Our Lady of the Valley Church in Fort Payne will celebrate their 60th anniversary Nov. 23. Festivities begin at 11 a.m. with the recognition of all those who helped to make the new Religious Education facility possible. There will be festivities throughout the day in the Parish Hall to include multicultural food, dances and music to reflect the various ethnicities that comprise the membership of the parish.
There will be a celebration Mass at 6 p.m. with Bishop Baker that will include the installation of Father Rick Chenault as the new Pastor of Our Lady of the Valley.
The OLV parish was established in Fort Payne of DeKalb County as a mission church in 1959, celebrating their first Mass on November 1, 1959. The Reverend Henry Kavanaugh, the assistant Pastor at the time at St. James in Gadsden, presided over the first Mass, which was held in a house on Forest Avenue owned by the Davis family.
Attendance to the Masses soon outgrew the house accommodations and a tract of land was purchased on the north end of Fort Payne for the construction of a church.
Over the years, as attendance and membership grew so did the need for a larger facility. A new church was constructed and the existing church turned into parish offices and religious education classes. Continued growth would also see to the construction of a Religious Education facility to handle the more than 400 students annually attending classes.
Father Rick says, “the purpose of this celebration is in thanksgiving to all the countless people who have made this mission possible and to give thanks to God for the blessing of having a church in Fort Payne for these 60 years. We entrust our parish to his providential care as we move forward into the future.”