Pine Ridge Ministries
At Pine Ridge Ministries, you will find a community where the joy of the Lord abounds, and where you are taken in as a member of God's beloved family and a member of our loving family. And where we aim to keep things simple. We believe whole heartedly that a church does not need to be the reason that individuals or families are overly committed and so busy that they are unable to connect with God and with one another. “It’s Simple! Love. Serve. Grow.”
We currently worship together at Pine Ridge Community Church on the first and third Sunday of each month, celebrating the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper on the first Sunday. Our worship music reflects our love for Jesus and a fondness for country gospel. On the other Sundays of the month, you might find us worshiping in the beauty of God's creation, gathering in homes for study and fellowship, or meeting the practical needs of our community. In doing so, it is our prayer that we enable and encourage meaningful relationships with neighbor and with Almighty God.
Pine Ridge Ministries began in such a way that God’s activity in rural, Crook County Wyoming was clearly visible. For years, Pastor Shayla Graham had been waiting and praying for God to reveal the ways in which the rural community could be brought together, particularly in bonds of faith. There never seemed to be any real vision or clarity, until one particular night the Pine Ridge Community Church board decided that they would like to have consistent worship services at the church. Through the guiding hand of God, they invited Pastor Shayla to lead a Christian worship service once per month at the church.
On Father’s Day 2016, the rural community began gathering together. Worship services were hosted on the third Sunday of each month with a distinctly country flair. The initial response was so overwhelmingly positive that it did not take long to enter into more intentional discernment. By January 2017, a meeting was held and a discernment team was formed.
The initial meeting generated discussion around creating Christ-centered community that was simple, yet meaningful. After several months of getting in tune with God (and God's will) through Bible study, getting to know one another, and getting to know the community around them, the discernment team developed a mission statement: "Pine Ridge Ministries is a simple community of faith learning to love and serve God and neighbor while growing together, through the Holy Spirit, as one body of Christ." It is affectionately summarized as “It’s Simple! Love. Serve. Grow.”
We interpret our statement in terms of relationship to God, relationship to the Body of Christ, and relationship to the world around us. We have chosen our name as a way to declare our connection to Pine Ridge Community Church but with our own identity to remind us that we are God's witness in our wider rural community and beyond. Pine Ridge Ministries operates as a New Worshiping Community within the Presbytery of Wyoming - PC(USA). We are eternally grateful for our ongoing and separate partnerships with the Pine Ridge Community Church and the Presbytery of Wyoming that allow us to freely share the love of Christ in our community and beyond.
Pine Ridge Community Church
Pine Ridge Community Church is nestled in the pine tree covered canyon off of US Highway 14 near Carlile, Wyoming. It is nearly halfway between Moorcroft, Wyoming and nearby Devils Tower National Monument. With the always green pines and rugged wall rock as a background, it commands the attention of passers by. Its charm has been captured in many a photograph and many a painting. The Spirit of the Lord has been encountered by those who have worshiped there, attended vacation Bible school, been married there, or even simply stopped to check out the charmingly rustic building or grounds.
In 1934, the Carlile area community came together with a dream to build a house of worship. In the spirit of hard work, unity, and faith they set out to build this charming little community church. With the donation of land, materials, much time and labor, they began their work on October 1, 1934. The first worship service was held on March 24, 1935 and as noted in the "history and memories," the community could now sing, "There's a little White Church in the Vale."
As its name implies, it is a community church. The church building does not belong to any denomination or specific group of people. The church is owned simply by the community. It is governed by the Pine Ridge Community Church board - community members who are elected by other community members to tend to all things regarding the building and grounds.
A spirit of hard work and commitment continues to be the driving force for maintaining and improving the property. Often, there is evidence of work done on or around the building with no real awareness of who is responsible. Many individuals and community groups contribute to the care of the grounds.
The history of Pine Ridge Community Church as a community church is rich and detailed. Please do stop by at any time to admire the beauty and the charm of Pine Ridge and to encounter the presence of the Living God!