River Valley Christian Church Martinsville Indiana

A group of believers worshipping Christ together at 4295 Egbert Road, Martinsville, Indiana 46151.

Please join us Sundays at 10:00 AM. You are always welcome at RVCC!

River Valley Christian Church Map Icon

Directions and Map Here.


Contact by E Mail

Before You Visit, See Answers to Common Questions

Service Opportunities

Click Here to Give Online

Detailed History of River Valley Christian Church by Founding Minister, Kevin Able

       River Valley Christian Church was established on November 7, 2004 by Kevin Able with no outside church or ministerial association financial support. The church start was promoted in September by newspaper to begin with 3 months of small group Bible studies at the City Park and later in homes. Organization meetings were conducted from these Bible study attendees 5 weeks, 3 weeks, and 1 week before our launch. RVCC held its first worship service on November 7, 2004 at the Senior Citizens Center in Martinsville. The Grand Opening Day of the new building on 4295 Egbert Road, outside the city limits of Martinsville, on February 27, 2011 will be celebrated and mark 6 years and 4 months of ministry.
       The church started with a vision and a purpose, and is stated on the church web site today. The vision states:  “In response to Christ's call to make disciples, this new church desires to reach any person in the White River Valley near Martinsville, in Morgan County! Our mission is to introduce people to Jesus as the Christ and Savior of the world, and to practice New Testament Christianity! This new nondenominational church intends to be a fellowship of believers who are guided by God's Holy Word and the Spirit of God. We desire to meet people where they are, and invite them into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Together we want to walk with God, live the Word of God in the world, build authentic Christian households, gather to worship God, proclaim His truth, contribute to the work of God, and impact our this community and the world for Christ.”  The purpose stated:  “We desire to grow the Kingdom of God, by establishing a new church that intends to produce fully committed followers of Christ.”
       RVCC started with 32 charter members and has welcomed 371 decisions for Christ during its ministry.  The ministry of this church has significantly been blessed by every person who has worshipped and served in partnership!
       For the first 13 months, the River Valley church family set up for worship weekly at the confirmed worship site, then tore down equipment and packed it up until the next Sunday.  RVCC established children’s programming during worship, from the first Sunday on.  Immediately, ministry teams to facilitate the work of the church were organized.  RVCC has 29 active ministry teams that are led by many members and friends of the church.  The church has promoted the involvement of trying to have 80% of those attending be active in ministry within the church.  Many jobs are rotated in an effort to share the tasks of ministry and prevent burnout!
        Initially a Steering Committee was appointed by Kevin Able, from among those who supported the establishment of this church.  In the first three years, the steering committee members included: Kevin Able, Norman Able, Jeff Brinkley, Larry Dodds, Don Clark, Jerry Cragen, and Chip Keller.  The church was directed by a steering committee which included the Senior Minister, until elders were elected by the church in November of 2008.  Our present eldership includes:  Kevin Able, Norman Able, Andy Baugh, Don Burleigh, John Lake, Jerry Vanzant, and Dan Young.  During the construction of our new building on Egbert Road, Mike Martin served as our Building Chairman and Don Burleigh was our Finance Chairman. 
        During the 6 year and 4 months of ministry, River Valley has rented different sites for worship, such as Sr. Citizens Building, Movie Theatre, 4-H Fairgrounds Building, Armory, one service was held in the open air 4-H Horse arena.  Presently the church meets at 2086 Burton Lane in the K-Mart plaza.
      The church started with no financial backing by one large contributor or any church. However, two people and one church did donate $100 each prior to our first offering taken on the first Sunday of worship.  The ministry has been financed entirely from the giving of members and friends.  The church began with no budget: except to pay the weekly expenses of ministry for rent and equipment.  A modest salary was provided the preacher in the first few years.  The church relied on sacrifice by all to get to the possession of land faster and work toward its first building.

