History of Valhermoso Springs Holiness Church
The congregation of Holiness people at Valhermoso Springs, Alabama’s (the Morgan County Church) interesting history began on Easter Sunday morning, April 16, 1922, when God wonderfully filled six people with the Holy Ghost. The word of God began to be preached with power and confirmed by signs following those who obeyed it from the heart. At first people met in private homes, old grocery stores, brush arbors, and even open yards. God blessed with healings and miracles of diverse kinds including all the other signs given in St. Mark 6:17-18. The greatest of all blessings, however, was, and still is, the pouring out of the Holy Ghost on all those who obey from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered by the apostles of Jesus and by those who are ordained to preach in these latter days (Romans 6:17-18)
The first building actually constructed as a church was located about one half mile North of the current church building on Johnson Landing Road in Valhermoso Springs, Alabama on the property of Bro. Chum McCutcheon.
Picture of First Church Building (circa 1955)
The land at the current site was donated by the Cam Brown family in 1954. The building was completed in 1955 from timber donated and cut from the surrounding area. Labor to construct the new building was supplied by the Children of God, as well as others from the surrounding community.
Picture of the old Church Building Under Construction (circa 1955)
This structure underwent a major renovations in 1967, 1983 and 1987 to bring the church building to its final state before services were discontinued there in 2009. Also, an open air pavilion adjacent to the church was built in 1981, or so, to accommodate such events as homecomings and dinners-on-the-ground. This structure was expanded and converted to an enclosed Fellowship Hall in 1988 or ‘89.
Picture of the Old Church Building before demolition (June 2009)
We began construction on our current building in July, 2008 with dedication on July 5, 2009. It combines the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall into one facility. The Sanctuary can seat approximately 290 souls comfortably. God has truly blessed us with this building. We look forward to worshiping God for many years here.
Picture of the New Church Building (July 2009)
The beginning of the congregation at Valhermoso Springs is in no way the beginning of the Way of Holiness. That history began some two thousand years ago on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). We read in Ephesians 1:4 that God’s Church was chosen before the foundations of the world to be Holy and without blame in Love.
The earliest history that has been found of the Way of Holiness in the United States began in 1886 in the Tellico River region of East Tennessee and North Carolina. In some of the communities in the area (such as Barney and Coker Creeks, Paul’s Mountain, Steer Creek, Shoal’s Creek, and Camp Creek) the Lord began to fill people with the Holy Ghost with signs following.
In a prayer meeting at Barney Creek in 1886, a Mrs. Fannie White, a preacher named Richard Spurling, as well as others received the Holy Ghost. Some of the men which received the Holy Ghost at that service began preaching the Gospel under the anointing of the Holy Ghost. The Word spread across the land and was received by many, rejected by many more.
The first person in Alabama known to have received the Holy Ghost was a Mrs. Williams of Bridgeport, Alabama. The Gospel spread to other locations in Alabama such as Shake Rag (1910), Piney Wood, Big Cove, Morgan County (1922), Huntsville, and the Bend of the Paint Rock. The Church has since spread on to Memphis, Tennessee, Florida and on and on across the globe.
The Way of Holiness has also been called Free Holiness. In the beginning, early Holiness preachers were set against organizing the Church. They had seen what denominationalism had done to religion. They firmly withstood any effort to form any type of alliance associated with modern denominations. An early Holiness preacher by the name of Frank Bartle, said God had shown him of an effort to organize the early Church. He stood in a meeting admonishing the congregation to stay one body and to be Free, as his spirit was Free, and not entangled again with the yoke of bondage, i.e., traditions, ordinances, laws of man, denominations and a structured man made organization..