In the mid-1930’s, a fledgling church with a small group of determined believers began meeting. They called themselves Barnum Baptist Church and adopted humble surroundings in a little garage with a dirt floor and no windows. In 1945, the church incorporated as Westwood First Baptist Church at Lowell and Morrison Road in a storefront. Reverend J. C. Nichols was followed by Franz McKnight as pastor. In 1952, Cliff Morton came to pastor the church, and in 1958 a piece of property on the corner of Sheridan Boulevard and Kentucky Street became the new home of South Sheridan Baptist Church.
Due to health reasons, Pastor Morton resigned from the pulpit later in 1959, and Ed Nelson was called as the senior pastor. Dr. Nelson began his pastoral ministry May 29, 1960. The church grew rapidly under Dr. Nelson’s leadership, and a campus was soon built with a Christian school. Attendance swelled to over 1,000 in the 1980s as Dr. Nelson preached God’s Word faithfully.
May 20, 1990 marked Dr. Nelson’s last Sunday as senior pastor. Dr. Les Heinze began his ministry as senior pastor after serving on staff for six years. Pastor Heinze led the church to relocate west to the current facility on Morrison Road. The church broke ground July 10, 2005 and had the opening service on March 25, 2007. The church has grown as the area around the current facility has been built, using Christmas and Easter services, a summer soccer league and Trunk or Treat events to minister to the community. Red Rocks Christian Preschool began in 2007 and meets the educational needs of 55-65 families each school year.
Pastor Heinze continues to lead the church to fulfill the mission “Know Christ and Make Him Known.” His vision is for the church to reach the surrounding community for Jesus, sharing the gospel with those who do not know Jesus while training men and women to be committed followers of Jesus Christ.
The Lord has been good to Red Rocks Baptist Church, and the church moves forward with hope and confidence that God will continue to work in and through the church.