History of St. Augustine’s

St. Augustine's Church, Creede, CO

Our Beginnings

St. Augustine's Episcopal mission was established in 1897, five years after Creede became an incorporated town. The venerable Charles Grimes, known as the "Cowboy Preacher" established St. Augustine's, and services were held in a "rudely put up structure". By May 1906 parishioners began to collect money for a building. The new building was first used in March of 1907. The cost was $1024.00.

Through much of its history St. Augustine's has held services infrequently due to problems with distance and lack of priests. Most of the clergy have come from the San Luis Valley. Father Robert Whiting kept the faith alive in the San Luis Valley and Creede from 1944 until 1975. St. Augustine's has never had a priest of its own.

In 1978 a badly needed renovation was completed on the church. The interior and exterior were repaired. The low ceiling was raised and the dark colors and dark furnishings were replaced by lighter colors.

In 2008 St. Augustine's joined with St. Stephen's in Monte Vista and St. Francis in South Fork to form the Upper Rio Grande Liturgical Partnership. This partnership allowed the training of pastoral leaders who could lead services and give communion. In 2008 Jan Jacobs became the pastoral leader in Creede, and St. Augustine's began having services every week.

Today St. Augustine's has services with holy Eucharist every Sunday. On the first Sunday of the month Father Bob Pope, our partnership vicar, is present and on the second Sunday Father Ed Nettleton leads the service. The other Sundays have services led by Jan Jacobs, our pastoral leader. During the summer months a priest is present to lead worship every Sunday.

In 2011 a Celtic Evening Prayer service was added on the first Sunday evening of every month where members of the community can offer music, readings and poetry.

Our priests today

Rev. Robert Pope "Father Bob"

Father Bob at CreedeI was raised in New England and quit high school at 17 to join the Marine Corps. After discharge I walked a beat briefly for a small town police force while in college and then went on to get my Ph.D. in American History from Yale. I taught for three decades at state universities and along the way was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1977. Most of my work was as an interim in the Diocese of Western New York. I have three grown children from a prior marriage and Alice and I have been married for going on 25 years. In 1995 we left Buffalo in our motor home with two Irish wolfhounds and three Maine coon cats and did volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity and U.S. Fish & Wildlife for the next eight years. By accident (or perhaps God's intervention) I ended up as Rector of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church Pagosa Springs, Colorado, until I reached mandatory retirement age; that gave me the chance to ride circuit in the Upper Rio Grande and be with St. Augustine's.

Rev. Ed Nettleton

Father Ed comes to us from Lake City once a month (twice a month in the summer). Father Ed is an engineer, pilot, woodworker and Episcopal priest. Ed and his wife Mary are both oblates of the Pecos Benedictine Monastery at Pecos, New Mexico and graduates of its school for Spiritual Directors. After many years in various sorts of ministry, most recently at St. James Episcopal Church in Taos, New Mexico, they felt called to "sing a new song unto the Lord" Pilgrim's Rest Ministries was begun in Lake City in June 1991.

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