January-December 2005
      The Prayer Chain Ministry Team has been headed up by Bev Skinner and Sharon Collier since the church’s inception.
      The Financial Ministry Team was led by Susie Chirpas, treasurer, and Delaine Neal, financial secretary.  They served in this capacity until March of 2007. 
       In February, the Steering Committee announced the start of searching for land for the future building site of River Valley Christian Church.  Four sites were identified as prospective locations. In July, a 100% congregational vote supported the negotiation for 20 acres of land on Egbert Road as the future worship location.  The approved property was purchased from Ed and Roxanne Scott. The church saved money toward this goal above ministry expenses. This purchase price of $210,000 was paid in full by our 18th month of ministry, April of 2006 (establishing equity for the church) and demonstrating financial soundness.   
       In April, Easter services were held at the Morgan County 4-H Building.  A breakfast, followed by a sunrise service featuring a drama highlighted the early plans.  Our worship service also featured the first baptisms service in the worship service proper, as Carson Brinkley, Levi Hall, and Ryan Selch were baptized in this service, in a homemade baptistery frame constructed by Andy Baugh.  This baptistery is used at our present worship site. 
       In June, VBS for children was held at the City Park, under the direction of Claudia Garard.  High School youth were led by Kenny and Debbie Costin.
       In July, VBS participated in the Morgan County Fair with a booth and leading the Fair Parking Project, which is a fund raising work.  This effort was led by Anne Gray.  (In 2006, 2007 Lisa Vanzant guided this effort.  In 2008, 2009 Anne and Gary Gray led this effort.  In 2010, the leadership will be shared by Janet Burkett and Anne Gray.  Money received from this project was first put in the youth fund; each year following it went toward the savings for our future building.) 
       On October 31, followed by the first Sunday in December, until the present time we have rented the Jim McDaniel building located at 2086 Burton Lane in the K-Mart plaza.  This allowed a permanent place to worship. This worship site gave us stability and allowed the children programs to grow in larger rooms; people knew where to find our location of worship regularly; this eliminated the weekly set up and tear down of chairs and equipment for worship.  Our attendance began to grow.  We were able to save money as we rented this building.  Jim McDaniel has tremendously assisted this church!
      In December, Cathy Battin initiated our annual participation in ringing the bells for the Salvation Army ministry.  Also this month, Audrey Collier conducted the Children’s’ Christmas Program.  She has served in this capacity every year since.

January-December 2006
      In January, 2006, led by the steering committee, buildings and grounds committee, the first discussions of building design and ministry purpose was conducted.  A congregation vote was taken and the church family endorsed the multiple purpose format of design with classrooms, kitchen, and office space.  Special offerings have been taken bi-annually at Easter and Anniversary Sundays to accelerate savings toward the construction costs of our first building.
        Lisa Vanzant assumed the role of Special Activities Ministry Team Leader, following the service rendered by Kay Cragen.
        Russell Walker assumed the role of Worship Servants Ministry Team Leader, following the service rendered by Jerry Vanzant in this capacity.
        In June, VBS for children was held at the RVCC building, under the direction of Tricia Anderson.  High School was led by Andy and Michelle Baugh.
        In December, we added a part-time secretary, working 10 hours a week.  Whitney Stiles was hired. The congregation approved the gradual addition of staff.  We continued to rely on volunteers to do much of our work.

