KCBC History 4

1978-1984 Pastor Ed Hillard, Mike Shields, and a Story of Grace

[Again, we are indebted to Sandy Nadeau for compiling this history.]

Pastor Ed Hillard

Ed and Sue Hillard ministered at KCBC from 1978 to 1980. Looking back, Pastor Ed remembers Kittredge fondly.

“One of the great joys of serving at the Kittredge Church was the fireside room. The times there spent in fellowship, Bible Study – deep discussion and earnest prayer touched my life as well as others deeply with the Spirit of God. Much of the time – those in attendance would choose to kneel in humility before the Lord. It was with great assurance that we knew God was pleasingly present, listening, and answered every prayer in His own way and according to His will. Some years later, I received a letter from Paul Welton, now in heaven, thanking me for teaching him how to pray. It was the Holy Spirit that taught him.”

The fireside room was a cozy area in the middle section of the church up the stairs from the sanctuary where many gatherings were held. The walls had dark rough cedar paneling and an old wood burning stove in the corner to give it even more character and warmth. That area was remodeled in the 90’s when the need for updating bathrooms and more Sunday School space was a necessity.

Mike and Jan Shields

Mike Shields became the seventh pastor of the Kittredge Community Church. They share the following memories.

Kittredge Community Church holds great memories for us. We are very thankful for the church and the experiences we had while there.

It was at Kittredge that we got invaluable mentoring from Pastor Jack and Norma Canady. We were attending Bible College in Morrison at the time (1972-1976), and had many opportunities to learn the practical side of ministry. I, Mike, even served on the Church Board for several years and was the Chairman of the Board for one year. During these special years of involvement at Kittredge our youngest son, Wade, was born (trips from Willow Springs Ranch at Morrison to Kittredge was a truly sickly experience for Jan while she was pregnant). Our oldest son, Michael, was about four years old when we started attending at Kittredge. He was one of several rascals at that time, others being sons and daughters of the Canady’s and of course board members. During these early years Jan and I taught the High School Sunday School Class, led the teen youth group, and had a very special adult home Bible Study. We received the necessary education at Western Bible College, but we received the education that really prepared us for work with Village Missions at Kittredge Community Church. During the summer of 1976, after graduation from WBC we moved and began pastoral ministry.

Then the unlikely happened. We were asked, and we gladly accepted, to return to Kittredge as the Village Missionaries. Our first day as Village Missionary Pastor and family was June 9, 1980. By the end of that first week we had a Christian Education Board Meeting, a regular Church Board meeting, and a VBS planning meeting. It would not be possible to adequately mention all the people so dear to us during four years of ministry. We celebrated the Church’s 35th Anniversary April 5, 1981 with about 90 folks taking part in the worship and afternoon reception. Summer Daily Vacation Bible School for children was always a highlight; Girls Pioneer Clubs and Boys Brigade left many memories; Camp Id Ra Ha Je summer camps and the Intermountain Bible Conference or Family Camp on Labor Day were activities that everyone enjoyed. It was during these years that we let go of some of God’s dearest saints as they went to heaven. It was also during these years that we were blessed to be part of several weddings for our young people that we had watched grow up. We truly cherish the great memories and the wonderful relationships that came out of our years with the church and community. The grace of God produced fruit for eternity of which we are privileged to have had a small part.

We rejoice with you now as you again celebrate. We commend the current church family for your faithfulness to our great God and Savior. “Little is much when God is in it,” and you will only know the full scope of the great things God has done at Kittredge when you are gathered with all the saints in the presence of Christ.

The words of Jesus to the church at Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) seem fitting for Kittredge Community Church. May the Lord bless you. “I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one take your crown” (Rev. 3:11).

In Christ’s Love, Mike and Jan Shields

Story of Grace

Norm and Marsha Covey’s daughter was killed in a car wreck on December 10, 1980. She was driving alone to her first day at a new job. She had landed a job as a graphic artist for a company in Idaho Springs. The morning sun was straight ahead in her eyes and she hit a JeffCo road grader parked on the wrong side of Kittredge Park Road just above KCBC. Her parents were told that her stopped heart was restarted several times on the way to St Anthony’s Hospital where they finally realized continued attempts to save her life were hopeless.

