Valleydale Church celebrates 50th anniversary

Published 4:55 pm Thursday, September 14, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY – It was a touching reunion for many as people traveled across the country to join locals and church members in celebrating Valleydale Church’s 50th anniversary.

Valleydale Church celebrated its bicentennial with a variety of events on Saturday, Sept. 9 and a worship service on Sunday, Sept. 10.

“It was phenomenal,” said Carolyn Smith, a longtime church member who helped to organize the celebration. “It was just absolutely awesome—God’s presence was there.”

In the early ‘70s, sixteen families prayed about establishing a church in northern Shelby County and they first met at a camp where Spain Park High School is currently located. After spending time meeting in a church member’s basement on Indian Crest Drive, Valleydale Church held its first charter service at 2545 Valleydale Road on Sept. 9, 1973.

“It’s really humbling that God has been so faithful to his church for 50 years,” Smith said. “There have been many peaks and valleys that we have gone through, even from the beginning. And to hear those stories, of what our founding fathers and charter members faced and they never gave up and God was faithful to them.”

The 50-year celebration marked not only a time of festivity at the church, but also a time of reunion as many previous church members traveled across the country to reconvene once again.

“Many of these people, we have not seen each other in 20 years,” Smith said.

On Saturday, there were reunions for Valleydale Church’s past choir’s, orchestra, staff and youth.

“These youth are in their 40s now raising children and some have stepped away from the church,” Smith said. “We had some really sweet conversations—that they had missed church and this made them realize where they need to be.  I had one person tell me that he has been away for so long, and that being there, he did not realize how homesick he had been for Valleydale.”

During the celebration, many in attendance gathered together with the choir and orchestra to enjoy a trip through the years in music during a segment entitled, “50 Years: An Evening of Stories and Songs.”

“The choir and the orchestra went through many of the songs that we loved back in the previous decades,” Smith said. “And then we had some of our old dramas (with) the drama team and we had a lot of videos of our previous staff and just some of the great stories. We just worshiped and celebrated.”

Children in attendance had a variety of activities to enjoy on Sunday morning, including a visit from Miss Patty Cake, while adults attended Sunday morning worship with a lesson from the church’s pastor.

“Our Pastor, Dr. Mac Brunson, was teaching out of the last (chapter) of Exodus and he was able to tie our founding fathers and charter members to the scripture in Exodus,” Smith said. “These people were recognized for their sacrifice and their faithfulness to trust in God and so they were honored numerous times.”