Having been established 130 years ago, the Presbyterian Church of Delta has had a long and colorful history as it has experienced highs and lows not unlike the peaks and valleys of Western Colorado where it lives and serves. The church was started by eleven Delta residents under the auspices of the old Gunnison Presbytery on September 14, 1884. The first pastor was a spirited 28-year-old man, T. S. Day, who served both the First Presbyterian Church of Grand Junction and the Delta church for two years. He would preach in Grand Junction three Sundays per month and for the fourth Sunday, he would ride horseback forty miles – fording the Gunnison River several times – to bring God’s Word to the little Delta congregation. Within a year after its organization, the church built a small (600 square-foot) wood sanctuary at 4th and Meeker Streets.
Most of the church’s physical plant has been a familiar house of worship in the Delta community for over 100 years. This includes the present sanctuary completed in 1904, the Annex added in 1916 and Westminster Hall – a multi-purpose space – built in 1962.
The church has been led by 35 pastors during its existence. Some, like the founder, T. S. Day and later George Darley (1906-11), were pioneer preachers; others, like Howard Stanton (1945-49) and Jim Thompson (1978-82), were young men who brought innovation to the life of the church; and some, like Walter Schaffer (1968-73) and Bill Forbes (1997-2010), ended their pastoral service here having faithfully preached the Word. Throughout its life the church has offered meaningful worship services, exceptional choral and instrumental music; Bible-based Sunday school curricula; committed Women’s organizations; focused mission outreach and warm and fun fellowship (such as Mariners and supper clubs).
Contemporary culture and technology have taken a toll on this rich history by transforming the place of the church in community life. The work of the once strong Women’s Societies and devoted Deacons is now carried out by the Session teams. The Christian education system is in a rebuilding phase but retains its Christ-based message. The present congregation is small but committed. It is made up of individuals determined to live the Word through prayer and action, to care for one another, to welcome newcomers, and to serve the community and beyond.