Our History and Mission

The beginning of Mountain States Children's Home takes us back to 1960 when a group of men were led to start an incredible journey.  As with most great endeavours, when traced back to the very beginning, Mountain States Children’s Home began as a dream, nurtured initially by one individual. Elmer L. Richards, served as an Elder of the West Cedar Church of Christ which was a small congregation in Denver, of modest means, but devout in its service to the Lord.

It had been Elmer Richards responsibility as an Elder to work with the wayward youth. After taking children to other children's homes in other states, Elmer Richards presented a dream to the other Elders of establishing a Colorado Children's Home. There was an urgent need to serve the communities children with a goal of reuniting families in peace. From the planting of that small "mustard seed", a plan began to grow. The Elders; Bernard A. Byerley, James R. Harris, John C. Lewis, Elmer R. Richards, and James H. Sims, Sr. accepted this bold idea, taking on the challenge with a strong commitment to help children.

In October 1960 a delegation from the West Cedar congregation attended a Christian Child Care Conference in Lubbock, TX to research the possibilities and the hurdles of creating a home for children. Armed with new enthusiasm, the group returned to Denver to determine where they would plant the seed by purchasing land. A key requirement was established that the children's home be located away from urban Denver, in a rural environment with room for expansion. They found a 155 acre farm for sale north of Longmont that would fit their requirements. The existing farm house was initially the only house on the property to shelter children but would also become the front office, storage area for food and clothing, and the superintendent's home to perform administrative duties. Louis A. Nowlin was the minister at West Cedar but was selected as the first superintendent.

On Saturday, December 17th, 1960, the trustees of Mountain States Children's Home signed the final papers taking possession with a new beginning to a great work for the Lord.

The initial purchase was funded by selling bonds and second mortgages being taken on homes of the founders. Today, through the commitment of those visionaries, all the donors, many volunteers, the multiple staffs, and board members over the years, the property and all of the buildings are owned free and clear.


From this seedling that began as a vision, Mountain States Children’s Home has grown in the programs offered, the buildings built, the consistent focus on the Godly mission of caring for children and the success of many children through the years.


aerial photo