Located in the heart of the Northern Front Range, Johnstown, Colorado rests in a scenic farm valley. It’s been referred to as a well-kept secret and It’s also been rated as one of the safest places to live in the country. Located at the crossroads just outside of Johnstown, Abundant Life Tabernacle, Pastored by Rev. Dieter and Kimberly Skowron, is a church whose vision is to be a light and sanctuary at the crossroads of society. “We hope to serve people at whatever stage of life they are currently in when they come to Abundant Life Tabernacle,” Said Bro. Skowron. “We try to be the kind of church described in the Bible – with practical teaching, heartfelt worship, authentic friendships, meaningful prayer, and genuine care for those in need. We want to be the church!”
Principles of Growth and Revival
Abundant Life has become a place where people can come for healing and to experience the mercy that only comes from God. All that are weary and heavy-laden are welcome. Pastor Dieter said, “If it were my church, I could decide who is welcome and who is not. But it is not my church. It’s God’s church and he has sent people from the North, South, East, and West to this small community in Johnstown. I learned quickly that I couldn’t really pastor people until I had been through the fire with them, until I buried their dead, prayed for them when they were sick and married off their babies. So that’s exactly what I did. I ministered to anyone that I could. I believe we need to follow the example of the apostles and preach Jesus. Im convinced that you have to love people and show them the love of Jesus. Don’t get ahead of them, love them through it. My “philosophy of ministry” is to Love God, love people and love truth. I love family and I strive to encourage healing in relationships, I feel like God has gifted me in that area. That’s a key component of revival and growth, when people know you truly care.”
Organization and management
With a variety of ministries at Abundant Life, Bro. Skowron feels that organization and proper management is key to having a healthy, thriving church. “I pray for each ministry,” said Bro. Skowron. “I try to use each individual within their skill and gifting. I personally ask each new member what their passion is and talk to them as they mature and tie them in accordingly through connecting them to ministries throughout the church.”
“As far as staff and ministry departments I meet with them as needed,” said Bro. Skowron. “I meet with the Pastoral Advisory Board weekly as well as the Sound and Video team. Other departments I meet with on a monthly and a three-month basis. Every leader has a job description so they know what is expected of them and we have quarterly planning with our leaders to help us to grow and excel in all that we do.”
Abundant Life was birthed in the spring of 1993 in a 40×60 tent on a piece of ground purchased by the Skowrons. “There were 20-30 people when we kicked off,” said Bro. Skowron. “Eventually I designed a building that was approximately 6,000 square ft. that served as our home and our church. We are now in a 15,000 sq. Ft. Facility that I designed and built myself. It’s a uniquely Colorado church, you definitely wouldn’t see this in most of the country. It has heavy timbers with a lodge feel and in our entryway we have a large fireplace that is always burning during our winter months.”
Abundant Life has added some new ministries along with their new facility explains Bro. Skowron. “Our new facility includes, Children and Youth Ministries: We have classes and activities designed specifically for varying age groups led by people with a passion to serve! As they grow in community, our goal is to teach young people and children more about the Bible and to bring them into a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. We also offer Specialized Groups and Classes: We hope to serve people at whatever stage of life they are currently in when they come to Abundant Life Tabernacle! Whether they are seeking something specifically for men, women, marriage counseling, singles ministry, divorce recovery, emotional or physical healing, or anything else, our desire is to help them! Last but certainly not least is Cafe 5450: Our soon-coming coffee shop will feature high-quality coffee that can be obtained at our donations-only on-site coffee counter. If you choose to stay awhile, we will have a cozy, inviting seating area to foster a sense of community and relaxation. It’s a place to pray, talk, study, and counsel.”
