The History of Cuyahoga Valley Church

In 1987, Founding Pastor Rick Duncan arrived in Cleveland with his wife Maryanne and their two young sons (later to become three) to start a church plant through the Great Commission Baptists (Southern Baptist) that grew to become Cuyahoga Valley Church.

In the few years prior, God had put ministry on Rick’s heart. He left minor league baseball to work with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. After graduating from Mid-America Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree, he was asked by the North American Mission Board to start a church plant. His choices were Orlando, Florida or Cleveland, Ohio. Looking for some insight, he asked a mentor for advice who said, “Anyone can start a church in Florida, but who will go to Cleveland?”

After more than two decades of leading this thriving church family, Rick developed a transition plan for his senior leadership position. Prayerfully seeking God’s direction, Pastor Chad Allen answered the call to the CVC position. After 20 years of serving with River Oak Grace Community Church in Oakdale, California, Chad came to Cleveland with his wife Rica, their son Cruz and daughter Isabelle. Since their arrival, the Allen family has welcomed their third child, Faith, through adoption.

In September, 2012, the transition plan was completed and Rick handed the baton of leadership to new Lead Pastor Chad Allen. Rick remains a vital part of the CVC staff, overseeing the areas of Missions and Leader Development.

While CVC has grown into an established church, we consider ourselves a church-planting church. Today, CVC strives to be relevant, friendly, casual, interesting, and interested – in you, not just your money. The church family continues to grow. However, the basic principles remain unchanged as Lead Pastor Chad Allen, the entire staff of CVC and our church family continue to invite people to new life in Christ.