The story of Lee Valley goes back to 1979/80 when UFM International missionaries, Ernie and Nancy Tromsness, met with Cork Baptist Pastor, Ted Kelly, and Ted agreed to help them with orientation and ministry in Ireland. The friendship and fellowship was invaluable and Cork Baptist “adopted” Ernie and Nancy and their three little girls. There were 12 members at Cork Baptist at the time and they had just finished an expansion project in the church, and were trusting God to do something in the Cork area. By God’s grace both Cork Baptist and UFM slowly grew. UFM developed some evangelistic Bible Studies, outreach teams, ladies Bible Studies and children’s clubs in Douglas and Carrigaline. Phillip Brown, with Baptist Missions, felt the Lord’s leading to work in Carrigaline area and it was agreed that UFM would continue in Douglas and also go over to Ballincollig.
By 1987 there were a small group meeting each Sunday for Church in Ballincollig. This grew and went to public meeting venues and with moves and changes over the years finally formalised in 1997 with a Membership list and appointed Elders and Deacons. We then also applied for Associate Membership in the then Baptist Union of Churches. Most of those attending Lee Valley would be first generation believers, so they saw themselves as Bible Christians but also saw that they could identify with Baptist principles, which we see as Biblical principles. Ballincollig was originally a small village 8 miles outside of Cork City proper on the road to Killarney. In time it became an important satellite town of Cork City with a growing population. When the UFM workers first arrived in 1985/86 there were about 8,000 people in Ballincollig. Today there are app. 26,000 and it is growing. One of the unique features of Ballincollig at that time was the fact that one half of the town was made up of a former military barracks. However the land having been sold and well developed it has made the town twice as big! Ballincollig is at the front of the Lovely Lee Valley along the Lee River that stretches from Macroom, to Cork City- hence our name, Lee Valley Bible Church.
Today as Lee Valley Bible Church we continue to meet every Sunday in Coláiste Choilm, one of the local secondary schools. Our mid-week meetings for prayer or bible study take place in each other’s homes. We welcome everyone who wants to come and fellowship with us in the bonds of Christian unity.
In 2009 Lee Valley welcomed Kieran Beville as their Pastor.