Our History


Valley Baptist actually started as First Baptist Church of Oildale and was born out of an old-fashioned tent revival meeting held on North Chester near Beardsley Canal. At first the Church met in the homes of various members until someone loaned the Church a tent, which was established on Oildale Drive by the canal. The Church met there in tent for about a year.
Twenty-five dollars was donated by the Shafter Church, to be paid toward the purchase of a lot on the corner of Taft and Airport Drive. The members and friends donated materials to lay a foundation and the tent was moved to the new location and erected on the 40' X 60' foundation. This was a real step of faith since there would now be payments of $10.00 per month. At the time only one man in the congregation was employed. attendance of the Church reached an all-time high in 1985 with more than 300 in Sunday School on several occasions.

Meanwhile across town a group of dedicated Southern Baptists started meeting in a home in August of 1947. An organizational meeting was held on September 7, 1947 and Hillcrest Baptist Church was born.

The area around Hillcrest Baptist Church gradually changed through the years. By 1985, the population on the east of town was increasingly Hispanic. The Church made every effort to reach its community and finally in 1985 it was decided that the community would best be served by an Hispanic church.
In an historic decision, the First Baptist Church of Oildale and the Hillcrest Baptist Church voted to merge in order to charter a new Church named Valley Baptist Church. The new Church met for the first time in December 1985. It was a great day with 365 people in attendance on Sunday morning! In the weeks that followed, a continual search was made for land on which to relocate.

Finally, on July 19, 1987, the church voted to buy fifteen acres on Fruitvale Avenue in order to relocate. The Church voted on October 7, 1990 to begin construction on the first phase of its new building. The building was completed and the first services held at 4800 Fruitvale Avenue on April 5, 1992.

The Hispanic mission that was founded at the old Hillcrest Baptist Church is now a self-sufficient congregation of over 150 members.

In December 1999, a new 2,200 seat sanctuary was opened that now allows Valley Baptist to better reach the population of the greater Bakersfield area. Valley Baptist Church continues to grow and expand from its meager beginnings. There are now over 7,000 members. The vision and expectations for the future have never been brighter.

Our new childrens' building, featuring over 50,000 square feet of educational space, opened in October of 2004.

On December 5th, 2010 we celebrated our 25th anniversary.