Vail Valley: Gracious Savior celebrates 25 years |

Vail Valley: Gracious Savior celebrates 25 years

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado ” Gracious Savior Lutheran Church is celebrating 25 years in Colorado’s Vail Valley.

Formally organized on April 1, 1984, members of Gracious Savior began worshipping in the music room of Battle Mountain High School and then moved into the high school’s larger auditorium.

Just a short time later, the Gracious Savior bought two acres on the corner of Highway 6 and Lake Creek Road in Edwards, where the church began building it own facility.

“In 1984, Edwards was considered so far out of the way that many of our members, as well as our district leaders from Denver, considered our purchase a disaster,” said Pastor Dan Rohlwing, current and founding pastor of Gracious Savior Lutheran Church. “But after our whopping $80,000 investment and many prayers, that potential disaster has proved instead to be a miracle ” and smart investment ” to many in this community.”

Gracious Savior dedicated its sanctuary and administrative building in April of 1985, and the facility has been renovated and expand several times.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

The church ran a preschool from 1988 to 1998. In August of 1998, Gracious Savior’s Vail Christian High School opened its doors in modular buildings on the church’s property, and operated there until its move to its current site on Highway 6 across from St. Clare of Assisi.

Last year, Gracious Savior sold a portion of its current property and with the proceeds, purchased the lot just adjacent and to the east of the high school. On March 29, Gracious Savior officially moved its worship services to Grace Auditorium, within Vail Christian High School.

“It’s a funny thing to look back at our beginnings as a church, worshipping in a high school music room and auditorium, and now finding ourselves exactly 25 years later, returning to a high school for worship,” Rohlwing said. “God leads us in directions we sometimes never imagine.”

In 2006, Gracious Savior’s congregation hired a new senior pastor, Jason Haynes.

“We’re so fortunate to be able to worship in such a beautiful facility, and our prayer is that the expanded space of Grace Auditorium will make room for many others in our community to experience God and his blessings,” Haynes said.

Haynes has also led the way in beginning Grace Fellowship, a Gypsum-based service held at Gypsum Elementary School.

“As a newcomer to the valley, I heard over and over again from many of my neighbors that they’d like to attend church, but that driving up valley again on a Sunday wasn’t something they were interested in,” Haynes says. “So we decided that instead of expecting them to come to us, we’d bring church to them.”

Two of Gracious Savior’s members have committed to missionary work in Uganda where they have spent the last year helping ChristAid construct a school for 150 children in first through third grades. Gracious Savior also hosts many community groups and meetings; organizes an annual coat drive for the Salvation Army; offers youth programs and partners with YoungLife; and teaches Sunday School and adult Bible classes.

“We have been so fortunate to freely worship and serve in this community for the past 25 years, and we eagerly look forward to what God has in store for us in the future,” both pastors said. “We look forward to our 50th anniversary celebration, right here in the Vail Valley.”

A 25th anniversary celebration is scheduled for Sunday at 10 a.m. at Grace Auditorium in Vail Christian High School. There will be a church service, meal and program and all community members are welcome to attend.

Gracious Savior’s regular services are held every Sunday at Grace Auditorium in Vail Christian High School at 9 a.m. and at 11 a.m. at Grace Fellowship at Gypsum Elementary School.

For more information about the anniversary celebration or any of Gracious Savior’s offerings, contact Pastor Jason Haynes or Pastor Dan Rohlwing at 970-926-3550, or visit

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