Spring Valley is a small community in Colbert County, Alabama just southeast of the city of Tuscumbia. The church of Christ that currently meets at Spring Valley began sometime around 1910. However, the Gospel Advocate records a meeting in Spring Valley as early as 1907. T. T. Pack preached a one week meeting and one person was added to the church. Brother Pack noted that there was no church in Spring Valley at the time of this meeting only “a few scattered members.”
(1) Jefferson Davis Mitchell, know as Dave to everyone of the community, was an instrumental part of the beginning of the congregation. He was formerly a member of the Methodist church. However, after much study, he left the Methodist church and became a member of the church of Christ. Shortly after his conversion, brother Mitchell wrote a letter to his friend S. P. Copeland, asking him to come hold a meeting and help organize the congregation in Spring Valley. S. P. Copeland came and held a series of meetings in a tent something around 1910 prior to the erection of a meeting house. Exactly how brother Mitchell knew brother Copeland is unclear. However, it is interesting to note that on June 17, 1897 brother Mitchell named his first child, a daughter, Illa Copeland Mitchell.
Brother Mitchell had purchased several hundred acres of farmland in 1911, including the site of the original meeting house, from E. L. Bickley. Due to some sort of personal dispute, Mr. Bickley was unwilling to sell the land directly to brother Mitchell, so he got his brother Walter C. Mitchell to buy the land from Mr. Bickley, but Dave Mitchell supplied the funds.(2) Then, on March 22, 1913, brother Mitchell sold an acre of land for five dollars to thechurch of Christ which met at Spring Valley along with camp number 265 of the Woodman
of the World to be used by them jointly. Among the trustees of the land were H. P. Ligon,
M. L. Counts, A. H. Ricks, and brother Mitchell along with those who would be designated
their successors.(3) The exact date the building was erected is unknown. However, it is clear
that it was a two story building in which the church met on the first floor, while the
Woodman of the World met on the second floor.
The church at Spring Valley was meeting each Lord ‘s Day and was slowly growing.
Brother Mitchell is said to have had a vineyard in which he grew grapes for the communion
wine, and his wife Emma Lou Ligon-Mitchell made the unleavened bread for communion.(4)
Early meetings were held which helped grow the congregation. In 1921, John-C. Graham
reported to the Gospel Advocate a meeting in which five people were baptized into Christ.(5)
E. F. Bullington’s father-in-law also held multiple meetings in which several people were
baptized. At this time, people were taken the local creek in Spring Valley about a mile west
of the meeting house to be baptized.(6)
The church at Spring Valley functioned for much of the time between its beginning
and 1930 without appointed officers. Then on July 31, 1930, under the guidance and
encouragement of brother Copeland, the first elders and deacons were appointed. E.F.
Bullington, W. C. Mitchell, R. E. Sparks, and E. A. Berry were appointed elders, while E. H.
Kiser and .M. L. Ligon were appointed to the office of deacon. At this time, Gertrude Wright was appointed secretary and treasurer for the church. On December 15, 1946 Travis Isbell, David Thomas, Glenn Sockwell and Ernest Riner were appointed as elders. Additional elders appointed include: Hill Sparks in 1966, Nelson Sparks in 1978, Edward Riner in 1991, and Donnie Murner and Tommy Kirchner in 2008.(7)
On January 16, 1953, a meeting was called by W. C. Mitchell and the trustees of the Woodman of the World. At this meeting, it was agreed that the Woodman of the World would sell their interest in the building where they met for the price of five-hundred dollars.(8) In the summer of the following year, it was decided to tear down the current building and replace it with a new building. Along with the new building, several additions were made. A preacher’s house, classrooms, and a multi-purpose building were added.
Then on Saturday January 12, 1991 while making routine repairs, the building was inadvertently destroyed in a fire. The following Sunday, the church met in the multi-purpose building which was not destroyed by the fire. The first service in the newly constructed building was held on July 14, 1991. This is the building that remains to this day as the meeting house for the church at Spring Valley.