to the future with anticipation to see what God can do as we from all peoples become one family in Christ.