In 1874 a petition for worship was made to Bishop John Franklin Spaulding, the first Bishop of Colorado, for a congregation to serve the Highlands neighborhood of Northwest Denver. Lay lead worship began on March 3, 1876 and continued under the guidance of St. John in the Wilderness Cathedral until 1881. During the 1880s the developing congregation moved from its original location in an old school house at 15th & Central to the current site at 32nd & Wyandot.
The church building was completed in 1890. This congregation was named All Saints and became a parish in 1889. In 1892, All Saints called the Rev. Frederick W. Oakes as Rector. Fr. Oakes provided vision and leadership for the new congregation by helping to pay off its building loan, as well as to provide oversight for the installation of a Farrand and Votey pipe organ later that year.
In 1897, Fr Oakes left All Saints to establish a tuberculosis sanatorium a few blocks west. It was only the second such facility in the country at that time. In 1903 a small church was built at the sanatorium along with the other facilities for rehabilitation. That church was named the Chapel of Our Merciful Savior. By the 1940’s the need for such a facility had diminished greatly resulting in the sale of the property by the diocese.
A portion of the proceeds from that sale were set aside by request of Fr. Oakes to fund a long anticipated move by the congregation at All Saints. And in 1961 the congregation moved into its new facility at Yates & 37th Avenue. The historic 1890 building was renamed in memory of Fr. Oakes as the Chapel of Our Merciful Savior. A few members of the founding congregation continued to worship at the Chapel until 1999 when the property was returned to the diocese.
Today the facilities are shared by the mission congregation and a neighborhood community center. The congregation, Our Merciful Savior Episcopal Church, was established a mere 99 years after its namesake was begun. Worship is provided in Spanish and English. The community center operates as the 32nd Avenue Jubilee Center and received status as a national Jubilee Ministry in October 2001. Oversight for the church facilities, the new congregation and the jubilee center are provided by Our Merciful Savior Ministries which has been established as a Colorado nonprofit corporation and as an institution of the Episcopal Church.
The church was designed by Colorado architect James Murdoch. The exterior of the structure is characterized by its dramatic steeple, a grand rose stained glass window and circular stone arches. Its interior is characterized by a masculine hammerbeam ceiling.