Last fall, members and friends of Valley Crossroads church in Pacoima joined together for a special day recognizing the congregation’s 60 years of ministry.
Former pastors were acknowledged, such as Royal Harrison (2011-2015), who currently serves as the Greater Los Angeles Region director. “God has tremendously blessed Valley Crossroads church,” said Harrison. “My family and I are so honored to have been a part of the history and legacy of this landmark church.”
Valley Crossroads was founded by a small group of women who were interested in Bible studies in the Pacoima area. “Some may call them charter members; others may refer to them as a company of believers,” said John Trusty, pastor at Valley Crossroads. “I call them champions of God.” As their group grew in number, they required a larger venue. One of these women, Myrtle Williams, invited Anderson Fields, a recent Oakwood College (now Oakwood University) graduate, to help with the beginnings of what would be Pacoima church. Wendell Nelson became the first pastor in 1955. The church changed its name to Valley Crossroads in 1999.
Duane C. Darrett, a lifelong member of Valley Crossroads, recognized these first members and presented charter members Madeline Merriweather- Gonzalez, Yolanda Minor, and Helen Robinson with accolades for their years of service. Richard Davis, a Valley Crossroads patriarch, was also honored and received a standing ovation from the congregation. “For decades you have been our elder, mentor, mighty prayer warrior, advisor, and friend,” said Darrett. “You have demonstrated patience with people of all ages and all walks of life.”
Ronald C. Smith, president of the Southern Union Conference, who credits Davis with training him how to be a leader, was the guest speaker. His message centered on the importance of carrying on Christ’s mission in the last days. “No superficial connection with Jesus is going to do; no ordinary faith in God’s sovereignty will do,” said Smith. “It must be a faith that can endure.”
Valley Crossroads has a history of maintaining a key presence in its community—giving to those seeking food, clothing, and other resources. The church hosts a food bank program through a partnership with MEND, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, to bring healthy produce and nonperishable food to Pacoima. The church also provides cooking classes and counseling through its Celebrate Recovery program.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and California State Senator Bob Hertzberg expressed gratitude for the church’s contributions in the community. “Your dedication to the spiritual and physical wellbeing of the community is greatly appreciated,” said Garcetti in his letter. “Your collaboration with other organizations to bring the necessary services to the San Fernando Valley has not gone unnoticed.”
The festivities concluded with an afternoon program featuring special musical selections and continued praise.
“We must pray always and keep our eyes fixed on Jesus alone,” said Trusty. “Let this celebration be a prelude to the celebration we’ll experience when we all get to heaven.”