Our Team

Vision Statement

The Journey is a Loving Community of Christ Followers; Striving to Engage, Embrace and Equip People in the Faith.

The five pillars of our vision are…..

• Worship (Romans 12:1-2)

• Fellowship (Acts 2:42)

• Discipleship (Acts 2:42)

• Stewardship (1 Peters 4:10)

• Mission (Acts 17:26)

Check out this video about who we are as a church.

The Word of God

We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are fully inspired and without error in the original manuscripts, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that they have supreme authority in all matter of faith and conduct.

(John 17:17; Romans 15:4; II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:19-21)

The Trinity

We believe that there is one living and true God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit; that these are equal in every divine perfection, and that they execute distinct but harmonious offices in the work of creation, providence and redemption.

(Matthew 28:19; John 1:1-4; I John 5:7)

God the Father

We believe in God the Father, a perfect, infinite, personal spirit. We believe that He concerns Himself mercifully in the lives of men, that He hears and answers prayer, and that He saves from sin and death all who come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.

(John 3:16-17; 4:24;17:5)

Jesus Christ

We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. We believe in His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles and teachings. We believe in His substitutionary atoning death, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, perpetual intercession for His people, and personal visible return to earth

(Isaiah 7:14; John 1:14; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 1:2, 3; I John 1:7)

The Holy Spirit

We believe in the Holy Spirit who convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, and regenerates, sanctifies, and empowers all who believe in Jesus Christ. We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ, and that He is an abiding helper, teacher and guide.

(John 14:26; 16:7-15: Romans 8:14-17; Ephesians 1:13-14)

Salvation

We believe that all men are sinners by nature and by choice and are, therefore, under condemnation. We believe that the Holy Spirit regenerates those who repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior.

(John 1:12-13; 3:3, 16-17; Acts 20:21; Ephesians 2:1-9; Titus 3:5)

The Church

We believe that the universal church is a living spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all regenerated persons are members. We believe that the local church is a company of believers who have been baptized by immersion upon a credible statement of faith.

(Matthew 28:19-20; 16:18; Acts 2:38-41; Ephesians 2:19-22; 5:25-27)

Church Covenant

As a member of The Journey, I commit myself to God and to the other members to:

  1. Protect the unity of my church

Romans 14:19, 1 Peter 1:22, Ephesians 4:29

•By acting in love toward other members

•By refusing to gossip

•By following the leaders as they follow Christ

  1. Share in the responsibility of my church

Romans 15:7, 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2

•By praying for its growth

•By inviting the unchurched to attend

•By warmly welcoming those who visit

  1. Serve the ministry of my church

1 Peter 4:10, Ephesians 4:11-12

•By discovering my gifts and talents

•By being equipped to serve by my church

•By developing a servant’s heart

  1. Support the testimony of my church

Hebrews 10:25, 1 Corinthians 16:12

•By attending faithfully

•By living a godly life

•By giving regularly

  1. Fulfill the Great Commission

Matthew 29:19-20

  1. Follow the Great Commandment

Matthew 22:37-40

  1. Reconciliation and Restoration

Matthew 5:24, 6:14-15

•Ask for forgiveness when I have offended another

•Grant forgiveness when it is asked of me

The Journey at First Baptist is affiliated with Converge Rocky Mountain (part of Converge Worldwide). Converge is a strategic network of churches focused on transforming lives and communities with the hope of the gospel. As a movement of churches, we are empowered by God to Equip our people, Engage our cultures and Expand our redemptive impact by launching new churches.

All Converge congregations share a common core of doctrine that unites Christians across the world, and throughout history. We at The Journey are delighted to serve Christ in Craig, Colorado and we are excited to see the Lord glorified as His kingdom grows here.

More information can be found at www.convergerockymountain.org and www.converge.org.

