The United Methodist Church has a 300+ year history from which numerous communities around the world have benefited. In Spring Valley, we have sought in our 168-year history to improve and enrich the lives of everyone whom we touch—and we have been consistent in our mission since our beginning.
Rooted in a time when America was at war within itself over its treatment of one another, the United Methodist Church of Spring Valley has kept unification through God’s grace at its core. From Cole’s history of Rockland County, the United Methodist Church of Spring Valley began their service in July of 1853. For years, services were held in the Union Sunday school building. On August 4, 1859, the church was incorporated with Joseph Wood, Thomas Warren, Jesse Youmans, Leonard A. Gurnee, John Onderdonk, Lake Onderdonk, Jacob May, William H. Seaman and William Taylor as Trustees.
At the same time, a site was purchased for $175 from the Spring Valley Land Association. Thomas Warren, Jesse Youmans, William H. Seaman and Lake Onderdonk were appointed as building committee. The corner stone of the new church was laid in the fall of 1859 by and the church was dedicated by Dr. Haas the following spring on Metropolitan Avenue. Fifty years later, the church edifice was sold. A new property was purchased on South Jackson Street, extending to South Madison Avenue and in 1903 the corner stone of the new church erected on the South Madison Side of the property was laid. It hasn’t always been easy. The depression of the 1930’s brought such hard times on the church, the minister at the time could not be paid. After World War II, however, things improved. Then, the post-war baby boom brought new life into the church to the extent that a 100+ children’s Sunday school class meant the church needed to expand. By the 1950’s a new area was added to the church, including a nursery and a series of classroom and office space. Yet, there are times that test our faith—and the 1960’s brought about such times. A devastating fire destroyed much of the structure, but not the spirit. Rebuilding began almost immediately, and our partners in God reached out to us to assist. As such, Temple Bethel opened its doors to the congregation for Sunday services. The rebuilding allowed the church to further expand—especially the lower levels and the kitchen area.
As the 20th century further progressed, the church further imbedded itself in the community by hosting various groups who also shared a common mission of Christian fellowship. These groups—which paid nominal fees for the use of the building—included local sororities, civic organizations, and even Alcoholics Anonymous. In 2002, the Adonai Church from Haverstraw needed a home for its services—and we gladly opened the doors, as we have in 2000 for the Rockland Family Shelter. Now that the 21st century has arrived, new challenges have arisen for our church. We are more diverse than ever before, reflecting our surrounding community—and we are more active than before, reflecting the ongoing needs that exist. Within our walls, our youth group, prayer group, women’s group, church committees, and Sunday school initiate, develop and participate in numerous, continuous activities. Outside our walls, our benevolent missions and support of worldwide United Methodist programs call for our members to rally together to help others as well. We are proud of our history and excited about the prospects for the future growth of our church home. We invite everyone to spring to life with us in our mission each and every Sunday.