Today, the Covey’s could name maybe fifteen other families that have lost their youngsters. They were the first that they knew of back then. Good friends drove them home from the hospital. It was amazing to them that on the day of her death the world did not stop – or go on hold. Traffic continued, stop lights worked and people continued to go and come in their usual manner. In the late afternoon, they noticed the most beautiful mountain sunset seen in years. They saw gorgeous clouds that were black and puffy white with rays of the sun radiating to earth. That night, in a clear sky, there was a full moon with a haze ring around it - signs of things to come.

Leslie had led an unusual life. She was a wonderful little girl until Jr. High when she discovered pot. Then, following in Norm’s shoes, she decided that being addicted to a troublesome life was the way to go. No one drank alcohol in the house at the time and they certainly outlawed pot. Rather than forego her desire for drugs, at the tender of age of 13, she set out on her own. She snuck back in the house a few times to fill out her travelin’ wardrobe and took a Colt .38 Special. We discovered that she was living here and there and was peddling drugs for parents of some of her “friends.” Actually, they are grateful even now that they don’t really know where she went or what she did.

After about 3 years of this great fear, agony and worry for the parents, and danger for her, she showed up sitting on the curb in front of the bank in downtown Evergreen where Marsha worked. This event was the beginning of the obvious work of the Lord in all their lives. Marsha had pursued a serious night of prayer saying, “I return Leslie to you, Lord. I have no idea what to do with her.” The sheriff was called as there was a warrant out for her arrest. As she was put into the police car, she said “I love you.” to Marsha and began recovery from her addiction. She often said she knew home was safe, “no drugs allowed.” They found the Palmer Drug Abuse Program (PDAP) in Denver and worked to get a chapter installed in Evergreen. Eventually nearly 100 kids were involved and Leslie and others got sober – certainly with the Lord’s help, working incognito.

Through friends in PDAP, Leslie discovered Jesus and welcomed Him into her life. Norm and Marsha were pleased that Leslie had kicked the dope problem, but kind of hoped she would get over the Jesus thing. They understood that God was in control, but were not really into the church and Jesus. They thought it was sort of embarrassing. The bottom line, though, was they had their “sweetie pie” back. She was a young lady. She picked up school again at Warren Tech working to become a commercial artist. She also attended church in Denver regularly. And then she left for work on December 10th.

Shortly after the funeral, as the support of friends reached its practical limit, Mike Shields, the Pastor of the KCC, showed up at the Covey’s door, offering to help. He gave them information, answered questions, encouraged them with private Bible studies and invited them to join others at the church. Through this, Marsha had two questions. Is there really a heaven? Is Leslie there? And, secondly, is the Bible really the word of God? Marsha’s prayers were answered by two dramatic revelations that she loves to talk about if asked. Marsha welcomed Jesus into her life.

Years before, Norm’s drinking had been cured through the grace of God, through prayer and His forgiveness. Consequently, the initial perception of Jesus was to question if a belief in Jesus would be viewed by God as betrayal. Again, prayer settled the issue. Belief and acceptance of Jesus with Norm just sort of settled in.

Time has allowed Marsha and Norm to see God’s power in events preceding Leslie’s death. The Lord brought a huge change in Leslie. After Leslie’s troublesome past, Marsha often thought, “Leslie looks like an angel – so beautiful and so at peace with the world.” Leslie also had received messages. The day before the accident, she had taken an afternoon nap that ended with a very bad dream. She called her Mom to tell her that, in her dream, she had hit something really big in the road. The day of her accident, she had made her bed (unusual) and placed a note to Jesus on the bed – thanking Him for his forgiveness and His unconditional love. She stated in the note, “I have sinned so much in the past and you have forgiven me – please help me to be the most beautiful creature I can be in your love.”

Having Leslie in their life has caused the Covey’s to deeply appreciate a few issues. The story with Leslie started on the days we were born, has proceeded according to His plan and will continue. Apparently disconnected events are related in an intelligent fashion. The Lord has a GRAND patient plan that proceeds inexorably. To the extent the Lord wills ones involvement with Him, so be it. It’ll be done. Earned benefit is irrelevant.

Norm said, “We are grateful that the Lord chose Leslie to play such an important place in our lives and in His plan. It will be great to see her again.”

One last note: on the night of her funeral someone had put a small candle on Leslie’s Grave. Ron Lewis called in the morning to tell us the candle burned all night. Nothing extinguished the flame.