Orchard Church helps unchurched and dechurched people find and follow Jesus
Former Converge Content Specialist
Denver is one of the most unchurched metropolitan areas in America. It’s also one of the country’s fastest-growing cities. And Brighton, a 30-minute drive north of Denver and home to Orchard Church, is the fastest-growing community in the Denver metro area.
Doug Dameron, Orchard’s lead and founding pastor, estimates that about 60,000 unchurched people live within a five-minute drive of the church’s main location.
“It’s a huge mission field,” he said. “We feel like to who much is given much is required.
“Our target is unchurched and dechurched people,” said Dameron, who started planting Orchard in 2005. The church held its first service on Easter 2006.
“We make no apologies about that. We love it when church people find us and want to be on mission with us. But, if they want to just kind of take up a seat and don’t want to get involved in our mission or serve, we’d rather free that seat up for someone who needs Christ.
“We have to stay focused on our mission, which is being people helping people find and follow Jesus. We program everything that we do around that. It’s all about reaching that unchurched or dechurched person.”
Orchard’s sharp focus is bearing fruit. Although the church’s attendance is about 53% of what it was pre-COVID, which is a little better than the national average for a church of its size, salvations and baptisms have stayed really strong, Dameron said.
During Orchard’s most recent Baptism Weekend, which the church holds about four times a year, it baptized 75 people (73 at its Brighton location and two at its Latino location). In 2021, this Converge Rocky Mountain congregation has baptized 136 people. And in person or online, 693 people have said “yes” to Jesus.
“God just put in my heart from the very beginning to give the gospel with an invitation to respond every single service every week,” Dameron said. “And I can’t tell you the last time in years and years and years we haven’t had multiple people accept Christ in every service every week. So no matter what we're talking about, I always appeal to the unsaved person to make a decision.”
Now that officials have lifted COVID-19 restrictions, Dameron is excited about this new season of ministry.
“We’re relaunching the church 16 years later,” he said. “It’s just this time we get to launch with 1600 people instead of four people, and we have a nice facility in a great area that’s growing.”
By partnering with Converge, Dameron and Orchard have seen the power of being connected to something bigger than themselves.
“One of our values is we’re about building his kingdom, not our kingdom,” he said. “Being part of Converge is an opportunity for us to display that value. And I do believe we’re better together. There’s synergy in bringing our efforts together.”
Michael Smith, Former Converge Content Specialist
Michael Smith served as a content specialist for Converge from 2018-2021.Additional articles by Michael Smith