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Among the chief attractions for Mennonite colonization and settlement in Colorado during the late 19th and early 20th centuries were its agricultural resources and inexpensive land.The wide arid eastern plains of the state were adapted for stock raising and the production of grain and feed crops.Colorado is one of only three American states with no natural borders, the others being neighboring Wyoming and Utah.The region that is now the State of Colorado has been inhabited by Native Americans for some 13,000 years, including Ancient Pueblo Peoples and members of the Ute, Arapaho, and Cheyenne nations.Officially established in 1910, the congregation dedicated a church building in 1912, and its membership grew under the pastoral leadership of H. The promising agricultural opportunities of Colorado led the Old Order Amish to establish three settlements in the state during 1909-10.These settlements were located near Matheson in Elbert County, Wild Horse in Cheyenne County, and Ordway in Crowley County.

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As the administrator of the Mennonite Sanitarium and later the Mennonite Hospital and Sanitarium (1916-1952) in La Junta, Allen H.

During the early 1900s the Holbrook Valley irrigation project was developed some 12 miles northeast of La Junta, the most populous city in Otero County, and Mennonite settlers under the leadership of John M. In 1920 the City of La Junta deeded the City Hospital along with other endowment properties to the Mennonite Hospital and Sanitarium Association, and the association contracted to administer the City Hospital.

In 1928 a new 70-bed Mennonite Hospital and Sanitarium was opened in La Junta, and sanitarium patients were moved from the old sanitarium to the new facility.

Other early Colorado MB congregations were established at Pueblo, Loveland, Johnstown, Keensburg, Denver, and Brighton, but all were small and were closed by 1950.

Agricultural opportunities attracted General Conference Mennonites (GCM) from South Dakota to Colorado’s Eastern Plains beginning ca. Although a Sunday school was established at Shelton, some 6-7 miles north-northwest of La Junta, in 1910, the only early Eastern Colorado settlement to have a congregation that would join the GCM’s Western District Conference was the New Friedensberg Mennonite Church in Kit Carson County, nine miles southeast of Vona. By 1954, the congregation’s membership had dwindled to 20, and the congregation stopped meeting together on several occasions during subsequent years, although it was represented regularly at the annual meetings of the Western District until 1969.

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