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ALL SAINTS EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Colorado City, Texas

July 1998

Anglican laymen, mostly English sheep ranchers desiring a means to express their faith with others, began to have services in 1882. After three years of worshiping on the prairie, the Rt. Rev. Alexander Charles Garrett, with robes billowing in a raging dust storm, laid the cornerstone for Grace Mission, now known as All Saints Episcopal Church.

The pioneer spirit of that time is still a dominating force in Mitchell County, of which Colorado City (long "a") is the county seat. Hard work, neighborly concern and support, forthrightness, humility, friendliness, and tradition are the characteristics that best describe the citizens of West Texas and our town of 4,749 people. We are blessed with a variety of ethnic groups and church denominations that work together in mutual respect for the betterment of our area.

The church and town are rich in history. The front doors to the lovely stucco building have no locks and the beautiful wood interior and stained glass windows invite worshippers and travelers alike to be still and experience God’s tranquility. Directly across the street is the Heart of West Texas Museum with exhibits that chronicle the lives and activities of our 110+ year old county.

Colorado City, located on I 20 and Highway 208, is at the crossroads of five major West Texas Cities, all of which are within a radius of 70 to 100 miles: San Angelo, Midland/Odessa, Lubbock, and Abilene. Three smaller cities, which are even closer, have institutions of higher learning that offer various programs including associate degrees: Sweetwater (28 miles) – Texas State Technical College; Snyder (23 miles) – Western Texas College; and Big Spring (40 miles) – Howard College. The Wallace Center, formerly a school in Colorado City, is now used for senior adult activities and continuing education classes.

The backbone of our community has always been agriculture, both farming and ranching, and an active mineral industry. The resourcefulness that these vocations require is a major factor in the strength of our citizens. It is also one of the main reasons that we are constantly reminded to "praise God from Whom all blessings flow".

Our location, interesting history, and two lakes (one of which has a state park), draw many tourists. Crafts and antique shops, fairs, restaurants, hunting, golfing, and competitions also bring visitors to the area. The recently expanded Ruddick Park with its swimming pool, baseball fields, picnic tables, walking paths, camping facilities, amphitheater, Lone Wolf Creek, and large shade trees is a year-round favorite. An outdoor arena, Ag barn, jet airstrip, and the historic Colorado City Opera House are other locations where community activities are held.

Two fairly recent additions to our town are the Wallace prison unit and the Ware state jail. These have provided a large number of jobs, and the work crews have made a very positive difference by doing numerous beautification projects for which all of us are grateful.

We are a people who have a high regard for families. We have a solid educational system, encourage and support many youth activities, and are proud of our modern, well-equipped library. The weekly newspaper, public access channel, and local radio station keep the citizens of Mitchell County well informed. The Chamber of Commerce, service organizations, and churches are very active. Christmas in April has been quite effective and has made a noticeable difference. Colorado City, like most small towns, has had difficult times, but certainly we are experiencing economic growth and renewed enthusiasm.

The congregation at All Saint’s, truly a church family, has many strengths. The lay leadership is exceptional, and the choir, altar guild, and ladies auxiliary have been significant assets for many years. The churchwomen have been financially generous to several community philanthropic endeavors; their goal is to extend these efforts to one or more programs, which allow for more "hands-on" participation. A Christian education/acolyte class is scheduled to begin this fall. As we enter the next century, our members have the desire to keep our church and Anglican faith strong and to be an important Christian influence in our community.