Since 1957 All Creeds Brotherhood has led efforts to protect the wilderness around Sanctuary Cove, at the base of Safford Peak. As developers encroach from all sides, our purpose is more important than ever - to provide a place of quiet prayer, meditation and self reflection in the undisturbed environment.
Sanctuary Cove was founded on the principles of oneness, and thus its primary purpose is to serve the world community by providing a natural place of peace and unspoiled beauty that allows visitors the chance to draw apart from the intensity of today’s hectic lifestyle and reconnect to deeper meaning.
We aim to protect the natural beauty of the Southwest so that generations after us are afforded the opportunity to in bask nature. We believe that the man made world and the natural world must inhabit a place of symbiosis, and only through the appreciation of and self reflection within undisturbed environments can one gain insight into the inter-connectivity between developed and undeveloped worlds.
“One of the fundamental needs of mankind in the present age is for more Thankful and Prayerful Reflection, Meditation and Prayer and believing that physical places be set aside and developed for this purpose, where those who desire may “take time out” in such retreats for a better self assessment."
— Founder Elmer Staggs, 1957
All Creeds INC. was incorporated in 1957 by our founder, Elmer Staggs.
Mr. Staggs, a WWI vet., came to Arizona for his health in 1917, and homesteaded most of the Safford Peak area. His original home site is now The Lazy K Bar Guest Ranch. Over the years he sold the bulk of his property holdings but reserved the 120 acres that make up The Original Sanctuary Cove. Elmer dreamed of a place where people of all races and creeds could come to pray and meditate without the pressures of “modern life” bearing down upon them. In the ‘40’s Elmer’s spiritual quest brought him into intimate contact with the Love Truth Union Chapel, (the building is now the Arizona Historical Society), and with a group of like minded spiritualists created All Creeds Brotherhood, a lay nonprofit 501 C 3 religious corporation.
The All Creeds Chapel, the first building built, was completed along with the first phase of the amphitheater in 1964. In 1968, the caretaker home was built, with the cottage following soon after. In 1979, the Cove sold 30.9 acres to the Saguaro National Park, creating the current 80.1 acres. The Cove is a popular Saguaro National Park trail head. From the Cove, hikers access “The Trail to the Top”, of Safford Peak as well as various other trails in the Tucson Mountains.
From 1970 to 1985, weddings were incredibly popular at “The Cove”. Literally hundreds of weddings took place during this time. Because of out-of-control wedding parties, lack of supervision or adequate oversight, interference with meditation and because they are not a part of The Cove original intent, weddings were banned on the property from 1985 to 2003.
Annual Easter Sunrise Service, 1960
Since Sanctuary Cove's beginning as a non-profit in Tucson Arizona, lovers of the southwest have flocked to our annual Easter Sunrise Service. As you sit cozily with your family, friends and neighbors, snuggled into your jacket and blankets you can see the sun rising over the jagged peaks of Mt. Lemmon. As the sun strikes the top of Safford peak behind you, the light begins to travel slowly down until at last you're blessed with the warmth of a new day's sun. There is a no more powerful or memorable place to usher in the new year than looking over the Tucson valley...
Aerial View of Sanctuary Cove, 1948
Aerial photograph of the Sanctuary Cove vicinity circa 1948. The homes in the image are of the Broken Arrow Lodge, directly across Scenic Drive from Sanctuary Cove. If one were to take a new photograph from the same location, one would see the edge of the Stoneridge and Sunset Ranch suburban developments. Without the stewardship of All Creeds Brotherhood, its members and dedicated community leaders; housing developments would be nearly on top of Sancutary Cove.