Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Valley View Seventh-day Adventist Church


Valley View Church History

Matthew 24:6 says "And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet."

On December 7, 1941, as I listened to Elder J.L. Tucker on the radio, the pragram was interrupted to tell us that America had been attacked by Japanese planes. The rumor of war was a reality.

In early 1942 a military base was built at White City [Oregon] and many Seventh-day Adventist servicemen were stationed there. The only Seventh-day Adventist church in the Medford area was a small church at the corner of Edwards and Beatty, now the Salvation Army Church.

As the many servicemen came to attend church, the church was overflowing, many standing and many mothers holding large children on their laps.

Early in 1943 Elder Thompson asked how many would like to have a Branch Sabbath School at the Rogue River Junior Academy. Many hands went up in volunteering. Thirty-five or forty adults, with their children, organized the Sabbath School. Preaching services and adult Sabbath School classes were held in the school chapel. The children met in school classrooms. This was the old school building that was condemned as a fire hazard in 1955.

As soon as officers were elected for Church and Sabbath School, requests were made for the membership transfer of members to the new church. The official organization date was March 4, 1943. Most of the preaching was done by the newly elected church elders, John Meehan and John Ross. We had a visiting pastor once a month.

After the war was over in 1946, we had opportunity to purchase a chapel from the White City Military Base for about Seven Hundred Dollars. It was impossible to obtain moving permits to move the chapel intact. Therefore, the many menfolk busied themselves at dismantling the chapel and re-assembling it at the present site. John Meehan, a charter member, had given the acreage where the school property is located to the Oregon Conference for the academy. A portion of the school property was deeded to the church.

The pews of the military chapel were made of a 2 x 4 material with spaces between them. They were a bit uncomfortable, but oh how thankful we were to have our own church. John Ross, another charter member, built the pulpit, the bench behind the pulpit and the communion table. The Dorcas held meetings in the room at the rear of the church. 

The members met to select a name and it was decided since we have such a beautiful view of the valley, to name the church Valley View Seventh-day Adventist Church.

In May, 1948, Valley View was host for the Rogue River Junior Academy's first graduation class in the school. Ellen Hanson's son, Milton, was in that class.

Among our first pastors were Elders George Thompson, George Belleau, Otto Schnepper, and Edwin Coy. As I recall, Elder Schnepper was our first full time pastor. As the years have come and gone, the Lord has blessed our Valley View church in membership growth. Also, as the years have gone by, many of our charter members have either gone to their rest or transferred to other Seventh-day Adventist Churches. Yet, others have taken their hands from the hand of the Lord, this we trust will be on ly temporary.

As I look at the youth of our charter members, many have gone on to do a great work for the Lord. I recall nurses, dentists, ophthalmologists, podiatrists, school teachers, detectives, accountants, even one minister, Alvin Glassford, secretaries, carpenters and appliance repairmen. All their dar mothers and fathers were good parents. Valley View Church is very dear to me and I pray daily for our members and those who walk with us no longer. Somehow I have faith that the dear Lord will bring them all back in time for the great reunion.

This history is as accurate as I can recall it. I began attending the first Sabbath we met in the school in 1943. When the church was organized in March, 1943 I did not have my membership transferred until August, 1943, even though I had not missed a Sabbath. I consider myself a charter member physically, but not legally. The pastors have considered me a charter member. I had been elected to teach in the Branch Sabbath School before the church was organized as an individual church.

As told by Elsie Arnold (1915-2003)