How Does A Church Get Its Beginning

In the case of Valley United Methodist Church, it all began when a long-established church had a need and another established church had a desire to start a new church.

The church with the need for a new location was St. Andrews United Methodist Church at 31st and Iola in Des Moines.  Its members had been scattered throughout the Des Moines area when the freeway came through just a block away from the church.  Membership and attendance was declining and the future of the church was in doubt.

The church on 8th and Grand in West Des Moines felt that their West Des Moines United Methodist Church had reached optimum size and had a desire to help start a new church in the rapidly growing western suburbs of Des Moines.

St. Andrews had members willing to become a part of a new congregation as well as money that could be raised from the sale of their church building, a parsonage and a piece of land they had previously purchased for the merger of the Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist denominations.

West Des Moines United Methodist Church had $20,000 in their new church mission fund and a number of members willing to help form the nucleus of a new congregation in the western suburbs and United Methodist Builders had contributed $24,000 for the new church.

An agreement was signed with the West Des Moines Community Schools to rent a multi-purpose room/gymnasium at Western Hills School for $10.00 per Sunday plus $5.00 per Sunday for a classroom --- a new church was born On October 21, 1971, with 117 people in attendance!

On March 11, 1973, church services were held for the last time in the Western Hills School gymnasium.  At the conclusion of that Sunday morning service, all present trekked to 42nd and Ashworth for the long awaited ground breaking ceremony.

Heralding trumpets opened the Consecration Celebration Service on March 10, 1974, with an overflow crowd of 300!  Membership reached 195 in mid 1974, then 219 and to 358 by the end of December 1979!

In 1993, a building and parking lot expansion project tagged "To Serve and Grow" was completed.  The expansion included a fellowship hall, adjoining kitchen, table and chair storage, a new office area with three offices and a large reception-work area, coat storage, additional restrooms on the upper level and a new entrance at the lower level, nine new classrooms rooms including two storage and mechanical room, etc.

Valley UMC

Valley United Methodist Church

4201 Ashworth Road
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265

Office Hours

Mon - Thu 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Pastor Lee Schott

Church Office - 515-225-8128

Administration Office Staff

Sheila Madsen
Anne Elly