Our Story

Our Story

Canyon Del Oro Baptist Church is located in Oro Valley, Arizona on the northwestern edge of Tucson. The church is a member of the Southwest Church Connection (formerly the Southwestern Region of the Conservative Baptist Association) which has been in existence since 1948. The church property adjoins Pusch Ridge of the Catalina Range of the Coronado National Forest and has a view overlooking Oro Valley.

The church was started as a satellite by Palo Verde Baptist Church in central Tucson on property that was given to them by the Egleston family estate. The land donation is restrictive in that the property can be used only for religious and educational purposes. Sixteen acres of the larger parcel were deeded over to Canyon Del Oro Baptist Church after incorporation. The remaining land became the home of a Christian high school which became Pusch Ridge Christian Academy when it transferred ownership from Palo Verde Baptist to Catalina Foothills Church.

Pastor Thereon Smith was the primary motivator for our church when he was the pastor of Palo Verde Baptist in the mid-1970’s. For about a year, a few people met in the nearby high school while the building was constructed. Many in the congregation of Palo Verde Baptist gave time, money and labor to build the church. In 1977, when the building was finished, the congregation began to grow. Pastor Smith shared his time between Canyon Del Oro Baptist Church and Palo Verde Baptist. About a year later, we called our first pastor, Michael Sandusky, who stayed for a year and a half. There were a number of interim pastors who ministered at CDOBC until they called the next permanent pastor.

Easter, 1983, Pastor J. Daniel O’Donnell and his wife, Jane, began their ministry with us. The church grew to between 200 and 300. Pastor O’Donnell resigned in January, 2000, to begin the work of starting a church in a Phoenix suburb.

In August 2001, Pastor Steve Van Kley was called as Senior Pastor. He received his Master of Divinity from Western Seminary, a Conservative Baptist seminary, in 1995. Prior to coming to Tucson, Pastor Steve was a youth pastor for twelve years. His family includes his wife Kim, and their children Brian and Jessica.

In the summer of 2003, the membership gave full approval to our growth plan which began to lay the foundation for the future ministry of CDOBC. In 2006, the church began Phase 1 of the building project. This included more room in the sanctuary and additional Christian Education space. In 2016, the church began Phase 2 of the building project with plans to add Phase 3 and 4 by fall of 2017. This will include new office and lobby space, a new kitchen, a new sanctuary complex and parking lot, and new student and children’s ministry buildings. We are excited to see how the Lord will continue to grow and expand the influence of this church for His Kingdom in the years to come!