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About Us

Introduction

Introduction

In 1908 a group of believers decided it was time for a congregation of Christians to be a solid voice for New Testament Christianity in the Arkansas River Valley.

 

Please allow us to introduce ourselves to you. We are simply a group of Christians. We love God and His Son Jesus Christ. We love each other with a deep brotherly love, and we love the world around us and hope to make it better. We are happy to be Christians, nothing more and nothing less.

 

We have taken the Word of God as our example and as our rule for living our lives.

Our assembly times together are for the purpose of encouraging each other and worshiping. We do this with times of singing, praying, giving, lessons, and sharing the Lord’s Supper together weekly. During this time you will see many people smiling and enjoying the fellowship we have with each other. If this sounds good to you, we would welcome a visit from you when you are in our area.

Elders

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Nathan Almond is an educator, coach, and family man who has been active for many years at Pleasant Valley.  He teaches men’s and adult classes, brings the church Sunday morning announcements, preaches sermons, and serves in multiple areas. 

Joe McCoy is an engineer who has taught leadership and business classes in local universities. He has taught adult classes, teen classes, and some lessons in the auditorium. He and his wife Alysia have 4 sons. Before becoming an elder, he served as a deacon, while teaching and helping with technology work.

Mike Moxley is an engineer that works in the refining industry. He serves the church as a song leader and Bible class teacher. Mike also enjoys working with the young people on Vacation Bible School and Leadership Training for Christ. Mike and his wife Shari of 30 years have four children and one grandchild.

Lonnie Myers serves as Superintendent of the Mulberry/Pleasant View Bi-County School District. Lonnie also serves as an Adjunct Professor and University Supervisor at Harding University. He has a total of 48 years in the field of education and enjoys teaching Bible classes. Lonnie and his wife Karen attend to the Personal Edification Program PEP Groups.

Ministers

Roger Russell moved to Van Buren from Kentucky in 2004. His God given talent is preaching and teaching the word of God; he has more than 44 years’ experience in ministry. Roger graduated from Southern Christian University with a Bachelor of Arts in Bible in 1980 and a Master of Arts in Bible in 1981. He began his first full time ministry in Enterprise, AL in 1980 and has since preached for congregations in Georgia, Michigan, Kentucky, and now Arkansas. In 1977, he married Greta Nolen from Carrolton, GA and they have 2 daughters. Allison is a second-grade teacher and lives in Benton, AR with her husband, Jerry Klitz. Ashley is a middle school art teacher and lives in Alma, AR with her husband, Lonnie Combs and their four children, Kiersten, Ari, Leith, and Rei. 

Wendyl and Eva Heffington were married on August, (Friday 13th) 1965. We are graduates of East Central State University in Ada, Oklahoma. Wendyl graduated from Whites Ferry Road School of preaching and has preached full time from 1979-2013. Wendyl and Eva have two daughters, Shelly Bynum and Kimberly Parsons. Kimberly and husband, Joel, live in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Shelly and husband, Larry, live in Van Buren, Arkansas. Wendyl and Eva have two grandchildren, Caleb Bynum and Cana Bynum DeLeon. Wendyl and Eva moved to Van Buren, AR in June of 2013 to work with the Pleasant Valley church of Christ as a personal evangelist. His time is devoted to teaching the gospel in home Bible studies and follow-up studies with new Christians.

History

This article is based on information from 1908 through 2001.

The Pleasant Valley Church of Christ first met in the year 1908, in large part due to the efforts of Mrs. Elizabeth Ellis of the Catcher Community. For some time a group of Christians gathered together in the Ellis home on the Lord’s Day, but this proved inadequate and something better was needed. At her own expense, Mrs. Ellis purchased a small frame house in Catcher for the group to use. She then invited C.H. Dorian to come and hold a gospel meeting and help the group organize as a church. This was done, and the fledgling congregation soon added its first new member, Mr. R.F. Lovel.

Within a few years, the congregation was again in need of a more suitable place to meet. An acre of land on Catcher Road was deeded to the church on April 8, 1912, by Merton Tilman West and his wife, Mary, and a new building was quickly under construction with Dick West as principal contractor. Others who helped with construction were Elmer Bridges, Harry Whitfield, Randolph West, and George Berkley (Bert) West. By September it was complete, and a dedication service was conducted by the congregation.

