In a beautiful Arizona river canyon, in 1917, God loving Cliftonites resolved to build a church, a beautiful stone church, the finest for hundreds and hundreds of miles. Presbyterians, many managers and engineers late of Scotland, dreamed of wearing their Sunday best and offering sweet prayers up from a remote mining area into the blue Arizona sky.
The local newspaper said, "Prior to the United States entering the war the Presbyterians of Clifton had resolved to build a new church building, for which purpose they had raised $9,000. When they were ready to commence building, April, 1917, there was such a raise in commodity prices, that on original plans it was impossible to get bids which were at all near the desired figures, so the matter was, for the time being, left in abeyance, but not abandoned." Trustees amended their plans, all dug deeper in their pocked, reworked the figured and signed with Mr. J.L. Westerman of El Paso, and construction began.
The Presbyterian Church was dedicated in 1918. Generations were baptized, schooled, confirmed, and returned to the mystery from the handsome Mission Revival edifice until 1975 when Presbyterians built a more modern church home in nearby Morenci.
Next spiritual occupants to come were the Freemasons. The brethren, chartered in Clifton in 1888 as Coronado Lodge No.8, F.& M, fitted it for a Lodge and met for decades in beautiful new quarters. Current visitors may repose in chairs Masons worked their way 'round, and gaze up upon a resplendent neon G - the Masonic G, symbolic of God, the Supreme Architect of the Universe.
Next, area artists painted, sketched and worked clay in the church, calling it the Art Depot.
To the present! In keeping with its spiritual history and the blue door painted by artists, current owner Kimberly Henderson retired to Clifton to beautify and run the Blue Door Sanctuary. Echoes of prayer, hope, service, and beauty lifted her dream to welcome people to a place of majestic scenery, wildlife come to the year round waters of the Colorado River, and peace in a place where things run slower than average.
Blue Door hosts overnighters and some longer term lodgers. The sanctuary space is available for meetings and events, with meals made for the occasion and in consort with Kimberly. The vibe is easy, friendly, open, happy!