History Of The Wesleyan Church
The Wesleyan Church is a Protestant, evangelical, holiness denomination with a rich heritage. We see it as our special mission to emphasize the message of "full salvation from all sin." We teach that a victorious Christian life is possible for all believers through the experience of both forgiveness of sins and the fullness of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
A Condensed History of Legacy Wesleyan Church
Legacy’s beginnings were as a mission work. The People’s Mission Church was the first incarnation of this work and was founded in 1904. Sometime between 1917 and 1923 People’s Mission Churches were absorbed into the Pilgrim Holiness denomination and The Church was called The Pilgrim Holiness Church. In an as yet untraceable date somewhere in the 1930’s from what we can tell it became “First Pilgrim Holiness Church.” The Church was located on south Cascade just south of Colorado Avenue and then moved around the corner just west of Cascade on Colorado Avenue. Finally, the property on north Walnut was purchased and the location of the church was set in it’s present location, with the church building sitting where the current education wing and part of the front church yard are. With the merging of the Wesleyan Methodist Church and the Pilgrim Holiness denominations in 1968 the newly birthed denomination was dubbed the Wesleyan Church, resulting in the name “First Wesleyan Church.” As you will note by the cornerstone on the current sanctuary building, it was built a few short years before the merger. In the early 2000’s the name “Westside First Wesleyan Church” was adopted and nearly a year and a half ago the church body voted into existence the current identity of the church, “Legacy Wesleyan Church.”
While the original church was a mission work, the history of the church has taken it through times of growth and of receding membership. In the early and mid-sixties, the presence of the district campgrounds and a Pilgrim Holiness college in close proximity resulted in a sizeable membership of professors, district officials and bible college students here. Reports say the church was running about 250 in that period. The merger changed the complexion of the community with the college and campground eventually closing and the following years saw a resulting decline in attendance. As in any church’s life there is an ebb and flow and the last sizeable downward fluctuation was in the early 2000’s. While there had been an impetus for a missional return to the founding mission in Colorado Springs, God’s timing has allowed it to take on a new life in the last few years, with the opening of the food pantry and the networking with other groups to reach the least and the lost in our area. In past years the target was set to be “Changing our world, one life at a time.” In an attempt to refine the vision and personality of the church, a statement was later adopted for our bulletins and promotional literature that read “REAL People, Serving a REAL God, Trying to make a REAL Difference.” While it personified who we were, who we were striving to be, and what we were attempting to do, the statement never really gained wide acceptance and ownership evidenced in the fact that most members could not even tell you what it was when asked. Striving to help us all find our identity as the church God has desired His church to be, the rebranding took place in January of 2015 with the naming of the church as “Legacy Wesleyan Church.” The word “Legacy” points to the fact that this is a church that has great history and heritage, but also that we desire to make a difference in our world that will leave behind a continuing legacy of God’s people loving the people who need Jesus toward Him, meeting spiritual and physical needs as the embodiment of God’s love. In an effort to further identify the food pantry ministry with the church, it operates as a ministry of and eliminate confusion of being connected with some other entities in the city, Westside Food Pantry recently rebranded to “Legacy Food Pantry.” Expanding our outreach to more than only those who are marginalized economically in our area, but wanting to reach families in the area of all backgrounds who need Jesus, we are partnering not only with ministries like “Sock it Too ‘Em” and “More than a Meal,” but also with the local Elementary School to provide physical services and Christian education, as well as our continuing relationship with recovery group ministries. The Wesleyan Church has a mission to reach the least and the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ; to be His hands and feet into this world to accomplish the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment and Legacy’s heart is to pursue our place in that mission in our sphere of influence through Evangelizing the lost, Discipling believers, Equipping the church body, and Ministering to those around us, corporately and individually. Our hope is that all will experience the Love of God, the Restoration of broken lives, Forgiveness of sins, the Inheritance of Eternal Life, and have the opportunity to become all that God designed and purposed for them to be.
Welcome to Legacy Wesleyan Church! We are glad you are part of us. We are glad you are family!
Where We Came From
The name "Wesleyan" is in honor of John Wesley, a priest in the Church of England who became the inspiration behind the Methodist movement. It was their disciplined routine (or method) of spiritual devotion and social work that earned Wesley and a few of his friends in ministry the nickname "Methodists" beginning in 1735. The name stuck later to the unique new organizational structure Wesley designed to provide prayer and spiritual care for tens of thousands of converts who found Christ through his work.
Wesley was an outstanding scholar, yet regarded himself as "a man of one Book" the Bible. It was while studying the Bible that he received assurance of his own salvation through faith. It was the Bible which motivated his vision for offering Christ to the common people of England in a way that led to that nation's greatest spiritual revival. It was biblical truth that inspired Wesley to develop a school for orphans, job programs and medical assistance for the poor, efforts to reform inhumane prisons, and arguments for the abolition of slavery, a great evil of his time. Confidence in the Bible as "the only and sufficient rule for Christian faith and practice" (to use Wesley's own words) is still a hallmark of The Wesleyan Church today.
Although we respect his example, John Wesley is not the person Wesleyan worship. "A Methodist," he said, "is . . . one who loves the Lord his God with all his heart, with all his soul, with all his mind, and with all his strength." In fact, "perfect love" for God and for other people is the priority goal for Christian disciples emphasized in our churches.
The first Methodists came to America in 1766 and organized the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1784. In 1843 a group of pastors and local churches left that denomination because of their strong antislavery convictions and their preference for a more democratic form of church government. They adopted the name of the Wesleyan Methodist Connection, later changed to The Wesleyan Methodist Church in America. A number of smaller groups of churches merged with them over time, especially between 1948 and 1966, including the Alliance of Reformed Baptists of Canada.
During the late 1800s, a widespread emphasis on the teaching of holiness swept across various denominations in America. This resulted in the formation of holiness unions (groups of people interested in encouraging this teaching in their own denominations), rescue missions, camp meeting associations, and new congregations. Mergers among many of these groups from 1882 on eventually resulted in the organization of the Pilgrim Holiness Church in 1922.
In 1968 The Wesleyan Church was created when The Wesleyan Methodist Church in America and the Pilgrim Holiness Church united in order to serve Christ more effectively together. As part of its historic past, The Wesleyan Church celebrates the involvement of its early leaders in the first ordination of women for Christian ministry in 1843. It was also the first denomination ever to adopt a formal statement of faith in "entire sanctification," God's work of making believers pure in heart, holy character, and empowered with the Spirit of Jesus witness and service.