The Early Years

The beginnings of First Baptist Church are hard to pinpoint exactly, but some facts basic to its establishment tell us that sometime in 1904, Levi Johnson moved to Craig, and in February 1905, his wife and children joined him. They homesteaded at Illinois Park, at the foot of Black Mountain near Craig. Mrs. Amy Johnson taught in various schools around the county, so they kept a home in Craig during the Winter and returned to the ranch each Spring. Their town residence was located in the 500 block of Breeze Street and is still in use today. Rev W.C. Lindsey, a Baptist minister from Missouri, moved to Northwest Colorado in 1909. He filed on a homestead near Cedar Mountain. Ernest Kline became his neighbor in 1910, when he established his homestead also near Cedar Mountain. Ernest Kline and Amy Johnson were both from Methodist backgrounds, but since there was no Methodist church, they decided to work with Mr. Johnson and Mr. Lindsey to organize a Baptist church. Since membership in the church required baptism, Rev. Lindsey baptized Ernest Kline, Francis Johnson, David Johnson and Amy Jane (Wyatt) Johnson in the icy waters of the Yampa river on April 23,1911. Northern Baptist Missionary, Bertha Smith, was sent to help organize the church. The small group of believers met on April 9, 1911 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. Brother Lindsey was asked to act as Pastor till other arrangements could be made, and he kindly accepted, without salary. It was then voted that the regular time for church meeting be on the first Sunday of each month. A committee was appointed to arrange the meeting place. Soon after, a building was rented for one dollar a meeting. This property was located at the intersection of Highway 40 and Washington Street, just South of City Park, and was used for a Cork and Bottle shop. Abbey Carpets is located there now.

In the next few years, the church met in several different places. Elkhead was a favorite place, meeting in homes, including the Davidson Cabin and meetings were held at the Johnson Ranch in Illinois Park, located on the present Black Mountain Road just below Freeman Reservoir. In June of 1912, a special business meeting was held to outline ideas of building a church at Elkhead, as it was thought by some not advisable to build in Craig yet. However, the church thought different and decided to build a small house in Craig, suitable for a meeting place and parsonage, and to postpone the erecting of the main building until later. Soon Elkhead became the headquarters of the church because most of the members lived in that area. They met at the Davidson Cabin or the J. C. Herod home until the Elkhead schoolhouse was built. When the church was meeting at Elkhead, there was a membership of about 60 to 80 people. Services in the more rural areas were conducted once or twice a month, and several laymen took charge of those meetings as the Lord led them. In addition to Rev. Kline, Bertram Welch, Frank Daggett, Lerch Couvert and others helped in this way. They called them Sagebrush Preachers, and though they might not have been as polished as some, God used them to touch hearts and win souls in a place where a city preacher would have failed miserably. After the Elkhead School was built, regular services were held there. For a time, the First Baptist Church of Craig met in town on Sunday mornings and then drove out to Elkhead for Sunday School in the afternoon. That made for some very long days, especially for the younger children.

After WWII, the Elkhead branch of the church was discontinued altogether. Many of the smaller ranchers were forced to move away after the Depression years of the 1930’s and the increased mechanization of the ranching business. With progress, better roads, and cars becoming more available, people were no longer tied to their small community churches. More and more people were able to drive in to town and the church became focused in Craig. Members of the Elkhead branch were also members of the Craig branch of the church, and no distinction was made in the church records.

700 School Street

Contractors, Carl Van Dorn and George Wilson, built the First Baptist Church of Craig building at 700 School Stree. 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. 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, we think due 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. That building is still in use and had been occupied by several ministry leaders over the years. In 2006, the parsonage building was sold.

1150 West 9th Street

In 1973, 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. On the first Sunday of 1975, First Baptist Church moved into the new building at 1150 West 9th Street. Don Wasey was the Pastor, and years of preparation and prayer went into the move. Financing of the structure was by private bonds, and most members of the congregation pledged, and gave an extra amount monthly until the building was debt free, years before the term of the bonds expired. The dedication of the building was held on the first Sunday afternoon in July of 1975. When the move was made, the church furniture, pews and pulpit came along. They had been purchased in the early 1960’s for a mere $800. Nowadays, one pew costs that!

As our identity became clearer, we saw that “The Journey at First Baptist” was a name that more clearly reflected who we are and where we were moving as a church, and with the development of a logo, more of the pieces fell into place.

By late 2007, it was obvious that we were experiencing rapid growth, and that our facility was getting very crowded. We started praying about a solution, and implemented a second worship service. Rental of community facilities became more frequent as we looked for ways to accommodate our growing body. After many months of prayer and planning, we voted to go forward with a building program. Partnering with Building God’s Way and Mischler Construction, ground was broken in June of 2009. During the year of Ministry of Construction, God made his presence known over and over, as meals were provided for construction workers and staff, huge amounts of materials and labor were donated, and the building rose up in a matter of months.

The First Celebration Service was held in the new Sanctuary on February 14th, 2010, and in May, the new Sanctuary was dedicated to the Lord. The Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the doors and there was an open house to welcome the community. In 2011, we celebrated our 100 year anniversary as a church! A more in-depth account of our early officers, members, remembrances and short stories meaningful to the history of our church can be found by clicking here! We would love to hear if you have something to share about our history!