Reverend Carl Walker | Retired July 13, 2008

Pastor Walker served Mt. of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church starting April of 1993 and retired in July of 2008.  Prior to coming to Vail he served congregations in Lakewood and Wheat Ridge, Colorado.  Pastor Walker’s interests include just about anything that can be done in God’s great outdoors including skiing, hiking, flyfishing, biking and nature study.  He and his wife, Ruth, have two married children and two grandchildren.  Pastor Walker is a graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary (M.Div. and S.T.M.) and Christ Seminary (D.Min.).

Reverend Don Simonton

In the summer of 1967, Rev. Don Simonton was called by Board of American Missions to develop an experimental ministryh to the newly-created resort of Vail, to be located in the resort with possible outreach to the surrounding area.  Pastor Don was instrumental in developing the “Interfaith” concept which allowed different denominations and faiths to use the same worship area.  An avid outdoorsman and storyteller, Pastor Don fit perfectly into the Vail lifestyle and helped shaped the ministry of this area into what it is today.  The interfaith community and the Town of Vail will always be indebted to Pastor Don and his family for their contribution to this valley.  Pastor Don is retired and lives with his wife, June, in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Simonton Stories

Our founding Pastor Don Simonton detailing the history of Vail, Beaver Creek, and Mount of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church.

Simonton Holy Cross from Tom Owens on Vimeo.


Summer 1967

Rev. Don Simonton called by Board of American Missions to develop an experimental ministry to the newly-created resort of Vail, to be located in the resort with possible outreach to the surrounding area.

Fall 1967

Sunday morning services began for the community; early morning service for skiers (in the village)… evening service in Gypsum.

Winter 1967-68

Skiers services on the mountain began in Lent 1968 Sunday church school begun Sunday Evening at Donovan (adult education group).


High Country Lutheran Parish (Vail, Gypsum, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Snowmass Village) organized —  coordinated ministry, shared resources.

Nov. 1969

Vail Chapel built and services began there.

1970s (early)

Worker-priest intern program through Christian Ministry in National Parks began in Vail-Gypsum where the popular weekday church school program church plays leading role in community development (TOV goal-setting, historical society for county and Vail, Colorado Ski Museum, BMHS resort curriculum and bilingual programs, Eagle River Scholarships, Soil Conservation District, Eagle-Piney diversion fight).


High Country Parish dissolved, Gypsum elects to unite with Glenwood Springs for ministry Mount of the Holy Cross Church organized, to focus on Vail and Beaver Creek Partnersh (second homeowners, frequent visitors, etc.) developed.

1970fs (late)

Community worship, education programs developed, monthly Family Night (pot-luck) Fellowshipsalso resort programs like Mountaintop Services, interpretive programs for Vail Associates (reimbursed time)marriage ministries, family ministries (baptism, 1st communion, confirmation), counseling ministries reach both members and community (become major factor in congregational growth)congregation becomes self-supporting.


Initial services (on the mountain) in Beaver Creek conducted by laypersons discussions with Synod and Mission Board about additional staff, preliminary plans frustrated by housing costs.

Fall 1982

Rev. George Lund hired on weekend basis to help with services in Vail and to enable us to resume services in Gypsum (inactive for several years).

Spring 1985

Rev. Jack Schmidt called part-time assistant pastor primary responsibilities and residence in Lower Eagle Valley.

Winter 1986-87

Rev. Jim Berggren called as full-time assistant pastor primary responsibilities and residence in Lower Eagle Valley, some pastoral responsibilities also in Vail and Beaver Creek.

Fall 1988

Beaver Creek Chapel built and services begun there.

Fall 1991

Rev. Jeff Hanson called as assistant pastor.

March 1993

Pastor and Ruth Walker called to the congregation and accepted.


Blake Christiansen hired as part-time Youth Minister.

Sept. 1998

Kim Law hired as a full-time Parish Administrator.

June 2000

Erik Williams hired as full-time Youth Minister.

July 2008

Pastor Carl Walker retired from Mount of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church

Pastor Mark Huggenvik accepts the position as Interim Pastor while Call Committee works to find permanent Pastor.

February 2009

Reverend Dr. Scott Beebe accepts the call to serve at Mount of the Holy Cross.

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