The Wapiti Valley Church is a ministry with a unique name in an incredible location. Almost halfway between Cody, WY, and the East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park, the church is located on what President Roosevelt called “the most scenic 50 miles in the world.” Here in the spring of 1988, in this beautiful valley, called “Wapiti” – the Indian name for “elk,” the Lord used Pastor and Mrs. Bud Wells to start an Independent, Bible-Believing church. The Wapiti Valley Church is unique in its rural ranch setting. It has a hitching post for those who want to ride horseback to church, uses cowboy hats for gathering the offering, has an elk mount in the entrance for its namesake, and has an old-fashioned ‘potluck - carry-in’ dinner the 1st Sunday of every month. From the beginning, Wapiti Valley Church has consistently given generously to missions. It is evangelistic, both abroad and at home, where it has reached many people from all walks of life. Its message is Biblical, its music is conservative, and it has not changed direction from its original purpose in giving God the glory for the great things He has done.
For the last 25 years, the Lord has faithfully blessed this local church for His honor and glory. The first five years the church met at the King’s Ranch. There were no salaries paid. All tithes and offerings, after missions giving, were saved toward the first church building. In 1992 the King’s Ranch gave the church 6 acres at the present site, which has now been increased to 20 acres. With about $50,000 in hand, and approximately 65 members and attendees, construction began. The 125 seat, $100,000 church building was completed that fall. Within two years, the nursery had to be moved to make room for more seats. In 1998, an addition was added, which doubled the size of the existing building at an approximate cost of $125,000. Soon after that, a building fund was started for the present “All-Purpose Building,” which is a garage/ workshop, and fellowship hall. That building was completed in 2011. In the fall of 2012, the church began another building project, which has connected the current two buildings, provide overflow, and also making the entire building – with four different levels, wheelchair accessible. To God be the glory, all building projects from the start of Wapiti Valley Church have been finished completely debt-free. Having faithfully, sacrificially, and successfully served the Wapiti Valley Church for 25 years, Pastor and Mrs. Bud Wells retired at the beginning of 2013. In His providence, the Lord raised up Pastor Joseph & Sarah Hutcheson, who served as assistant pastor from the spring of 2007-2013. They then took the senior pastorate and served until early 2020 when the Lord called them back to Georgia. We praise the Lord for He continues to lead the Wapiti Valley Church for the glory of God through our interim pastor, Roger Vogel and his sweet wife Mary. By God’s grace, the church desires to keep winning souls and making disciples of Jesus Christ, as we look forward to the ‘Blessed Hope’ of our Lord’s return.