For thirty years, Dean Herring spent his life ministering in South Georgia. During that time, he spent eight years as a youth minister, two years in evangelism, and twenty years as a pastor. He had the privilege of preaching at numerous youth camps, marriage retreats, and conferences across the country each year. But after a visit to Treasure Valley in southern Idaho, God began to impress upon the hearts of the Herring family that He wanted them to move to the area and plant a Baptist church.
In November of 2005, the Herrings bid farewell to their friends and loved ones, and moved to Idaho to begin the work that God had led them to do. On the second Sunday of February, 2006, the South Valley Baptist Church had its first service with forty-three in attendance. Six people accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
Watching people grow in Christ and become servant leaders has been the greatest blessing of Pastor Herring’s life. “Coming home every Sunday after ministering to people who found Christ as a result of our church is such a fulfilling experience,” he says.
Unlike most church planters, Pastor Herring was fifty years old when he started South Valley Baptist Church. “You don’t have to be a young man to plant a church,” he says. “I had people advise me that because of my age I needed to settle down and stay put until Jesus returned. Think of all that I would have missed if I had played it safe.”
Only God can bring something out of nothing, and there is a loving and vibrant church in Idaho where just eleven years ago it did not exist.
The church still does not own property or a building. Each year they have been setting up for every service and tearing down afterwards. Pastor Herring credits the members of his church by saying, “Our people wouldn’t be willing to do that for that long if they didn’t have a servant’s heart.” Even amid the challenges, South Valley Baptist believes the best days are still ahead.