Valley View Mennonite Church (Criders, Virginia, USA)

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Valley View Mennonite Church, Criders, Virginia, 2012.
Photo by Elwood Yoder; used with permission.
Source: Mennonite Archives of Virginia.

Valley View Mennonite Church (Mennonite Church USA) is located in Criders, Virginia. The congregation began to form around 1880 as one of several schoolhouse groups to which Northern District of the Vir­ginia Mennonite Conference preachers ministered. In 1911 Bishop Timothy Showalter, Ashby Smith, and Joseph W. Stultz guided the merger of these groups to form Valley View Mennonite Church, which provided a central location for worship and nurture. In 1922 a frame church was built to accommodate the growing con­gregation.

Will Yankey was installed in 1930 as the first pastor of Valley View. During the two prior decades, Bishops Samuel Shank and Timothy Showalter provided leadership. In 1957 the membership had grown to 92. A restroom, front porch, new entrance area, and three Sunday school classrooms were added in 1962. A fellowship hall, kitchen and additional restrooms were built in 1989.

During the 1990s Valley View’s fellowship hall served as a meeting place for youth in the community. In 2000 Valley View began collaborating with other local churches to provide a food pantry in this rural area.

Pastor H. Michael Shenk III served a congregation of 57 members in 2015. At that time the congregation worshiped in a traditional style. Ninety-five percent of the congregants identified as white.


Brunk, Harry Anthony. History of Mennonites in Virginia: 1727-1900, Volume I. Verona, VA: McClure Printing Company, 1959.

Brunk, Harry Anthony. History of Mennonites in Virginia: 1900-1960, Volume II. Verona, VA: McClure Printing Company, 1972.

Crider, Charlotte. "A Brief History of Valley View Mennonite Church."

Moyers, Granville. "Valley View Mennonite Church."

"Valley View Mennonite Church." Legacy Alive Magazine (Fall 2008).

Additional Information

Address: PO Box 20, Criders, VA 22820-0020

Location: 21806 Criders Road, Criders, Virginia

Phone: 540-852-9338

Denominational Affiliation:

Virginia Mennonite Conference

Mennonite Church USA

Valley View Mennonite Church Bishops and Ministers

Minister Years
Samuel Shank, Bishop 1911-1916
Timothy Showalter, Bishop 1916-1930
J. L. Stauffer, Bishop 1916-1930
Will Yahkey, Minister 1930-1939
J. Ward Shank, Bishop 1941-1975
Ray Emswiler, Minister 1941-1975
Moses Selvaraj, Assistant Pastor early 1970s
Kauffman, Assistant Pastor 1973-1974
H. Michael Shenk, Jr., Minister 1975-2012
H. Michael Shenk III, Minister 1997-present

Author(s) Timothy Showalter
David Wood
Date Published December 2015

Cite This Article

MLA style

Showalter, Timothy and David Wood. "Valley View Mennonite Church (Criders, Virginia, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2015. Web. 17 Dec 2018.,_Virginia,_USA)&oldid=139499.

APA style

Showalter, Timothy and David Wood. (December 2015). Valley View Mennonite Church (Criders, Virginia, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 December 2018, from,_Virginia,_USA)&oldid=139499.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 798. All rights reserved.

©1996-2018 by the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. All rights reserved.