The Valiant Cross Academy donated the church building in River City

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) – The Methodist Church along Dexter Avenue has been a place of worship for generations, but is now the new permanent home of Valiant Cross Academy. The building will serve college students.

“I have to pinch myself to realize that this is actually Valiant Cross space now,” said Anthony Brock, School Principal of Valiant Cross Academy.

It was a generous gift from River City Church, a United Methodist congregation.

Students have occupied part of this building since 2015, but since the school has become the owner, they can now occupy the entire establishment.

“Some of the plans we have for the future, which we will announce, will be learning labs and creative spaces so people can come up with ideas going forward,” Brock said.

The building was constructed in 1887, and the historic nature of this church is not lost on school officials.

“We are catty-corner at Dr. King’s Church,” Brock said. “Rosa Parks got on the bus and changed history a few blocks down the street.”

They plan to maintain this history by leaving the building intact. It is a mission fully supported by the Montgomery County Historical Society and Center for Family Research.

“Best news I’ve had in a while,” said Pat Clark, executive director of the Montgomery County Historical Society and Family Research. “It’s just awesome. Dexter Avenue obviously needs to be preserved, but this church needs it.

The defender of history marvels at the craftsmanship of the capital’s brick structures, like the Church in River City, but perhaps more importantly, the memories created within.

“It means a lot to people,” Clark said. “They don’t want to see their local church destroyed or abandoned. It matters to people, and the more we can do that, the better.

“We absolutely want to maintain the historic value and presence of this building here on Dexter Avenue,” Brock said. “This building has been there for years and serves a lot of people, but now we want to make it a more welcoming space for young people.”

Although this building is historic, students will still have access to the latest technology in their classrooms.

Valiant Cross Academy is an all-male school that was created to address issues facing young African-American students.

For those interested in learning more about the school or historical sites in Montgomery, you can visit the Valiant Cross Academy website or the Montgomery County Historical Society website.

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