The Church of God in Reading was organized September 4, 1927, on the second floor of 251 Penn St. A handful of individuals stepped forward to form the small beginnings of a Church, and God has richly blessed it over the years. The Church was started as an outreach of the Norristown Church and began as “cottage prayer meetings” in different homes. Its first pastor was Pastor Davis.
The Pentecostal Revival began to spread at the turn of the century, launched by the Azusa St. Revival in Los Angeles. In this revival, God broke down racial barriers. The brave souls who joined the Church of God on Sept. 4th were of both black and white ethnic origins. This was only 62 years after the civil war.
From the sketchy history we have of the Reading Church, and from personal interviews with those who remember the early days, it is apparent that there was a genuine love between the races. There was no political agenda- only an agenda to meet together in worship to the risen Lord in spirit and truth.
Listening to the stories of the people who remember the worship in prayer meetings on Penn St. and Cotton St., their worship was described as “dynamic, exciting, and Spirit filled”. They not only loved to worship, but they also loved to fellowship. When services ended, they lingered and enjoyed each other’s company.
In December of 1927 the Church of God moved to Cotton St., where the Glad Tidings Assembly of God congregation had been meeting (Glad Tidings had moved to their new facilities on Windser St.). When the move was made, a new pastor was chosen – Robert Seyda. His parsonage consisted of two Sunday School rooms attached to the church. He had no car and walked everywhere.
In 1935, Henry Stoppe began serving as pastor. Reverend Stoppe was responsible for purchasing the building at 1228 North 10th St. In order to concentrate their efforts to better serve the people of each race, the congregation decided in 1943 to split the congregation racially. A building at 543 Schuylkill Ave. was purchased and it became the Schuylkill Ave. Church of God. From 1945 – 1974 there were numerous other pastors who served the 10th St. Church.
On September 24, 1974, Robert E. Hinson began his pastorate in Reading, and served as pastor of Spring Valley Church until 2012. By 1977, the Church hosted Bro. Reddi Stephen, State Overseer of over 85 churches in Andhra Pradesh, India. The Church became instrumental in providing funds to help Bro. Stephen with his ministry in India. From this point the Church became active in missions. As the church blessed others through foreign and home missions, it in turn was blessed.
As the church continued to grow, it became necessary to begin to look for land to purchase. Financially the church was not in a position to purchase anything, so they prayed. Subsequently, the church, by the grace of God, bought 31 acres of land on Old Pricetown Rd. Around the same time, E.G. and Klara Smith shared with the congregation that God had blessed them so greatly that they wanted to help finance a new church building in their memories after their death. Through a bond issue and the generous efforts of Brother and Sister Smith, the church moved into its new building in a very short time. Only God could have done the great things we have seen.
We said goodbye to the North 10th st. Church. The facilities there had served us well. The church building at 2727 Old Pricetown Rd. became occupied in September 1990. From that time on the church grew, as well as the staff. Each leader built on the foundation of the one before, yet added his or her own gifts to the mix. Since moving to the new church location attendance jumped from 300 members to a congregation of over 1200. In September 2012, Pastor Kyle Hinson became Lead Pastor of Spring Valley Church.
Spring Valley Church currently has several Life Groups meeting at any given time during the week, and has an inner-city outreach known as City Light Ministries. There are ministries available for every life stage, from Wee Wonders for our children, to our various adult ministries. In all, through the grace of God and the vision He has imparted to our Pastor over the last 35 years, and also to Pastor Kyle, the vision and ministry at Spring Valley Church remains alive and well.