Westminster Presbyterian Church has a long history. In the 1890’s, a prominent New Yorker, Henry Mayhem, visualized the concept of a university atop Crown Point, Colorado. It was the highest point in what was then Arapahoe County (it became Adams County in 1902), in the village of DeSpain Junction, later Harris Park.
Some 10 miles south in the valley below, the “Mile High City” of Denver was beginning to grow around the Platte River and Cherry Creek. Mayhem had a vision of a college that would rival its sisters in the East. Seeking financial help from the Presbytery of Denver and even from Maxey Tabor, son of Horace Tabor, the “Princeton of the West” was conceived and named Westminster University. He had also purchased some surrounding land hoping people from “back East” would be encouraged to come, teach, and settle. He soon had a red sandstone “castle-like” structure built on that “hill.” After initially only admitting men, the school struggled for several years during World War I, and became co-ed in 1907. The University closed its doors in 1917, although University School of Law and School of Medicine still held classes there for several years. In the meantime, the people, mostly Presbyterians, and many of whom were members of the faculty at Westminster University, met on August 14, 1892, in a school building near the University to sign a charter establishing the University Presbyterian Church of the Denver Presbytery. This marked the beginning of the Westminster Presbyterian Church.
A complete history of the church, “A Friendly Place To Be Near God,” (1892-2007) is available in the church office. Use the link below to see an article about our 125th anniversary and history.