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history

A Brief History of Mountain Valley Church

by Brian Rigdon


Before 5 Dinkle Road...

Before Edgewood Elementary School...

Before the strip mall in Cedar Crest...

Before a living room Bible study...


In the 1950s, God placed it on the heart of a family to donate a ten-acre parcel of land to house a church.  That property on Mountain Valley Road slightly south of Frost Road was donated to the Southern Baptist Convention of New Mexico for the express purpose of building a church in the East Mountains to reach the community for Christ.


Decades later, Sandia Baptist Church sponsored a church-plant missionary, John Free, to plant a church beginning with several Sandia families who lived in the East Mountains.  Working with the Southern Baptist Convention, it was decided that this would be the church to be located on the Mountain Valley property.  In 1990, beginning in the living room of Glen and Margaret Witt and with a lot of door knocking and bulletin board posting, Mountain Valley Church was begun.  A second home church coupled with Mountain Valley Baptist Church, and within a year, we had outgrown the Witt's house.


A small suite in the Cedar Crest Mall was rented and Mountain Valley was chartered as a Southern Baptist Church.  God blessed and the church grew.  Before long, Mountain Valley Baptist Church was too large to fit in the small suite, and the rent was raised prohibitively.  We needed to move.


During this phase, MVBC tried to build on our property.  We faced enormous resistance from the community.  After a battle through the Bernalillo County zoning board, we were denied a special use permit for the land.  We could not build there.


Two locations were identified where we could meet.  We were offered a small portion of the San Antonito Elementary School's facility for $200/month and we were offered free use of the gym and library at the Edgewood Elementary School.  Believing that God was showing His will, we moved the church to Edgewood Elementary.  Sadly, this brought MVBC to a dark phase in our history.


Growing in Cedar Crest, we had a large group of members who felt that Edgewood was too far east to be "East Mountains" and too far away to minister to their community.  When Pastor John was called to a church in Texas, the strain shattered the church.  We had been debating whether to spend our limited resources on hiring a new pastor or renting property again in Cedar Crest.  When the committee selected to redefine, MVBC decided to call Pastor Randy Aly as an interim pastor.  MVBC split, leaving only a few families to carry on.


Pastor Randy led our church for a year as we sought God's will.  Were we really intended to plant a church or were we being stubborn?  Again the Southern Baptist Convention stepped in.  There were plenty of churches in the area, but none were effectively reaching the community.  The Convention offered to supplement what we could not afford in order to sufficiently pay a full-time pastor.  This was 1997-1999.  We also came to the realization that the word "Baptist" in our name was keeping people from visiting our church...and the sign space was limited.


Then, there was the property.  One of our church members had been looking at a large lot with an old mobile home right on the corner of Mountain Valley Road and I-40.  It was a great location and a large lot.  With the approval of the SBC, we sectioned and sold our old property and purchased this lot with money left over to start on a building.


During Pastor Randy's ministry, we began the search for a permanent pastor.  Through the resumes, one stood well above the others.  Talon Noh, a mission-minded pastor in a small Oklahoma town, felt limited by his position.  There was no one left to witness to.  God brought him to the mission field that is the East Mountains.


Pastor Talon came in with the vision that we would be a different church.  We would be the church for people who didn't want to go to any church.  We had to be relevant, genuine, and fresh.  Pastor Talon had a vision for evangelism, energetic and modern worship, over-the-top events, and a very welcoming environment to transform Mountain Valley Church.  We grew from 12 people at a Christmas service to several hundred.  We were finally able to build the church on the land that God had provided.


After 17 years of tireless service, Pastor Talon was called to lead a church in Georgia.  The next phase of Mountain Valley Church had begun.  After a year of searching, God brought Pastor Chris Promersberger to us.  God has been preparing Pastor Chris for this continuing mission.


May God be praised and may salvation come to the East Mountains of Central New Mexico.



who we are

Mountain - We gather just south of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and just east of the Sandia Mountains.  Beyond our location geographically, one of the most prominent places that  God met with and spoke to His people was on a mountain.  In fact, we learn much of who God is in these times in scripture.

  • It was on the mountain that God identified Himself as "I AM who I AM"
  • It was at this same mountain where the newly freed and established nation of Israel met with God and agreed to be His people and have Him as their God.  The result was Ten Words spoken as a standard for living.  This was the expectation for living as His people.  
  • When Elijah humbly prayed, God consumed the altar on top of the mountain.
  • In the New Testament, we see Jesus talking as God in His first public discourse on the top of the mountain.  We also see the appearance of the Father, in His glory at the Transfiguration of Jesus.
  • The most significant mountain is the one known as Golgotha.  It is through God's sacrifice there on the cross that we can be His people and have Him as our God.  We are a growing community gathered around the Cross.

Valley - While this is the high desert of New Mexico, our church is located in a valley that was once full of pinto bean fields.  This might be why we love our beans so much!  Great things can happen in our little valley that is part of the Estancia Valley River Basin, but we recognize that the valley is sometimes a picture of darkness, desperation, and even death.  One of the best known portions of scripture says "Even though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."  Life is not only joyful mountain top experiences.  Sometimes, we go through the valley where we experience pain and hurt in all aspects of life.  This is because all creation groans since the fall of man which was recorded in Genesis 3.  While God guides us through the valley, He does not want us to stay there.  The hope and joy of the Christian life is that though "Our sins they are many, His mercy is more."  In the midst of our valleys, we seek to point people to the Triune God.

Church - Finally, this word refers to the fact that we are a community, a fellowship, part of that body which Christ established through His death and resurrection and filled with His Spirit to carry on His mission in this world.  As a local church, we might be best understood as an Embassy of God's Kingdom to earth.  We belong to Jesus and desire to hold fast to the Bible as His Living Word.  We believe that God's Word is the source of all Truth for all people at all times.  As such, it is the ultimate catalyst and source for growth and discipleship.  We gather together for corporate worship on the Lord's Day.  Our mission is to fulfill the Great Commission in our community, region, and world so that every knee may bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord to the glory of God the Father.  Lastly, we value community, but we believe that will be the byproduct of walking in a manner worthy of our calling.