Join Us for Worship
We know it can be hard to visit a new church.
But we are excited you are thinking of dropping by.
Below, we have tried to answer the most common questions that people have about the church on their first visit.
Location & Parking
Little Chapel is located at 69 County Road 5, Divide, Colorado 80814, just north of the intersection of Highways 24 & 67.
Our parking lot can be a bit confusing, since the lot directly in front of the church is handicap accessible parking. However, if you drive just past the church, there is a dirt driveway that goes up the hill behind the church and there is substantial parking available there. Additionally, you may park in the parking lot behind Venture Food, which is just across County Road 5 from the church.
Service & Worship
Our worship service begins at 10am. However, for those of you who do not enjoy engaging in the music portion of a service, the teaching begins around 10:25am.
On the other side of that, if you love arriving early and chatting with people, the coffee pots are full and hot by 9am and you can relax in the fellowship hall with coffee, sweets, and good conversation.
Dress Code: What's That?
For over 100 years, Little Chapel has believed in inviting people to "Come as You Are". From our origins as a church meeting in a saloon with kegs as chairs, we want you to come, no matter what your life circumstance is. In keeping with that, we want you to come in whatever clothes you are comfortable wearing, so long as you come clothed.
On any given Sunday, you will see people dressed in anything from a suit to camouflage. No matter what you are wearing, we'll accept you.
Children mean the world to us at Little Chapel and providing them with a safe, secure environment to explore the richness of God and their identity in Jesus Christ is our priority.
On Sundays, just before the teaching portion of the worship service begins, we pray over our children and release them to Kingdom Kids, our "Children's Church". There, with teachers Bianca and Deja, children can engage in age-appropriate teaching, activities, and prayer. On the first Sunday of each month, when we have communion as a church, the children come back out to join their parents. We understand that communion is a deeply important practice and we respect the authority of parents to determine what is best for their family in the matter of child participation.
On the first Sunday of the month (except for June & July), we have a community meal after the service. This is a time-honored tradition here and we love the opportunity to gather in the Fellowship Hall and share a meal as a church body. It is a wonderful time to get to know each other while enjoying some truly great cooking.
If you are thinking of visiting Little Chapel, we encourage you to join us for one of these meals.
History of Little Chapel, 100 years of "Come as You Are"
In 1905, Dr. Bonnell, an Episcopalian Priest, began traveling up Ute Pass to hold weekly services in Divide, bringing an end to eight long years of the railroad workers' longing for a place to worship. However, there wasn't exactly a "place" to worship. But, with three saloons in this little town, one of the saloons soon took up double duty as a Sunday meeting place for the congregation. Covering the bar with a blanket and rolling out the kegs for seats, the entire town would come to join in the "signin' 'n' preachin' at the saloon. Afterwards, Dr. Bonnell would play piano for dancing.
A church building fund was started from pennies donated by saloon keepers and gamblers and in 1906, general store owner, George W. Sadler, deeded land for the project. Sadler also donated most of the logs for the small church that was finally built in 1907.
The motto "Come as You Are" was adopted in 1919 to help welcome the workers from the lettuce and potato fields, who, upon hearing the church bell ringing, would lay down their tools and walk to the church.
As the Great Depression washed over the nation, and the world, not even the little church on the hill could escape the struggles, falling into abandonment from the mid 1930's through 1962, when Jack and Bev Elwell answered a calling on their hearts to restore the building. During the restoration period, 1963-1967, the people of Divide rallied to restore the building, donating tremendous amounts of work, materials, and decoration. It was in this process that the church received the name "Little Chapel of the Hills" at the suggestion of then Divide postmaster, Lorene Parmley.
With this rich history and 100 years of "Come As You Are", we feel truly blessed to carry the inheritance of so many people's hard work and dedication. And we hope you will join us in this story as we see what God has planned next.