Our church was first organized in May of 1980 when the Holy Spirit manifested Himself among the members of a small, rural, Methodist church. When some of the membership felt uncomfortable with the new direction, the local Methodist overseer recommended that the members desiring to embrace the fullness of the Spirit find another place to worship. When someone donated land to the group, they established a church in a pole barn constructed on the present location of the church building.
The congregation incorporated and adopted the first constitution as “New Life Chapel” on May 15, 1988. The first pastor to serve the body was Ross Devers. He was followed by the second pastor Clayton Scott (who served for approximately 18 years). During this time, our church was renamed “Grace Covenant Church” and experienced a powerful move of God in the mid-90′s which had profound influence on the entire river valley. In 2002, Larry Walker assumed the pastorate.
In 2005, Pastor Larry and the leadership felt it was time to rename the church body “The River Fellowship” in accordance with the church’s new direction. “The River Fellowship” has endeavored to build loving relationships, embrace passionate worship along with the full expression of the gifts of the Spirit, and show Christ’s love to the community and the world.
We desire to reveal and display the love, power, and purpose of God in every aspect of our lives. We believe that God desires to reveal Himself to the world through our individual lives and the Church as a whole. We have found that the best way to be a “light on a hill” is by just being ‘real’ with people and letting God shine through our highs and lows (Luke 4).
We desire to communicate and display the things of God through relationships. We believe that relationships are the key to transformed lives. Rather than merely point people the right direction, we desire to walk with them through the highs and lows of life to a real relationship with God (1Cor 9:19-22).
We desire to affect positive change in as many lives as possible. We know that the things of God are to be passed on. We have been brought near to God so we can bring others near to God. We have been healed and comforted so that we might help heal and comfort others. We have received and experienced the overwhelming love of God so that we might share it and see it transform the lives of others as it has our own (Isaiah 61:1-3).
The River is on a strategic pursuit to influence and affect lives for the Kingdom of God. We desire to be a church of thousands influencing millions. Souls are the goal and we will pursue this goal through a devotion to prayer and the Word of God; freedom for the Holy Spirit; passionate worship; engaging teaching of the Word; relevant, age specific ministries; and a sincere desire to obey God and love people. In short, we will be a church of real, passionate people.
We have strived to achieve a balanced and scripturally grounded statement of faith. We understand that doctrine is a vital part of every believer’s life and church’s identity. Feel free to check out our church bylaws in which you can view our complete statement of faith and church structure.
While doctrine is important, we believe that doctrine should never bring division or strife into the body of Christ no matter how seemingly impossible it may seem. We know its impossible to have everyone agree on everything but we pursue unity and love at all times even in the face of possible disagreement. We encourage everyone, member or visitor, to contact one of our staff if you have a question concerning anything in our bylaws or the Word of God.