Rebirth for Vail Valley’s Calvary Chapel this Easter |

Rebirth for Vail Valley’s Calvary Chapel this Easter

Lauren Glendenning
Vail Valley, CO Colorado
Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyBuilder John Duffy carries in new carpet for seating in the children's room of the Vail Valley's new Calvary Church Friday in Edwards, Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado ” Easter Sunday is a day to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but for the Calvary Chapel’s congregation in Colorado’s Vail Valley there’s going to be a lot more to celebrate today.

After 12 years in the Vail Valley with no place to call home, the church now has its own building to worship in every week. Church staff and members have been setting up a makeshift church at Berry Creek Middle School in Edwards every Sunday for about 10 years, said Mike McClinton, administrative pastor at Calvary Chapel.

They’d get there early in the morning to make the school’s auditorium look like a place of worship. When the services were over, they’d stay until 10 p.m. or later taking everything apart to make it look like a school again, he said.

“We’ve been wandering for 12 years trying to find a location,” he said. “It’s like God has answered our prayers and provided us a place.”

The church is now calling the old Gracious Savior Lutheran Church home. Gracious Savior built Vail Christian High School about 10 years ago and always knew it would try to move its church into the school someday, said Pastor Jason Haynes, of Gracious Savior.

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“We were presented with the opportunity to worship at Grace Auditorium at the high school, so we took that opportunity,” Haynes said. “And we said, ‘you know what, our sanctuary is sitting empty, it would be great if someone could use it.'”

Haynes and Pastor Tommy Schneider of Calvary Chapel are friends and Haynes knew the chapel needed its own facility. Schneider had hoped his congregation could someday move into Gracious Savior, Haynes said.

“It’s a great partnership,” he said. “We just love our brothers and sisters in Christ at Calvary.”

The Calvary Chapel has a one-year lease for the building, which is west of the main Edwards intersection off Highway 6. Gracious Savior owns a piece of property right next door to Vail Christian High School and hopes to build a church on that site in the next three to four years, Haynes said. When that happens, Calvary has the first right of refusal to buy the old Gracious Savior property that it’s now leasing.

The timing worked out just right, too, he said. Calvary moved into the new church last week and held its first service there on Palm Sunday, and now it gets to celebrate the rebirth of Jesus Christ on Easter in its new location.

It’s like the church has had its own rebirth, McClinton said.

Church members have volunteered to help make the space their own with paint and decorations in recent weeks. Elisha Wegner, a two-year church member, said the new building already feels like home to her.

“I don’t feel like anything was lost in the move,” she said. “If anything, it’s better.”

Wegner said she’s going to like having a place to go to throughout the week. There will always be someone there, and she finds comfort in that.

“I think people will just immediately feel so completely comfortable there,” she said. “That’s what drew me to the church.”

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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