St. Stephens Church
470 Main Street
Landmark Designation: 1974
National Register: 1975
Construction Date: 1881
Architectural Style: Gothic
Colorado, at the close of the Civil War, was the center of the Episcopal
Missionary District of the Northwest, 1859. By 1870 one of the founders of
the Chicago-Colorado Colony had established a Sunday school, but a regular
service was not possible due to a lack of clergy. By virtue of a special request
in 1879 from the congregation, Bishop Spalding sent the Reverend Thomas V.
Wilson from Boulder. The mission was formally organized and a brick church
The land for the building was acquired in mid-spring and the cornerstone
was laid in December of that year. The church operated with scant and borrowed
furnishings for the first year after it's dedication by Bishop Spalding. The
congregation continued to struggle under heavy debt all through the 1880's
and into the turn of the century. It wasn't until 1920 that the church finally
was able to afford an organ. By virtue of a persistent spirit, the congregation
managed to survive and grow. The church served the St. Stephen's Episcopal
congregation for more than 90 years until 1972.
St. Stephen's Church has played an important role in the history of Longmont's
development. When it was built the adjacent areas were relatively undeveloped
and it was an important visual element as the town developed. The church sits
in a grove of spruce and pine trees which is a restful green area in contrast
to the adjacent commercial buildings of downtown Longmont.
Today the church is owned by the St.
Vrain Historical Society and used as an art gallery.