The current building is a miracle in itself and happened in a very unique way. “ We were growing tremendously and outgrowing our current facility so I was praying about a new facility,” explains Bro. Skowron. “Our church was not on the market, but Bro. Scott Guinn, a visiting minister relayed a story of a church that sold their building when it wasn’t even listed. So, I prayed, “Lord, we’ve been here 20 years and no one has ever said, “Sell me your building,” so, if you will send a buyer without it being on the market I will know it is your will. Monday morning my dad called and asked if I had listed the church because we had an offer on the building. From there I stepped out on faith, sold the building and started having church in a theatre in a high school and within a week found the land the Lord had shown me in a dream 5 years earlier. See, off and on I had looked for land for the past 5 years previous. But there was no land zoned correctly for a church anywhere in our area. But one day I started to drive around praying and under the leadership of the Holy Ghost, I drove along the highway and found a piece of land priced at $986,000 which was well above our budget, but I called the owner anyway. He met me and said, “We are looking for a flagship building for this area”. I made an offer of $300,000. He called back and said I will accept your offer if you build what you described. [our current facility design] Otherwise I will not take your offer. I bought the land and at the same time I needed additional funding because every bank turned us down. Right about then my phone rang and a wealthy friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in a while called asking me to build him a house. While we were going over the details of his home he asked about the church and I told him what they were requiring and he asked me if I had my drawings and my budget. I immediately ran to the truck and grabbed everything, brought it in and he flipped through to the last page and said “Go build your church.” He lent me 1.5 million dollars on a handshake. There are other countless miracles during construction that space will not allow to tell, but the scripture has been fulfilled “except the lord build the house” because He definitely built this one, its complete above my pay grade.”
Pastor Dieter and his family grew up in Northern Colorado. It was at a home in Loveland that 14 year-old Dieter’s father, Gus Skowron, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and their lives changed forever. In 1993, the Lord called Pastor Dieter back to Colorado after he had evangelized and started a small church in Chicago. Both of those experiences prepared and trained him to come back to the state he loved so much to begin a work. However, the bulk of his training came from what God had to teach him through life experience.
“I have been preaching the Word of God since I was a young man,” said Bro.Skowron.” In the beginning of my ministry I was an evangelist, preaching at various churches in states from Illinois and Colorado. I became a pastor in the late 1980’s. Preaching, teaching and leading people to God has been a passion of mine for many years. It all began when I was 21 years old. As a young man in a service one evening, a prophet called me out declaring my sinful condition. I was an arrogant young man and instead of humbling myself in the presence of a miracle I left church with a very bitter, rebellious attitude. As I left the church I remember grabbing my jaw as a pain hit me. What I thought at the time was an abscess tooth turned out to be cancer. Here I was, 21 years old, my own construction business, and a beautiful girlfriend, Kimberly Ann, whom I wanted to marry! I had dreams and plans and so much of life ahead of me, and suddenly God was taking that from me. I was angry, bitter, and overcome. My parents, Gus and Brigitte Skowron, did everything in their power to help defeat the cancer. They tried different treatments and going to different doctors and hospitals, but nothing worked! My journey led me to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. As I was walking through a park next to the hospital, God finally broke my will. I realized that God was trying to get my attention. I fell under a tree and repented before God, weeping for all of the things I had done; and when I got back to my hospital room, I called all the people I thought I may have wronged and apologized to them.
The night before I was to undergo a major surgery on my jaw, my father stayed in the room with me all night praying over me. The next morning, the doctors took one final X-Ray before going through with the treatment, but when the results came back it was not what they were expecting. “I can’t believe this,” a doctor exclaimed as he burst into my room. “The cancer is dying! The tumor is shrinking! I’ve heard of this phenomenon before but I have never seen it! It’s a miracle!” The Lord had completely healed me! Other doctors were skeptical. They thought they had better go through with the radiation therapy, just in case, to make sure all the cancer died. They went through with the radiation and, through some kind of error, the radiation destroyed part of the tissue in my jaw. As a result, I can only open my mouth a quarter of an inch, which often causes people to stare when I am eating in restaurants. Miraculously though, the Lord spared me from any speech impediment. When I preach, I cannot completely open my mouth, but to hear me, you would never know it. I came through the experience a very different person, changed and hungry for God.”
Along with his wife Kim, he began to walk through the doors the Lord was opening for him. He traveled around the country evangelizing as God opened the doors for him to speak. He felt led to start a missions work in Chicago, and moved his growing family there. During these years, he and his wife had three children, Philip, Alisha, and Jeremy. After four years in the “Windy City”, the Lord spoke to him and told him to move back to his home state of Colorado where he started Abundant Life Tabernacle and also has served as the Colorado Men’s Director for the past 5 years.
Abundant life is very excited about what God is doing and their vision for the future. “We want to BE the church,” said Bro. Skowron. Our goal as a church is to be a place of healing, growing, and new birth, visible on the crossroads of the Front Range of Colorado, shining as examples, reaching people with the gospel, walking in the Spirit and demonstrating the power of God through the Holy Ghost.”