Northwest Friends Church History

When First Denver Friends grew in numbers, there was a sense that they needed to start planting new works in the Denver area. Five families were commissioned from the Denver Meeting to start a work in the Arvada area. In September 1977, Northwest Friends Fellowship started meeting. Among the first families that met to worship together were the Bousman family, the Brawner family, the Street family, the Keith Hinshaw family and the Ruby family. In the beginning, only Sunday morning worship services and Sunday school were held, while continuing to meet for youth groups and evening worship service with First Denver Friends. Hackberry Hill Elementary school, 7300 W. 76th Ave.in Arvada was rented for $25.00 per week using the schoolʼs gym, lunchroom and adjoining hallways.

In the summer of 1979, a church building in the Arvada area became available; and we were very thankful for Godʼs provision. The building located at 9889 W. 66th Ave. was purchased and services were begun in September of that year.

The first pastors of Northwest Friends were Tom and Lynnette Bousman who were one of the original commissioned families from the Denver church. Tom conducted services as a “tent-making minister” holding a full time job while serving as minister for our church. They did not take a salary from the church. We were blessed by Tomʼs pulpit ministry.

In 1984 Bill and Faye Pruitt answered the call to minister at NFC beginning in January, 1985. Many in the congregation helped renovate the parsonage, which up to that time had been rented out. Billʼs small salary was supplemented by trying many types of part-time jobs. The Pruittʼs ministry was enhanced by their wonderful musical abilities.

NFC quickly realized that we would need a bigger facility for future growth. During the time that Bill Pruitt was pastor, we started a formal building fund. The fund began growing and the church began dreaming about a new building. At the same time, Willard and Doris Ferguson were missionaries in Rwanda, Africa. Their work there began growing, also. A plea was sent out to the Friends churches in America to help them build churches in Rwanda. They asked churches here to sponsor a “sister” church. Northwest Friends decided to sponsor a church on faith, believing that God would send the money back, multiplied. The church sent their money from the building fund to Africa to sponsor a new church. God truly did send the money back in waves and the building fund grew again.

A meeting that had been meeting in the Henderson area joined with NFC in 1985. They were known as “Peace Meeting of Friends”.

Our next ministers were Wayne and Rachel Hickman. During their time at NFC we embarked on remodeling the original basement in order to provide better Sunday School space. We learned much from them about taking care of special needs children. They had a deaf child and Rachel had been a teacher of the deaf in the past.

When the Hickmanʼs felt a call to move to Tennessee, we were blessed to be able to bring Lloyd Hinshaw (Pastor Johnʼs father) out of retirement. He certainly made it possible for us to keep the doors open. He was a wonderful pastor and a father figure to many of us. He wanted very much for NFC to have a continued presence in Arvada. He kept telling us about his son, John Hinshaw who was a pastor in California. We were so fortunate to have him accept our invitation to become our pastor. Pastor John has provided strong spiritual leadership and as of this date (July 2013) he and his wife Vicki have been our wonderful pastors for 20 years.

During Pastor Johnʼs ministry, many new people have been added to the congregation including a group in Arvada that came from a church that had closed down. We thank God that all these people have come to worship here and have provided much leadership.

For many years after moving into the church building on 66th Ave., we had known that an expansion was needed. A task force was formed in 1996 and after much preparation and work a new addition was added to the church making it possible to serve a much larger congregation. The addition was completed in 2001. God richly blessed us with finances and workers to complete the job. He cares for us and the ministry at NFC. We give God the glory and look forward to the future of worship and adoration of our Lord Jesus.