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The new building was on Catcher Road, 0.7 miles south of Kibler Road in Van Buren, Arkansas. The little congregation worshiped here for the next four decades--years marked by hardship and struggle as two world wars and a great depression took their toll. Sunday morning attendance rarely exceeded 20 people these years, and midweek Bible study in wintertime often found six or seven Christians gathered around the stove to keep warm. The building sat near a small stream, and in rainy weather the church grounds were sometimes underwater. Some of the older members today remember being carried to the church steps to keep from getting their feet wet. Despite difficulties, the little group of Christians kept faith with Christ and with each other. They were family.

Preaching was provided for many years by brethren who supported themselves at other jobs during the week and preached on Sundays. Sometimes no preacher was available, but the congregation still met each week for Bible study and the Lord’s Supper. A highlight of each year, as far back as records are available, was the summer time Gospel Meeting. These meetings were designed to teach the Gospel to those who had not heard it, and great emphasis was placed on advertising and on inviting people to come and hear the good news.

In the mid 1940s, the members decided to move to a better location. A building fund was started August 4, 1946, and built up for when it would be needed.  That time came during the first week of October 1952, when the congregation physically moved it's old building to the present location at the corner of Catcher Road and Kibler Road. The land was donated by Shorty and Ellistine Collins of Westville, and was a great improvement. The new site was not subject to flooding, and was on a more traveled road, the main route between Van Buren and Kibler. At the time of the move, attendance averaged around 40 people. Since then, the congregation has grown steadily, resulting in four separate building programs to keep up with the need. Attendance now averages just over 300 people on Sunday mornings.

Bobby Parks was the first preacher to work with the congregation full-time, starting in 1977. He had served for years as a part-time preacher before this. Others who have served full time include Wendell Heffington, Jerry Almond, and Jim Bullock. Jim has been with the congregation since March 1992. The congregation has a strong youth program, and currently employs Paul Fletcher as Youth Minister. Preceding him were Shannon Almond, Tim Seay and Kirk Baker. Church elders are Douglas Cannedy, Delmar Lewis, Gary Morton, Lonnie Myers, Bobby Parks and Paul Parks.

The congregation has had an active Jail Ministry that started in 1991. Every Tuesday evening, inmates at the Crawford County Jail were invited to a period of Bible Study led by Doug Cannedy, one of the church’s elders and an Associate Chaplain at the jail. Each inmate was given a Bible to keep. The class emphasized God’s love and salvation, and man’s responsibility. Over 30 people were baptized since the program began.

Mission efforts by the congregation are not limited to the Spanish-speaking world, however, and the congregation has actively contributed to the support of missionaries in Nigeria, the Philippines, American Samoa, Australia, and a number of other countries.

 

This brings us to the future. The Pleasant Valley congregation continues to reach for the future while being firmly grounded by those who have gone on before us. What began as a small country congregation “down in the valley” has now sprouted into a growing church that continues to be used by God. Pleasant Valley now has three buildings it uses constantly. It also has continued to acquire land for future growth and, Lord willing, will continue to do so. Pleasant Valley has the wonderful problem of growth. Again, they are about to “outgrow” their auditorium and are beginning plans to build a newer, updated place in which to meet. However, the future is not just about numbers, it is about souls and being God’s people! This has been our past and will continue to be our future.

 

Throughout its history, the Pleasant Valley Church of Christ has never known a division. When asked why, Bobby Parks, former minister and elder, attributed the growth and unity of the church to its members’ long-standing tradition of peace, love, and toleration of differences of opinion. The congregation enters the third millennium eager to continue its long history and tradition of service to God and man.

 

Thanks to Glynn Parker, who provided the original overview of our history from 1908 to 2001.

Original artwork painted by longtime member Ronnie Matthews. All four paintings were donated to the church. They were presented to the church upon the dedication of the church’s new “Outreach Center” in 1997.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Link: Philippians 2:1-4 (ESV) Bible Gateway
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