Chapel in the Valley
"Built by the Loving Hands of People of Many Faiths
Dedicated to God
with the Prayer that All Who Pass Beneath this Cross Might Feel Closer to Him"
The history of the Chapel in the Valley is a long and colorful one. As early as 1915, Sunday School classes were being conducted in area schoolhouses and later in various homes. Occasionally a traveling troupe came by and conducted bona fide church services.
Construction began on the Palisades Dam Project in 1952, bringing with it an influx of workers and their families and the desire for regular worship services. Under the leadership of the Idaho Falls Ministerial Association, religious services were held on Sunday evenings, first in a building at the dam site and later in the Irwin schoolhouse.
Almost every protestant denomination was represented by the various ministers who drove from Idaho Falls to conduct the services in Swan Valley: Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and others. Even with the willingness and effort of the ministers who came, the ministry remained spasmodic and unrelated. Some ministers pounded the pulpit and shouted with fiery, evangelistic fervor, while others were the quiet literary type.
In 1960, the Ministerial Association approved the outreach of the pastor and pastor emeritus of the First Presbyterian Church of Idaho Falls. With their guidance, a board of officers and a building committee were formed.
The land was donated, and the chapel building was designed by a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Idaho Falls. Construction began in 1962, with approximately 2/3 of the labor and materials being donated. Teams of volunteer workers came from Idaho Falls, Montpelier, Soda Springs, Salt Lake City and Hayward, CA. The Chapel was consecrated in August 1965.
Chapel in the Valley has continued since that time to serve the community and a congregation of many faiths as the only protestant church within 30 miles of Swan Valley.