They all walked into a bar!
Maybe that is getting ahead of ourselves a bit. We are a bit of an odd duck. We are a church that owns no properties and meets in bars to talk faith, support one another, and to be the hands of Jesus in a very tangible way, making lunches for Denver’s unhoused.
How did we get here?!
Our founder, Rev. Jerry Herships, originally a comedian and bartender, was drawn into ministry after feeling that the connections he made with his customers at the bar were often more real and deeper than anything he’d experienced in a church.
Jerry decided the church and the bar could each learn a lot from one another so he decided to bring these worlds together.
In 2009, while an Associate Pastor at Saint Andrew’s UMC in Highlands Ranch, CO Jerry was seeking a new way to help people be the church so he began inviting parishioners to join him in distributing sack lunches to the homeless. This ministry eventually became the driving purpose behind the AfterHours Community’s gathering.
Jerry has written two books the tell about his unique journey to starting these ministries. You can find them using these links.
Last Call: From Serving Drinks to Serving Jesus https://amzn.to/3wab0Ot
Rogue Saints: Spirituality for Good-Hearted Heathens https://amzn.to/366oFLP
Under our founder’s leadership we did incredible amounts of good, not only with daily lunch service in Civic Center Park for over ten years but also adding our Free Christmas Market (Christmas in the Park) and our Thanksgiving Thermals give away (Thankful for Long Johns).
July 1, 2019 brought a big change to AfterHours, our first change of pastor and director. That person was Rev. Dr. Tyler Kaufmann. In need of a break from traditional church setting Tyler moved to Colorado intending to manage a coffee shop awhile holding small group faith studies in bars and coffee shops. He let leaders of the Mountain Sky Conference of the United Methodist Church know his plans and was eventually invited to become AfterHours’ next leader.
Here’s a clip of Tyler and Jim Francis discussing AfterHours with Gina on Mile High Living. https://youtu.be/71ves-9O2QM
During his time with us the COVID-19 pandemic hit and threatened our existence. Tyler led the AfterHours Leadership Team and Community in our first live virtual fundraiser (Christmas Shindig), as well as in reinventing our lunch making, Thankful for Long Johns event, and Christmas in the Park Free Market for those in need.
Now in our twelfth year, the AfterHours Crew is looking forward to what lies ahead with our New Director Logan Robertson. Logan has a great deal of experience and connections with Denver’s unhoused and impoverished population. You can read more about him on the Our Director page.