Amazing history of our Church in the Valley
Archaeological digs have shown that the Hopewell Indians once lived on the very sight where Church in the Valley now stands. Our church has a rich history dating back to back to 1895 when the Christian Brethren first built a church on this sight. The Disciples Church, as it was called then, was abandoned in 1899. In 1901 the Everett Church of Christ was built.
However, in 1908 the church was burned to the ground by a fire of unknown origin. Through the donations of members and people in the community the church was quickly rebuilt later the same year. In 2007 an addition was added to the church more than doubling its original size, adding a fellowship hall, a new kitchen, classrooms, restrooms, foyer, and enlarging the sanctuary.
Church in the Valley is now part of the Cuyahoga National Park. While homes in the area were purchased and renovated to become living quarters for park employees, the Church in the Valley was allowed to remain. Membership declined as those who lived in the park area moved out to make room for the National Park. In 1991 the church dwindled down to six women.
In 1991 John Fisk began having services in the nearby Bath Township Hall. As he and his wife Beryl began looking for a more permanent location for the church, God led them to the a rundown church on Everett Rd. Eventually, the two congregations merged together. Under John's leadership the church exploded in growth reaching a high of 300 members. More space was needed and a new extension was added that more than doubled the size of the church building adding more classroom space, a fellowship hall, a new kitchen, and enlarging the sanctuary.
John never saw the extension fully completed. He died of a heart ailment in July of 2007. His death was a blow to his congregation who loved him. Three men have pastored our church since John's passing: Rick Rasper (2010-12), Gary Nave (2012-14), and Mark Reitinger (2016-present)
Our desire is to show the love of Christ to people in the park and neighboring cities. Our goal is to help people enter into a personal relationshiip with Jesus Christ and then grow to be His passionate followers.
Angel in the Valley
In 1991 the church in Everett, Ohio formerly the Everett Church of Christ, located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park had fallen on hard times. The church had been built in 1891 and burned down in 1908. It was rebuilt on the site, an area where the Hopewell Indians had lived from 200 to 300 BC. It is on the National Registrar of Historic Places. The membership had fallen due to most of the homes in the area being bought out by the Park. Without a pastor, it was being sustained by six elderly women with sheer faith and determination. It was in desperate need of repairs and new life.
This is when minister John Fisk with his wife Beryl, two people with Cherokee blood, in need of a church for a small congregation stopped one Saturday afternoon. A little girl was playing ball in the yard. When asked if she knew anything about the church, she replied “Oh yes, it a wonderful church.”, and began telling details about the church. She had a very direct almost mature way of talking. She was so excited about her little country church and full of information. They told her they would come and worship the next day. She said “that would be wonderful. We need people.” They walked around the church and peeked in the windows to see what they could, when they returned moments later, the little girl had disappeared.
The next day at church they questioned the six ladies about the little girl, they got blank stares, and was told they knew of no little girls in the church or neighborhood.
Beryl and John and some long time church members were convinced that the little girl of mystery was divinely directed to be at the Church that day and time. That little angel in human form was never seen again nor identified.
This is how the six ladies and John Fisk came to a merger and became the Church in the Valley, a Non-Denominational Church.