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.