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Diamond Valley Baptist Church
Church History

The Diamond Valley Baptist Church began shortly after farmers started settling on their Desert Land Entry farms in 1958. The need for a church in the community was initiated by Dale and Jean Conaway, Don and Alberta Morrison, Bruce and Ruth DuBose, Rev. George and Juanita Thomason, Owen and Lucille Pollard and Jo Maddox. The first services were held in a small cabin with no heat owned by Don and Alberta Morrison. A meeting was held to discuss the call of a pastor to form an organized church. George Thomason, from Ely, was called to be the first pastor. Charter members were Dale Conaway and family, Don Morrison and family, George Thomason and family, Torris and Norma Gjerde, John Gjerde and family and Jan Lee.

Services were held in a small building used as a granary (near Spanish style house today). Some of the Sunday School classes were even held in cars! From there, services were moved to a small house at Kelly's Corner (9th and Hwy 101). Later, the church moved to an unused Presbyterian church in town where the attendance grew. While in town, the Ely church offered to give DVBC a loan for a small church building on the corner of 11th and Gold Street, property donated by Don Morrison.

After a few years, many of the first settlers found homesteading too difficult and left the valley. Attendance at the church dropped considerably. In 1976, when Pastor Thomason left for another pastorate, it seemed the church would close its doors. For a time, only the Conaway and Morrison families were in attendance. The church began a slow growth when Rev. Art Wicks was called to be pastor in 1978.

In 1980, God showered DVBC with a special blessing. Mrs. Elaine Johnson, who attended, willed the church part of her estate. At this time, the church was under the leadership of Rev. Jim Wright. With this special love gift and pledges from our congregation, a parsonage and new church were built where the original church existed. Much of the work was done by the Baptist Men's Fellowship from California. With lots of donated time and effort from people in the community, we soon had the spacious facility we have today. The original church was moved to 9th street and converted into a home, now owned by JD and Garney Damele.

In 1987, Wayne and Shirley Cathey with their family were called from South Carolina to be the pastor. Wayne served as pastor seven years until they felt the need to move back home to be closer to aging parents.

In March, 1995, Dale and Tracey Clayton from Pennsylvania, came to pastor our flock for three and a half years. After one and a half years without a pastor, we called Jack and Cathy Neal, with their son and daughter, to be our pastor in December, 1996. Pastor Jack continues to lead and guide the people of DVBC. Over the years we have seen real growth, not only in attendance, but a real spiritual growth as well.

For many years the baptistery was a natural warm pond a few miles from the church. Many special baptisms were held there. The summer of 2004, the VBS work crew from Tanner, Alabama, installed the baptistery in the church. What a blessing. The pond is still an option.

The church enjoys a special atmosphere of warmth and charm among members and visitors. There are many activities of the church utilizing everyone's talents. Abundant potlucks and social evenings bring fellowship with the church family. Chirstmas and other special programs are a blessing to everyone. Musical instruments have been added to our worship and praise time on Sundays. Other activities include Children's church, ages 4-12, during Sunday service, Youth Programs, weekly Bible Studies, September through May.

Dedication is a word that is not taken lightly at Diamond Valley Baptist Church. From the very beginning, Dale and Jean Conaway, along with Don and Alberta Morrison, have been there. They were two of the founding familes and have been a strong backbone of the church ever since, serving in a variety of positions throughout the years. While the church has seen many ups and downs with pastors coming and going, it is the faithful people like the Conaways and Morrisons that have set an example in the church and community.