January- December 2007
         By Easter of 2007, we experienced a growing attendance and enthusiasm.  In April, the possibility of losing the rent at the McDaniel building emerged.  In May, the steering committee directed a meeting with representatives from Church Development Fund, including Tom Warner.  CDF evaluated our finances and building needs and recommended a capital campaign be conducted.
         In June, VBS was held at the RVCC worship site, under the direction of Julie Hiles.  Prior to the start of VBS, in June, the steering committee contacted Larry Green as consultant for capital campaign.  Committees were established and the program organization began in June to be executed; was launched in August of 2007 and ended with financial commitments in October totaling. The sacrificial giving of over $350,000 in three years was projected toward the building.
        In August the congregation endorsed the hiring of a part-time Intern/Youth Associate for work with children and youth ministry. Chase Lyday was hired.  Chase ended his ministry in March as he joined a church plant team in San Diego, California.
       In November of 2007, the congregation elected their first elders:  Don Clark, Joe Hacker, Dennis Mills, and Mike Martin.
January-December 2008
      In January, High School Youth went to TCTC in Gatlinburg, TN sponsored by Mike and Claudia Garard, as well as was done in 2006.
      Michelle Keller has served as Kids church volunteer director for the Kindergarten to Grade 5 students, since March of 2007, taking over the leadership of this program from Lee Able. 
       In January, Expansion in the children’s program was that Roberta Able took a leadership roll in the formation of preschool education during worship.  She worked with 3-4 year olds. A classroom  was remodeled for this ministry. This enhanced children’s ministry was launched with a Newborn and Preschool Recognition Day!
      In February, Kevin Able had an appendectomy and missed serving a couple Sundays before resuming duties.  Middle School youth went to CIY in Cincinnati.
       In May, Chad Kelker was chosen and arrived as a summer intern minister for 12 weeks. His focus of ministry was youth and music in ministry and led a couple youth mission trips. 
       In June, a flood rocked the Martinsville community and greatly affected the ministry and building where River Valley held worship.  We missed one Sunday of worship.  We meet in following weeks for 45 minute worship services; as volunteers worked for weeks to clean the building, remove carpet and damaged goods, wash equipment, replace wall board, and paint the building.   A positive spirit was captured by the team work and recovery of this building for all the worship services to this day.  Key volunteers who worked multiple days with this recovery were: Del Brown, Don & Linda Burleigh, Stacy Brinkley, Roberta Able, Kevin & Melissa Greene, Gary & Anne Gray, Chip & Michelle Keller, Dan Young, Dennis & Rhonda Hartzler, Cathy Lake, Julie Hiles, Mike Nelson, Brenda Brewer, Blanche Miles, Carmen Jordan, Chad Kelker (and his parents) and many more!
         In June, a mission trips by High School youth were taken to New Orleans to help with recent Katrina flood victims. 
         In July, a mission trip by Middle School youth and adults was taken to Beattyville, KY.
         In July, VBS was held at the City Park for one day, under the direction of Michelle Keller.
         In September, Michelle Baugh was hired as office administrator; Barbara Alexander was hired as Custodian; Gary Gray was hired as Building Maintenance.  They continue to work part-time in these roles.
          In November, the economy began to adversely affect Martinsville and River Valley Christian Church, but the church remained focused on our goals.  This same month, the congregation elected elders:  Norman Able and Dan Young.          
          In December, Angela Wood assumed the Ringing the Bells for Salvation Army service project; taking over for Cathy Battin.

