Church votes to add ‘Valley Grande’ to its name

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 1, 2003

Central Baptist Church voted Sunday night to change its name to Valley Grande Baptist Church and become the first area church to display the Valley Grande name since the area incorporated.

The church, noted for its modern red-brick construction and visibility from Highway 22, is located at 48 County Road 16 and lies within the new town of Valley Grande. The vote came after a Sunday night worship service in which 114 members voted. Pastor Doug Chappelle said 66 percent of those voting chose the new name.

Chappelle said the name change will become official June 1 and a ceremony will be held to mark the new name.

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“We will make a slow transition to it,” Chappelle said Monday.

Chappelle said the name more accurately reflects the location of the church. Central Baptist Church was located in downtown Selma until 1999 when it moved to the northern part of the county.

Central Baptist Church Deacon Marc Ivey said a name change was discussed at that time.

“The move was enough at the time. That was enough change at once,” Ivey said.

The church is 106 years old.

Ivey said church members frequently canvass the area and ask people to attend church. He said often those spoken to on the visits are unsure of the location of the church, but can identify with the church when its location and architecture are described.

“People know the construction but not the name,” Ivey said.

Ivey said the church has seen growth since it moved to the Valley Grande area, and he hopes the new name will help the church better serve the community.

“(Valley Grande) will continue to grow. You will see a natural movement of people to that area,” Ivey said. “There is a lot of residential growth. I think there will be association with the location of the church and the name.”

Said Chappelle, “I think people are ready to identify with our community and the town of Valley Grande. These are the people God has called on us to minister for Jesus.

People will more readily know who we are and where we are. It will ring a bell when people talk about Valley Grande Baptist Church.”