Jonathan Swift once said, “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” In the fall of 1984, Dr. A.J. Thompson envisioned what today is the Chenal Valley Church. He dreamed of a place where Christ would be preached in an atmosphere of love, kindness, and acceptance. Dr. Kent Westbrook, Gary Adams, and Danny Burleson latched onto the dream and helped make it a reality. At first, the homes of those involved were opened for meeting places, then a bank lobby served as a worship place.
In the winter of 1990, the first permanent home for the new congregation was a leased house on Cantrell Road. Twenty-one people attended the first service, and not long after that, major renovations were made to the house to accommodate the rapid growth.
In early spring of 1991, negotiations began for the purchase of CVC’s current location, 16025 Taylor Loop Road. A small church building capable of seating 250 people with adequate space for parking was purchased. Services began in the building in June. The enthusiasm and excitement of the group began to attract many others who made the vision their own.
In March of 1992, four men were selected by the congregation to serve as shepherds. They were Ray Jouett, Harold White, Kent Westbrook, and Jerry Butler. Daily they demonstrated the desire to act justly to others, to show mercy to those in need, and to walk humbly with God. To this day, the elders continue to share an insatiable desire for expanding a Christ-centered fellowship committed to meeting the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of this family and community. Currently serving as shepherds are Kent Westbrook, Eddie Creighton, Roger Williams, and Craig Lair.
CVC has also had a very stable ministry situation over the years. Danny Burleson began as the primary preaching minister when the church was founded in 1984 and continued in that position until 2003. At that time, Bert Reynolds was brought onto the staff and remains in that position. Other ministers on staff are Youth Minister Bryce Kittinger and Children’s Minister Jennifer Piccino. In administrative roles are Office Administrator Kathryn Davis and Groundskeeper/Facilities Manager Mike Binns.
The Main Building, which holds the Sanctuary, Nursery, and Adult Classrooms, was built in 1995, followed by the addition of the Family Life Center, including a Gym, CVCKids, and CVY, in 1998. The Wortham Center that contains Offices and a Meeting Hall, was the original building purchased in 1991 and was renovated in 2016.