Pastor Porter prepares for new Sidney campus


SIDNEY — Pastor Cindy Porter remembers sitting near the front of the church as her dad, the pastor, was preaching.

“I was 12. I really didn’t pay any attention to what he was saying,” Porter recalled. But she said, at the end of his sermon, he was “talking about knowing Jesus.” Even though her dad was the pastor, she knew she could not get to Heaven on her dad’s faith. “Even at 12, I needed to make my own decision.” She went forward during the altar call that day and her dad prayed with her to accept Jesus. That day changed her life.

Pastoral ministry is something of a family calling. Her dad was a Church of God (Anderson, Indiana) pastor and she grew up in that church. Porter and her husband, Wayne, a native of Roanoke, Virginia, are the parents of two daughters and both of them have answered a call to pastoral ministry. Her daughter, Jessica Coulter, and her husband, Mark, are the pastors of The Valley Church, Troy, and they have two children, Dilan, 9, and Zalome, 6. Their other daughter, Caitlin, and her husband, Tim Tyler, live in Tennessee and she is the executive pastor of a Nazarene congregation there.

Porter said that all of her career has been about ministry.

“I’ve always served.” There was a moment that she knew God was calling her to more. Sitting one day in what she described as a “ratty chair with the stuffing falling out” during her prayer time, she said God told her, “‘I’m going to call you into full time (vocational) service to preach and teach…I want to use you in more ways.’” After pursuing her ordination and pastoring in Michigan and for 18 years in Lima, Ohio, she also worked in a church in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina, before being called to launch The Valley Church Sidney campus.

Porter noted since The Valley Church Troy campus was launched, there are now over 450 in attendance. Since that launch, The Valley Church has seen 255 individuals saved and 104 baptisms.

Porter said the excitement over what will happen at The Valley Church Sidney is growing. There are currently over 100 people fully committed to launching the Sidney church in September 2023. Many are young families with children. The Sidney-Shelby County YMCA facility will provide a home to The Valley Sidney.

“We believe God desires the over 80 percent of unchurched people in Sidney to know him as their savior, and in turn, become fully discipled followers of Christ who are compelled to go out and do likewise. We believe that changed lives change lives.”

Porter said she and those who are launching The Valley Church Sidney believe they “will see people being saved and sanctified, people who are broken being made whole, hundreds of children saying yes to Jesus, hundreds of teens finding their identity in Christ, physical healings taking place, marriages being restored and the chains of addiction being broken.”

“We also believe that God will do this work through the 100 plus committed people who are called to be missionaries to Sidney, Ohio,” Pastor Cindy noted.

“We are equipping and challenging our launch team with prayer, training and accountability to personally invite 300 unchurched family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers to The Valley Sidney,” Pastor Cindy stated.

Beginning on April 30, The Valley Church Sidney will meet in the East Venue at The Valley Church Piqua in what Porter describes as an “incubator service” that will meet at 9:15 a.m. only each Sunday through Sept. 17 in that location. That will allow those committed to the Sidney campus to begin worshipping together and invite others interested in The Valley Church Sidney to begin creating the congregation that will then transfer to the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA on Sunday, Sept. 24, where they will have 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. services.

The Sidney-Shelby County YMCA location will allow for elementary age children to meet together in the West Gym, the nursery will be in the YMCA Children’s Center and the main worship center will be in the Schauer Gymnasium.

This summer, The Valley Church Sidney will become a familiar name to Sidney and Shelby County residents as the church will be set up at the Sidney Farmer’s Market every Saturday, where they will offer face painting and popsicles among other things. They will also be involved with the Compassionate Care Clinic in Sidney, Mercy Mission House, Dorothy Love Retirement Community and with YMCA family events.

Porter will also be available for prayer and encouragement at her office at the YMCA.

Everyone who helps to launch The Valley Church Sidney, known as “ministry champions,” will lead specific ministries and they still need more people. “If you want to serve, there’s a place for you,” Porter said.

Anyone interested in possibly being part of the launch of The Valley Church Sidney can email her at [email protected].

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