About Campion Church
In 1881, W.A. Hankins took up a homestead three miles south of Loveland. Not long after, he learned from two new Seventh-day Adventist families in the Berthoud area about the Sabbath. After some Bible studies, and a series of tent meetings held in Loveland in 1884, both of the Hankins accepted Adventism.
In 1904 Mr. Hankins gave 20 acres of his homestead next to the railroad tracks for the building of a school; the train could bring students right to the campus. This school, Eastern Colorado Academy, opened in 1907, and the church members started meeting in the school’s chapel as soon as it was built. In 1914 the school was renamed Campion Academy and the church became the Campion Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the academy administration building in 1919; Hankins Hall was built to replace it, and the church again met in the chapel. Unluckily for any late comer, the entrance was at the front. And of course, there were the trains. The wise preachers waited until the train passed.
When the current academy gym was built in the early 1950’s, the church began to meet there during the school year. But it was hard to have worship in the same place there would be a basketball game a few hours later. So, the members began to dream of a permanent church.
In the late 1940’s, F.A. Page had built a small wooden church bank, and over $2000 had been collected. But when a new building was needed for HMS Richards School, the money went there. The church was again supporting Christian education.
Up through this time, the Academy principal or a Bible teacher served as the pastor. Finally in 1960 the conference first appointed a pastor, O.L. McLean. He initiated the plans to build a separate church building, and his successor, Pastor James Mead, continued pushing toward this goal, and on March 24, 1966, ground was broken for the church building. But not everything ran smoothly. One Sabbath afternoon there was a strong wind and the newly erected trusses blew down like dominoes. Nevertheless, work continued and construction was soon back on schedule. The next pastor, Arnold Scherencel, saw the building through to completion, and the first service was held in the new church; it has been reported that there was a packed house attendance; Theodore Carcich from the General Conference was the guest speaker.
The formal dedication did not come until December 9, 1972. Lloyd Austin was pastor and HMS Richards, the speaker for the Voice of Prophecy and a graduate of Campion Academy, came as the honored guest speaker.
Since that time the church has had six different pastors: Richard Warner, Ted Bartter, Al Williams, Eric Nelson, Barry Taylor, and J. Harold Alomia, and Micheal Goetz, with Nestor Soriano and Michael Morss as associates, followed by Michael Taylor, and Leandro Bizama.
At a June 16, 2016, church business meeting, it was voted to begin a 12,000 square-foot, $2,000,000 addition and seven renovations to the existing church building. The addition included new children’s class rooms, administrative offices, a library/conference center, and a multi-use Community Center. The outside work was finished in October of 2020, and the inside completed in July of 2021. A Celebration of Opening was held in August, but renovations continued into 2022.
The story of the Campion Seventh-day Adventist Church, which continues, has been one of hard work, great faith, dedication to Christian education, and a strong desire to witness for our Lord.
By Mary Hedger with additions by Ardis Stenbakken