What we are about is getting the Bible message of the good news of Jesus Christ to the people of the Connecticut River Valley and to the world.
The good news is that Jesus Christ was sent by a loving, heavenly Father to be the Savior of the world. The good news is that people can be forgiven of their sins and freed from the penalty of their sins by placing their faith and trust in Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah. The good news is that people can have meaningful lives and fruitful, spiritual lives by having a relationship with Almighty God through the Lord Jesus Christ. The good news is that people can be 100% sure of eternal life by repenting and turning their lives to Jesus Christ. River Valley Baptist Church has been placed on Main Street of Ansonia for the purpose of getting that great message to as many as possible.
Though our world around us is ever-changing, we believe that God is unchanging, the truth is unchanging and His Word is unchanging. Therefore, we are an old-fashioned Baptist Church with the old-fashioned message of truth preached and taught from the old-fashioned King James Bible. We have not resorted to a worldly philosophy of worship and church growth; but have remained traditional and conservative in our music and our standards. We believe that our God is Holy and we are still old-fashioned enough to believe that His people should live holy lives. Though our arms and hearts are wide open to all who would come and visit, we believe that the powerful gospel message will cause great change in the lives of whosoever will listen and obey His Word. Yes, come as you are, but we are convinced that the truth of God’s Word, if heeded, will change you and you will desire to be conformed into the image of Jesus Christ.
About out Pastor
Throughout his membership at River Valley Baptist Church since 1988, David J. Barker completed several courses at White Oak Baptist Institute, River Valley Baptist Institute, New England School of the Bible, and the Online Baptist College of America. In addition, he has been the Adult Sunday School teacher since December 2002.
On April 29, 2008, the church ordained Dave as one of the deacons, an office he held until October 20, 2013, when, after a unanimous vote, he was ordained pastor of River Valley Baptist Church.
Born and raised in the Valley, David and his wife Marianne, were married in 1977, and have eight children, and several grandchildren.
In July of 1987, God put in the heart of Pastor Norman Aabye, a graduate of Colonial Hills Baptist College, the desire to begin a new work in the Naugatuck Valley area of Connecticut. Having grown up in Milford, Connecticut, just seven miles away, Pastor Aabye was familiar with the small towns that comprise "the Valley". He sought the Lord's guidance, desiring to know in which town God would have him establish a new independent Baptist church. Soon, it was apparent that Ansonia was the best place, being central to all other towns. In September of 1987, a series of "get acquainted" meetings were held on Wednesday evenings in the Red Cross buildings on Cliff Street. The goal was to familiarize of the need for a solid, Bible-Believing church. Through the door-to-door distribution of flyers, and the help of several local pastors, the meetings were successful in establishing a core group of 12 believers as the nucleus of the new church.
On Sunday, October 25, 1987, the first official service of the River Valley Baptist church was held in the gymnasium of the Lincoln-Hayes School on Cottage Avenue in Ansonia, with an attendance of 28 people. Sunday School and morning and evening services were held at the school, while mid-week Bible studies were held in various individuals' homes on Wednesday evenings. The small church began to grow through careful and thorough Bible teaching and preaching and the personal evangelistic efforts of the members.
By 1992, it was apparent that the church needed facilities that could be used seven days a week, if necessary. A store front building was rented on Clifton Avenue with two floors providing adequate room for a sanctuary, as well as youth room, childrens' Sunday school, and a nursery. Over the next seven years River Valley Baptist Church experienced substantial growth and received front page publicity from the Connecticut Post newspaper, detailing the history and ministry of the congregation.
In 1999, while taking care of some business in the downtown area of Ansonia, Pastor Aabye noticed a large bank building on Main Street was for sale. The size, location, and enclosed parking lot seemed just right for a permanent home for the growing ministry. The congregation met in the available building for prayer and God's guidance concerning the transaction. The process moved along well, the purchase was made, and the congregation set out to renovate the building into a church. In February of 2000, a special dedication service was held at the new building at 355 Main Street, Ansonia, CT, with over 150 in attendance!
During the years that followed, a full-time, associate Pastor, Christopher Camp, was added, taking the responsibility for youth and music. In 2005, the Lord called Pastor Aabye and his wife, Priscilla, to a new work in northwestern Pennsylvania, ministering to the elderly in nursing homes. Pastor Camp was voted in as the new, senior pastor, who faithfully served with his wife Jayne, and their four daughters. Having arrived in Connecticut with a burden to begin a new work, his vision had been postponed until October 20, 2013, when the church commissioned the Camp Family to "Go forth, and preach the Gospel" to the Sandy Hook area of Connecticut.