The history of Colona Community Church began in 1887, when a little Methodist Episcopal church was built in the mountain town of Ouray, Colorado. Unfortunately for Ouray, the turn of the 20th century brought a dip in population, which led to the closing of the church doors.
However, Ouray’s misfortune was Colona’s blessing, for in 1912 several of the local citizens voiced an interest in the unused little church. It was graciously donated to the town of Colona with only one stipulation—they had to move the building themselves!
Colona residents tore down the church and loaded the pieces onto a wagon for the trip down the Uncompahgre River Valley. Along the way, the mule-skinner driving the wagon tipped back a few too many and decided to drop the church a few miles short of Colona. Determined to have their church, local citizens gathered up all of the pieces and hauled them the rest of the way to Colona, where Preston Hotchkiss had donated land on which to build the new church. The cornerstone was laid on April 19, 1912. The church still stands on this land, and Preston’s descendants still attend the Colona Community Church.
Throughout its history, the little white church in Colona has seen its share of ups and downs. The doors have had to close on several occasions, yet they were always reopened as soon as possible by the faithful citizens of Colona, and always with renovations to help improve the overall church experience. Members of the Colona Grange began the first major restoration in 1959. Most of the materials and work have been lovingly donated over the years by local citizens.
A basement area was dug in 1969, and it was finally finished in 2003. The old outhouse was replaced with new indoor restrooms in 1978. In June of 2000, the church received the “Historical Building” designation from the Ouray Historical Society. More upgrades have been accomplished in recent years, including beautiful stained glass windows in 2002, new flooring and pew cushions in 2003, new hymnals in 2004, and an altar rail and kneeling pads in 2006.
Even more exciting for the Colona Community Church family is the growing regular attendance and the interest shown by visitors each week of services. The Holy Spirit is in our midst, and we are grateful for the blessings God has bestowed upon us. We pray God will continue to bless us as we continue to love Him, so our doors can remain open for at least another 100 years to minister to and serve all people.