On our recent travel through Iowa we spent a night with my brother in law, Jim Cole near Thayer Iowa. A couple miles from his house out in the country is this old church. I have driven by it many times in the past 15 years when I have visited with Jim but never stopped.
Sunday rolled around and this time we were determined to attend church services. We were welcomed by about 25 people in this amazing little church. After services we stayed to visit and learn a little about the history. The church was actually organized in 1875 and services were held in a country school prior to building the church. Named Pleasant Valley because it was near a river noted for scenic beauty, they celebrated 100 years in 1984.
Church member Don Bowman put together a little history called Fragments of the Past in their centennial booklet. Things I found interesting to read included: the cost of insurance in 1901 was $5.40 and they took a collection to raise the money; in 1938 they hired a pastor for the coming year. His salary was$10 from the Sunday School treasury, $20 from the Ladies Aid treasury and this is the good part; each family would donate what eggs they gathered on Easter Sunday to the pastor’s salary and each family was asked to donate one hen for the same purpose. In 1948 the church got electricity and in 1954 the pastor’s salary was raised from $56.50 per month to $75 per month.
Pleasant Valley holds Sunday service at 9:30 and visitors are always welcome there. From I-35 exit at Osceola Iowa and go west to Thayer then go south on the county blacktop past the rock quarry and watch for the sign on the west side of the road for the Pleasant Valley Church. And those are Iowa directions, folks!