Springvale has a long and rich spiritual heritage dating back to the 19th century. The corner of Stouffville & Kennedy is so much more than simply the crossing of two roads. It is a place where people intersect with the gospel of Christ, where friendships are formed, family is nourished, the gospel is preached and lives are changed. We give thanks to God for where he has brought us and we would be remiss to forget those who have gone on before us, faithfully paving the way for today and the future. We gratefully strive to faithfully build on this foundation as we endeavor to nurture families and care for every person as we join with God to create passionate followers of Jesus.
A look back
In 1848 William and Sarah Ratcliff donated land and Second Markham Baptist church was founded on the corner of Stouffville & Kennedy Roads. The church began with forty members. The first resident pastor, Elder R. McLelland began in 1854 and was shared with First Markham Baptist church. The church continued to grow and in 1977 a new building was constructed which is still in existence today.
In 1939 the church united with the Fellowship of independent Baptist churches. Midway through the 20th century the front church entrance was erected, the balcony was added and Youth Center (currently Emmanuel International) was built.
Since the church was no longer in Markham township and there was no longer a First Markham Baptist in existence the church’s name was changed to Springvale in 1976. The “spring” came from the idea that there were artesian wells in the area as well as the symbolism derived from “eternal springs” of living waters. The church is in a valley or vale, thus the name Springvale.
The late 70s and early 80s brought further growth and development. In 1978 a larger Christian Education wing was added complete with nursery, washroom and a new pastor’s study. In 1982 Pastor Bob Flemming was called to Springvale and he faithfully served for 28 years. A new auditorium was added as well as Christian education facilities, a kitchen and offices in 1984.
Throughout the next decade multiple staff were added to enable the Pastoral team to more effectively meet the many varied issues that present themselves in an ever growing church.
From 1988-1992 further property was acquired with 10 acres purchased from the Stouffville Conference Center as well as the purchase of the corner property. In 2000 all debt from previous building and land acquisition projects were paid off.
In 2002 members voted to proceed with the “Field of Dreams” building expansion project. The next several years saw building permits, site development, exterior and interior construction all culminating with occupancy in 2008.
Dr. Ed Fontaine was called to Springvale in 2011 to serve as the Senior Pastor. The Groundwork for Growth campaign, or G4G raised funds to complete a variety of projects including paving of the parking lot, land purchase of 13 acres, renovation to Springvale Kids department, hiring of an associate pastor and debt reduction.
Springvale now enters a Time for Growth as we trust God to double our impact in York Region in the coming years.