MOUNT VERNON — The Green Valley Southern Baptist Church on Green Valley Road will be celebrating its 40th year on Sunday. The celebration will feature former pastor Dan Duffy preaching at the 11 a.m. service.
The church began as a mission of Lexington Baptist Church in 1965 and became fully constituted on March 25, 1970. The church is a member of the Buckeye Erie Baptist Association and both the state and national Conventions of Southern Baptist.
“There have been eight pastors at the church in the last 40 years. That’s including myself,” said Pastor Daniel Taylor. “I have been with the church for 22 years and have been pastor for 20 years this coming July. Dan [Duffy] was a good friend of mine and he left here in July of 1990. When he left, they asked me to be the pastor.”
Taylor said that request was something of a surprise to him. He felt he had been called to the ministry under Duffy.
“I was preaching one Sunday evening a month,” he said. “And I was preaching in our association and things of that nature. When Pastor Dan left they asked me to be the interim preacher, and I’ve been here ever since.”
Taylor became full-time pastor in January 1991.
“It was sort of surprising,” he added. “But the people here knew me and what I stood for, and it’s been a good working relationship over the years.”
When the church started out, there were no other Southern Baptist churches in Knox County.
“In 1965 we started out as a mission church,” Taylor said. “That simply means that a group of people felt the need in this area to have a Southern Baptist church. That church was the Lexington Baptist Church. So people came in and did some survey work to see what the need was. Then they started to have a Bible study with a group of people.”
The Green Valley Baptist Church became a full church in 1970 when it was able to support itself.
“[Green Valley] was a mission project for the Lexington Baptist Church, which we called the mother church until which time we were constituted to a full church and we were on our own,” said Taylor.
Over the years the Green Valley church has developed many internal programs, as well as programs that reach into the community.
“We have Sunday school on Sunday morning which is our small group activity to teach the word of God and to teach the Bible,” Taylor said. “Sunday evening we have discipleship training. There again, it’s like Sunday school. We teach the Bible and the word of God. Then on Wednesday evenings we have our mission groups. We teach about missionary work.
“Our younger children are called CIAs, Children In Action. They do different projects. Our youth group is called YOM, Youth on Mission,” he continued. “We also support Care Net Pregnancy Services and I have a ministry at Country Club Retirement Center (sic). Then we have our folks involved in Vacation Bible School.”
Duffy was pastor at Green Valley SBC from 1984 to 1990.
“One of the highlights of my ministry was that Pastor Taylor came to the ministry when I was there and followed me,” said Duffy. “When I went there we were kind of struggling, but we had some pretty good church growth, too. ... It was a tough place to leave. I will be preaching this Sunday. Jesus first.”
The church will also have its associational missionary, Jim Mays, present a challenge to the congregation, and there will be a potluck dinner after the service with gifts and prizes.
Taylor said the community is invited to the church at 11680 Old Delaware Road.