January-December 2009
          In January of 2009, an expansion in the children’s program was that Anne Gray took a leadership roll in the formation of nursery education and care during worship.  She worked with newborns-2 year olds.  A nursery area was created and remodeled for this ministry.
          In February, over 35 Middle School students and sponsors went to CIY in Cincinnati.
          In May, Sho Gray, a student from Johnson Bible College was chosen and arrived as a summer intern minister for 12 weeks. His focus of ministry was youth and music in ministry. 
          In June, a middle school retreat was held at the home and by Andy & Michelle Baugh (the fifth year in a row). In June, VBS was held at the RVCC building, under the direction of Melissa Starnes.    
          In August, work days at our Egbert Road property were conducted in preparation for a church picnic.  In September, debris from the house burned was removed from our property.  A bulldozer used for that debris removal was left on the property.  Vandals used that bulldozer to damage the garage on that property.  Insurance reimbursement was collected for this damage and put into the future building fund.  An all church picnic was conducted in September.
          In September, conditions arose that caused the leadership to determine the need to pursue a permanent building for our place of worship, within this two year window of time.
          In September, small group ministry groups were launched for the fall.
          In October, the elders renewed emphasis on building design and analyzing finances and investigated new options for building. This same month, L.D. Campbell came from Johnson Bible College and conducted a Church Growth seminar and preached in the morning services. 
          On November 5, our 5th Anniversary was observed.  A Special Offering of nearly $13,000 was received for the start-up salary for a minister of music, to be added to our staff.
          In November, the congregation elected elders:  Don Burleigh and John Lake.
          In December, Angela Wood lead the Ringing the Bells for Salvation Army service project. Audrey Collier continued her leadership of the Children’s Christmas Musical. This was her fifth year of leading this program.
January-December 2010
          In January, a Stewardship program was conducted as a boost to our church giving.  
          In January, Anne Gray took on the directing of ministry toward 2-3 year olds and turned he nursery ministry over to Megan Walker. Expansions in the children’s program lead to the formation of education during worship for 2-3 year olds.  An area was created and remodeled for this ministry.
          In February, Ben Merold led a church growth and leadership seminar at the church. That weekend has since ignited a renewed focus on evangelism at the church.
           In March, the elders designated committees for proceeding toward design and building. Also, in March, twenty-one high school youth and sponsors went to Johnson Bible College for Spring Retreat.
           In April, we observed Easter with an attendance of 348. 
           In May, Mary Land concluded 4 years of service as Financial Secretary.  Presently Melva Brown and Cathy Quakenbush lead this Financial Ministry Team.
           In May, Ryne Able came as the 2010 summer intern with a focus on the preaching ministry. Ryne is the nephew of the Senior Minister, Kevin Able, and grandson of RVCC’s elder, Norman Able.   
            On June 6 the congregation voted to approve the contracts for the loan and the building design as was recommended by the elders.  Over $650,000 has been saved from the generous giving and capital campaign effort (which will conclude in November) by members and friends toward this building project, plus the furniture and equipment at an estimated cost roughly $1,600,000.  This generosity has been such a blessing! At the same time the church has conducted a vibrant ministry to all ages of youth and adults, plus this year gives 8% of general fund giving to mission efforts outside the ministry of River Valley Christian Church. 
           In June, we conducted a week of Vacation Bible School with Nikki Byers as our VBS Director and Tricia Anderson as our co-director, who serve as VBS Director in 2011. 
            On July 11, Ken Keifer led his first worship service at River Valley.  He was hired as the worship minister, adding to the leadership of our prior music and worship ministry that was led by many dedicated, volunteer song leaders, instrumentalists, and musicians. Special thanks go to:  Debbie Cooper and Kim Lauderman who led our first worship on Sunday, November 7, 2004 and got us through our first two months of ministry.  Many thanks goes to Debbie Costin for leading choirs and special events, along with kudos needed for: Rhonda and Dennis Hartzler, Audrey Collier, Kevin and Melissa Greene, Andy Baugh,  Billie and Tony Hadley, Ron Taylor, Larry Dodds, plus Jon, Brittany, Ryan & David Elkins who all led worship at RVCC in the ministry of the church.
            On July 25, the church held its Ground Breaking Ceremony for purpose to launch the building project to meet the combined needs of worship, education, fellowship, and ministry.  This special celebration was held at the site of the future building at 4295 Egbert Road, Martinsville.  The Ground Breaking Ceremony has been orchestrated by the ministry team leaders: Melissa and Kevin Greene. 
