700 School Street

Contractors Carl Van Dorn and George Wilson built the First Baptist Church of Craig building. The Architect was Mr Scott and dedication day was September 13, 1925. Dr. B.F. Palmer, executive secretary of the Colorado Baptist State Convention and Judge F W. Freeman, from Denver gave the main address for the occasion. Rev. George T. Lowe was pastor of the church at the time of the dedication, but resigned after only three months because of his wife’s poor health. In November 1925, the Rev. A. C. Huff became the minister. A baptistery was built into the newly constructed building and Olive Kline, mother of Jean Smith, was the second person baptized there.

The church building at 700 School Street was the meeting place for the church from 1925 to 1975. It underwent 2 additions, the first in the 1940’s while pastor Roy Walker was here. The second was made in 1953 when Aubrey Nelson was serving his first term as Pastor. Plans were drawn up for a third addition, but the membership felt that as the town was beginning to grow, land should be found and a new building constructed. A 5-acre parcel was purchased between 9th and 10th Streets on the west side of town. At the time of the purchase there were no other buildings around, but within a very few years, the Colorado Ute Power Plant began construction and the building boom was on. The little town of Craig grew in all directions, and by 1980, houses were built on all sides of the church property and a beautiful new High School was built a little more than a block away. In the spring of 1974 ground was broken for a new building, which was completed shortly before the end of the year. The last service at 700 School was a Watch Night Service, on Dec 31, 1974.

The parsonage was purchased during the time Rev. Raymond Rudd was Pastor. The Rudds were living there at the time of Rev. Rudd’s death in 1939, due, we think, to a ruptured appendix. This was a sad event for the people of the church, as they dealt with the loss of their Pastor.

The old parsonage was removed (to the Kline Ranch where it burned in 1957) and a new ranch style home was constructed on the foundations of the old building, in 1956. James Dolan was the Pastor then. That building is still in use, and is was occupied by youth pastor Justin Jenison till his resignation in 2001, was the home of Young Life Missionaries Scott and Jennifer Smith for a time, and in 2006 the parsonage building was sold.