SPRING VALLEY — A new church has opened its doors in Spring Valley. Pastored by Dan Richardson, the Spring Valley Apostolic Tabernacle is located at 121 E. St. Paul St. in a storefront in Spring Valley’s downtown business district. The first service for the new church was an evening service on Feb. 24 with about 75 people in attendance. For now, the church will continue to meet Sunday evenings at 6 p.m. In describing the evening service, Richardson said the service is upbeat, Bible-based and Spirit-filled. The style of music is primarily Southern gospel with some contemporary music as well. Regardless of the style of music, people are free to worship the Lord and to worship Him from the heart, he said. As far as needing to dress up for church, Richardson said people are welcomed just as they are. In other opportunities for the community, the church also plans to begin a children’s program at 10 a.m. Sundays and a 7 p.m. Wednesday service, which will be geared for the whole family with a Bible study and worship time. Richardson said he chose Spring Valley for the new church because God had placed in his heart a desire to plant a church in that community. The goal of the new church is not to take people away from other churches already in the community, but rather to reach out to those who have no church, he said. When asked what sets the Spring Valley Apostolic Tabernacle apart from other churches in the community, Richardson said that difference can be explained by the Acts 2:38 verse in the Bible and the church’s strong belief in the name of Jesus. The church also believes in the repentance of sin, separation from the world, a high standard of holiness, baptism in Jesus’ name, and the evidence of a Spirit-filled life by speaking in other tongues. Richardson said he does not take a salary for pastoring the church, which is not part of any denomination but rather an independent outreach. Every penny received will go back into the Spring Valley ministry. Within three years, he hopes to build a new church building. The church has a three-year lease at its current building. Richardson, who lives in McNabb with his wife, Annette, said he’s received his training for being a pastor through a 10-year mentoring process with an area pastor. In looking at the goals of the church, Richardson said being a Christian is about a lot more than going to a church building once a week. Being a Christian is about knowing Jesus as a friend and constant companion, 365 days a year. People may go to church and still not know Jesus as that personal friend, he said. Through the Spring Valley Apostolic Church, he wants to share that friend — Jesus — and that relationship lifestyle with people, Richardson said. He knows from firsthand experience that God is the God of second chances, a forgiving God who welcomes people, he said. Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.