The entire events featured the participation of the church’s elders, members, and everyone present. Each person received a wooden stake to write their name and favorite Scripture verse, and later will use the stakes with the Ground Breaking Ceremony! (This was to illustrate that every person has “a stake” in this effort!”  The children of RVCC provided a special song.  The first Lord’s Supper at the property will be conducted.  A special offering for the future ministry was taken.  This portion of service will be held under a tent, like old tent revivals of years ago.  The congregation then walked from the tent to the staked boundary of the future building site.  Our goal was to line up each person on the boundary of the future building.  Songs of worship and scripture preceded the Ground Breaking Ceremony, where elders turned the first shovels of ground and every person present placed their stake in the boundary of the future building.  From the first day of ministry, RVCC has valued the participation of every member and friend that made this land purchase and church construction possible.  The worship service and Ground Breaking Ceremony was closed with an invitation to follow Christ.  Three decisions for Christ were made this day:  Damon, Elizabeth Kerns transferred church membership.  Their son, Damon Kerns was baptized, while his sister Emma stood in support.  A prayer circle was held.  A church picture was taken to mark this special moment.  A pitch-in lunch followed this ceremony. 
        Since August, the church’s goal was to strengthen its ministry prior to church growth that is anticipated.  With purposely created a strong “First Impression” ministry team system, intending to better welcome guests and members.  A Café Fellowship Ministry Team, a Welcome Center Ministry Team, a Greeters Ministry Team, and an Ushers Ministry Team have been established to help create a solid “First Impression” of River Valley. 
        With the intent to deepen our “First Lessons” taught to children, the Nursery Ministry Team, 2-3 Year Olds Ministry Team, 4-5 Year Olds Ministry Team, and Children’s Church Ministry Team have recruited additional help; established improved check-in procedures, and all people working with children in the church go through background checks!
        In September, we launched a Wednesday Night Education Program.  We serve a meal.  That is followed by small groups of education for Men, Women, Teens, Elementary, Preschool, plus a nursery was all established new.   
        During the fall, we celebrated our 6th Anniversary on November 6, with great attendance and a generous offering.   We also conducted our annual elections of elders, with first time elders chosen: Andy Baugh and Jerry Vanzant.  This was our first year that elders rotated off this ministry team; a big thank you goes to Joe Hacker, Mike Martin, and Dennis Mills, who completed 3 years of serving as elder.       
        At the start of the new year of 2011, we have added to our part-time church staff:  Del Brown as Property Maintenance.  Our other part-time staff includes: Gary Gray as Building Maintenance; Barbara Alexander as Custodian; Michelle Baugh as Office Manager; Ken Keifer as Worship Minister.  Kevin Able serves as Senior Minister, since the church began in 2004.  Our future goal is to add other paid staff for youth and children; however River Valley is very blessed to have Michelle Keller serve as Children’s Church director for the past 5 years on a volunteer basis; and Roberta Able has served as 4-5 year old director for the past 4 years on a volunteer basis;  plus Anne Gray has served as Nursery and 2-3 year old director for the past 3 years on a volunteer basis.    
        After the GRAND OPENING DAY immediately in February and March, we near the launching of ministry in our new building on Egbert Road, three immediate ministries outside of Sunday morning efforts are being prepared.
        #1 -- Our Wednesday Night Education Hour will resume with a meal (6 pm) and teaching (6:45-7:45 pm) for every age groups during March and April.
        #2 -- A Kids Hoops League is being established for children at River Valley and the local community to play basketball and participate in cheerleading; this will be held on four Thursday nights, and two Sunday afternoons during the month of March.
       #3 -- On Sunday nights (6:00-7:30 pm), YOUTH GROUPS for high school and middle school will be held from March thru May led by volunteers!      
      The Grand Opening Day is set for February 27.  The elders, staff and members of River Valley invite the public to join in the celebration of the completion of this new building that will be used for ministry! 
The building features a multiple use area for worship and family life center, six classrooms plus a conference room and “The Gathering Place,” secure preschool and nursery rooms, warming kitchen, offices, foyer, and welcome center. The elders have a long term goal of multiple phases and with future placements of building identified and increased area for parking on the church property.  They are anticipating future growth in worship, education, ministry, and committed to sharing the church’s vision and purpose, to anyone who asks! 
            Many more ministry teams and individuals than these listed in this brief history account have greatly influenced the work and success of River Valley Christian Church.  So many more deserve credit than are listed in this account. Yet from the very beginning of our ministry until the present, the church has attempted to live by the standard in scripture, from I Corinthians 10:31, “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God!” On February 27, we will conduct our Grand Opening Day.  May this event glorify God and His son, Jesus Christ!