Valiant Cross Academy gifted River City Church building

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 10:22 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Methodist church along Dexter Avenue has been a house of worship for generations, but now it is the new permanent home of Valiant Cross Academy. The building will serve middle school students.

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

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

Students have been in part of this building since 2015, but with the school taking full ownership they can now occupy the entire facility.

“Some of the plans that we have going forward, which we will announce, are going to be learning labs and creative spaces so that people can come hash out ideas going forward,” Brock said.

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

“We’re catty-corner to 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 that history by leaving the building intact. It is a mission fully supported by the Montgomery County Historical Society and Family Research Center.

“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 great. Dexter Avenue obviously needs the preservation, but that church needs it.”

The history advocate marvels at the artisanship of brick structures in the capital city, like River City Church, but perhaps more importantly, the memories made inside.

“It means a lot to people,” Clark said. “They don’t want to see their home church destroyed or let go. It’s important to people, and the more we can do that, the better.”

“We definitely want to maintain the historical value and the presence of this building being here on Dexter Avenue,” Brock said. “This building has been here for years servicing a lot of people, but now we want to make it more of a space that’s welcoming to young people.’

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

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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