Garden Valley Community Church: History Restored

This is the church I attend for Sunday worship. It was built in the early 1900's and provided a gathering and worship place for the farmers and community members around the Lake Ellen area. It was closed when I first moved to the area. On Easter Sunday eight years ago the doors were open again for worship. We do have electricity, but no water inside the church. We added a building next door for Sunday School and meetings, but we still use portable bathrooms. There is an old piano a friend of mine played when she attended the church as a child forty-some years ago. Now somebody brings in a portable keyboard.
I love the historic feeling of the church. I love the old, wooden, polished pews. I love the big crosses in the front of the church. I also love hearing stories told by the people that homesteaded around the area. There is a cemetery behind the church that tells more stories of families and friends that are a big part of our area. The first time I came to the church I was reminded of a hymn my mother taught us as children. Here is an excerpt:
Church in the Wildwood
There's a church in the valley by the wildwood,
No lovelier place in the dale;
No spot is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.

How sweet on a clear Sabbath morning ,
To list'n to the clear ringing bell ;
It's tones so sweetly are calling,
Oh, come to the church in the vale.
-William S. Pitts

I look forward to attending Easter services tomorrow at my own church in the wildwood. We are surrounded by tall pine trees, wildflowers in the meadow close by, and mountains as you look north and west. My husband and his friend will sing " The Old Rugged Cross". The congregation will join in the singing other traditional hymns. I will be reminded of Easters, hymns, and churches from childhood.
Have a blessed Easter Sunday in your corner of the world.


  1. Your little church is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing pictures and telling about it. Happy Easter!

  2. We are an Easter people and alleluia is our song!


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