Our People, Partners, Past

Our People

First and foremost, Valley Community Baptist Church is about people: We're a church family of people of all kinds who follow Jesus. We have accepted His free gift of eternal salvation, and delight in glorifying Him and making his name and truth known throughout Hartford and Litchfield Counties ... and the world.

Our people adhere to our Affirmations of Faith, always striving to accomplish our mission. We believe that the Bible is the authentic Word of God, and the ultimate authority for all of humanity.

Within our church body, you'll find all kinds of people from various faith backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities, political beliefs, and ages. While we delight in those differences, what unites us -- our faith in Jesus -- is greater than anything that separates us.

Our Places

Valley Community Baptist Church has two locations in neighboring towns -- two congregations united by our beliefs and mission.

Valley Avon has a large facility that includes a 650-seat Sanctuary, offices and gathering spaces, a Prayer Room, and more. It's located at 590 W. Avon Road in Avon, Connecticut. Valley Avon gathers for worship on Saturdays and Sundays, in person and online. Midweek activities take place most nights at the church.

Valley Simsbury worships every Sunday in the Auditorium at Henry James Memorial School (155 Firetown Road in Simsbury). Valley Simsbury has an office and gathering space at 3 Mill Pond Lane in Simsbury, where many midweek activities take place.

Learn more about Valley Simsbury by going to its home page on our website.

Our Partners

We're a Converge Church

Valley is affiliated with Converge, a worldwide network of Bible-believing churches. Converge is devoted to starting and strengthening churches, with an emphasis on missions and church-planting efforts. 

Valley is a proud member of Converge Northeast, consisting of more than 85 Converge churches. We partner with these churches through Converge Northeast for support, encouragement, and shared resources.

The Executive Minister of Converge Northeast is Tim Ponzani, former Executive Pastor of Valley Community Baptist Church.

Global and Regional Partners

Valley provides financial and spiritual support to nearly 50 partners around the world at home, including missionaries, charities, churches, and other organizations devoted to helping others.

Our global partners include missionaries serving on several continents, affiliated with organizations such as Kids Alive International, T-Net International, and MedSend.

Our regional partners include organizations such as Hartford City Mission, South Park Inn, and Gifts of Love.

Our Past

1975-76: How It Started

It all began, like so many good ideas, over a dinner out with friends.

Rune and Lillian Mentzer invited their friends Wes and Elaine Kuhrt to Avon Old Farms Restaurant in December, 1975. Amid the light clanking of silverware and the twinkling of Christmas lights, the Mentzers made a startling proposition:

What if we started a new church? A real Bible-teaching church, the kind that we’ve been looking for but haven’t found? Would you join us? Could we do it?

 The answer was yes, and the pursuit moved swiftly. On January 20, 1976, the Mentzers, Kuhrts, and 12 others gathered and agreed to start meeting weekly for Bible Study, prayer, and planning. By February the name was determined and officers elected. And on March 14, the first VCBC service was held, at the Kuhrt home. Twenty-four people attended.

A Brief Timeline

1976: Services move from private homes to Avon Middle School.

1980: Valley moves to its permanent location at 590 W. Avon Road, and grows steadily over the next 20 years thanks to God's faithfulness.

2000: Valley launches its first church plant! A group of attendees opens Valley Brook Community Church in Granby, CT.

2007: Always committed to church multiplication, Valley plants another place of worship: Northwest Hills Community Church in Torrington, CT.

2012: Valley corporately accepted the challenge put before us by the Elders to take on the responsibility of sharing the grace and mercy of God with every person in Hartford and Litchfield Counties. We began a campaign to fund this ambitious Grace & Mercy effort, which over the years has taken on several forms -- multisite churches, church plants, support of other Bible-believing churches, and new methods of doing ministry through Valley. 

2014: Bolstered by financial and leadership support from the Grace & Mercy initative, Christ Proclamation Church opens its doors in Windsor, CT.

2014: Valley launches a second location, using a "multisite" approach, in Bristol, CT, called Valley Bristol. This initiative is launched with Grace & Mercy funds.

2017: Valley launches a third location, Valley Simsbury, with a different model and strong emphasis on reaching the unchurched in and around that community. This initiative is launched with Grace & Mercy funds.

2019: With God speaking strongly to both congregations, Valley Bristol merges with Bridge Community Church, retaining that church's name and building. The combined larger congregation becomes better-positioned to reach the town of Bristol for Christ. 

2020: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Valley launches its first online services. Valley Simsbury begins outdoor worship together in June.

2022: With the worst of the pandemic behind us, Valley Avon resumes regular operations and ministries, and Valley Simsbury moves its worship into the Auditorium at Henry James Memorial School.