Hueytown’s Valley Creek Church celebrates 150 yearscomment (0)
September 4, 2008
By Deirdra Drinkard
Members of Valley Creek Baptist Church, Hueytown, recalled both valley and mountaintop experiences as they celebrated the Bessemer Baptist Association church’s 150th anniversary with homecoming Aug. 10.
The church’s first-known record dates to 1858 when it was known as Sardis Baptist Church. It is believed that the church was renamed Valley Creek because members lived on both sides of the creek with that same name.
Many actually had to ford the creek in order to get to church, according to Sarah Dunn, secretary at Valley Creek Baptist.
In 1905, the congregation suffered a tragedy as an explosion at nearby Virginia Mine claimed the lives of many church members.
“It was very devastating for the church, but they rose from the ashes and continued on with the ministry,” said Pastor Kevin Blackwell.
In the past three years, Valley Creek Baptist has seen the effects of an explosion of another kind as church membership grew by 150, leading the church to offer two morning services — one traditional and one contemporary.
Current membership stands at 625.
Valley Creek Baptist continues to seek more people to add to the family of faith with the evangelism team reaching out to members of the community each Tuesday night.
“We are enjoying some of our best years,” Blackwell said. “On Aug. 10, we were able to celebrate the work of God and memories.”
To celebrate, a combined service — of both contemporary and traditional styles — was held. Former pastor George King, who is now with The Baptist Foundation of Alabama, was the speaker.
Valley Creek Baptist member and local artist Bobby Clements presented the church with an oil painting, depicting the four buildings in which the congregation has met through the years.
The first church building was situated on what is now the old part of Valley Creek Cemetery near Virginia Drive.
Although there is no record of when it was constructed, the building is known through historical accounts to have existed in 1858. The second building was constructed in 1912.
In 1958, the congregation began using its third building. Then, in 1972, ground was broken for the fourth — and current — building, located along Virginia Drive.
Also in honor of Valley Creek Baptist’s anniversary, Melanie Metz of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission presented the church with a framed certificate, commemorating 150 years of ministry.