1280 Vine Street
Sat 10AM–4PM, Sun 11AM–4PM
Year Built: 1891
Photo Restrictions: No
Structure & Significance
St. Barnabas parish has deep roots in Denver. It began 125 years ago as Christ Church Mission, meeting in a rented store at Colfax Avenue and Josephine Street. In 1891, four lots on the southeast side of East 13th Avenue and Vine Street were donated by the real estate firm of Wyman and Raymond. A small chapel was built there, and the first services were held on September 7, 1891. With the appointment of its first rector, Charles H. Marshall, Christ Church changed its name to St. Barnabas, who exemplifies the spirit of our church: welcoming, friendly, generous and thoughtful.
In 1897, the chapel building was enlarged, and the Parish House (now the sanctuary) was constructed. The garden was created, and the elm tree, still thriving today at the corner of the property, was given to the church as a gift by Theordore Holland, a long-time parishioner.
The subsequent growth of the building reflected the vibrant life of the St. Barnabas community. Under the second rector, Charles H. Brady, the parish house was enlarged, and the stable-then-garage property to the south was purchased to make room for the construction of Marshall House. The fireplace in Marshall House was a gift from Rev. Brady, in memory of his son John, who was lost in WWII. The congregation banded together to build Marshall House in 1951. In 1953, under their third rector, Alexander Luken, the second floor of Marshall House was completed. It was for Rev. Lukens that Lukens Wing was dedicated, upon his retirement in 1969. In 1989, after a roof beam crashed to the sanctuary floor during a weekday evening service, members of the parish rallied and rebuilt and modernized the sanctuary. Commitments were made against all odds to stay together as a church and renovate the sanctuary rather than close the parish.
In 2003, the church worked with the State Historical Fund and Hoehn Architects to undertake a Historic Structures Assessment of the building. In 1994, based on the results of the Historic Structures Assessment, the congregation of St Barnabas applied for, and received, a State Historical Fund grant to rehabilitate the brickwork, woodwork, and windows of the 1891 Chapel and 1897 Parish House. These projects required extensive emotional and financial commitments, and the parish rose to the occasion.
In 2015 St Barnabas embarked on a journey to renew their buildings. They've remodeled their parish hall including classrooms, office, workspace, and kitchen. They've also opened the space between their Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall to accommodate a growing congregation. Following a successful capital campaign, architects Anderson-Halles were chosen and hired, and the congregation moved temporarily to Warren United Methodist Church at the corner of 14th and Gilpin. This time of pilgrimage granted the parish time and space to renew their legacy, both in the space our ministries call home and in their commitment to who they are as a community called to faithful service in Christ's name. They celebrated the return to their iconic building at 13th and Vine St. on November 13, 2016.
In addition to welcoming all to their community, St. Barnabas is dedicated to fulfilling the directive to feed the multitudes with loaves and fishes. The small church community has accomplished great things, from starting Sewall House in 1944 to serve those impacted by polio, cerebral palsy, and other physical disabilities; to opening their kitchen to Project Angel Heart, a program which delivers home-cooked meals to people living with HIV/AIDS; a cooking soup-group to help support St. George's Clinic in Baghdad; and serving as a shelter for the Women's Homeless Initiative. Courtesy of current and previous congregation members.
St. Barnabas is part of the East Cheeseman Park neighborhood.