About Us

About Our Church

Mission & Vision

Our Mission

We exist to multiply healthy disciples and gospel communities across our city and world.

Our Vision

We hope to be a growing church family continually transformed by the gospel on a mission to bring all peoples home into the kingdom of God.

What does this really mean?

We want to go and make disciples of all peoples, everywhere; just as Jesus teaches his followers to do; both in our backyards and across oceans.

To be a healthy disciple of Jesus, you are continually allowing the gospel to transform you, through the work of the Holy Spirit, and sharing with others the good news of salvation, for their joy and God’s glory.

We believe that we are called to embrace those the Lord has put around us in our city, no matter the racial or ethnic background.

Our Leadership

Our Beliefs & Values

Small Groups

F.A.Q.s

Children & Youth

Membership

Beliefs & Values

 

Our Beliefs

As part of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA),
we affirm the EFCA statement of faith.

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God

We believe in one God, Creator of all things, holy, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in a loving unity of three equally divine Persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Having limitless knowledge and sovereign power, God has graciously purposed from eternity to redeem a people for Himself and to make all things new for His own glory.

The Bible

We believe that God has spoken in the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, through the words of human authors. As the verbally inspired Word of God, the Bible is without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for salvation, and the ultimate authority by which every realm of human knowledge and endeavor should be judged. Therefore, it is to be believed in all that it teaches, obeyed in all that it requires, and trusted in all that it promises.

The Human Condition

We believe that God created Adam and Eve in His image, but they sinned when tempted by Satan. In union with Adam, human beings are sinners by nature and by choice, alienated from God, and under His wrath. Only through God’s saving work in Jesus Christ can we be rescued, reconciled and renewed.

Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ is God incarnate, fully God and fully man, one Person in two natures. Jesus—Israel’s promised Messiah—was conceived through the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life, was crucified under Pontius Pilate, arose bodily from the dead, ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest and Advocate.

The Work of Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ, as our representative and substitute, shed His blood on the cross as the perfect, all-sufficient sacrifice for our sins. His atoning death and victorious resurrection constitute the only ground for salvation.

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit, in all that He does, glorifies the Lord Jesus Christ. He convicts the world of its guilt. He regenerates sinners, and in Him they are baptized into union with Christ and adopted as heirs in the family of God. He also indwells, illuminates, guides, equips and empowers believers for Christ-like living and service.

The Church

We believe that the true church comprises all who have been justified by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. They are united by the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. The true church is manifest in local churches, whose membership should be composed only of believers. The Lord Jesus mandated two ordinances, baptism and the Lord’s Supper, which visibly and tangibly express the gospel. Though they are not the means of salvation, when celebrated by the church in genuine faith, these ordinances confirm and nourish the believer.

Christian Living

We believe that God’s justifying grace must not be separated from His sanctifying power and purpose. God commands us to love Him supremely and others sacrificially, and to live out our faith with care for one another, compassion toward the poor and justice for the oppressed. With God’s Word, the Spirit’s power, and fervent prayer in Christ’s name, we are to combat the spiritual forces of evil. In obedience to Christ’s commission, we are to make disciples among all people, always bearing witness to the gospel in word and deed.

Christ’s Return

We believe in the personal, bodily and glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ, at a time known only to God, demands constant expectancy and, as our blessed hope, motivates the believer to godly living, sacrificial service and energetic mission.

Response and Eternal Destiny

We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen.

Our Values

God continues to write his story in Riverside and these distinctive values are a peek inside who we are and who we want to be.

Gospel Shaped

From preaching to small group community, everything we say and do is shaped by our deep commitment to the story God has been telling in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Covenanted Family

We pursue biblical community with each other and God so that everyone at Riverside loves and is loved, knows others and is known in every area of life.

Active Rest

We come alongside one another to bear Jesus’s yoke, humbly giving and receiving rest for our souls. We encourage one another as the mission moves forward.

Small Groups

Small Groups are the primary way we live out the “one anothers” of scripture as a church family.  We believe everyone should be giving and receiving grace in smaller communities throughout the week.

Kingdom Unity

Both internally and externally, we are eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace through pursuing reconciliation. We’re also eager to partner with like-minded churches & ministries for the greater good and for the glory of God.

Church Planting

As part of the Acts 29 network, we believe planting and revitalizing churches is the best strategy to see the gospel proclaimed to our city and our world in order to change people’s lives.

 

Who We Are

Our Leadership

Riverside is a congregational church that is led by a plurality of elders. We also have various deacons and ministry leaders that serve the church family.  Some of our leaders are part of the church staff team.

Elders


James Walden

James Walden

Lead Pastor, Staff, Forest Acres Neighborhood

Andy Richardson

Andy Richardson

Forest Acres Neighborhood

Keitt Hane

Keitt Hane

Downtown Neighborhood

Chris Eckert

Chris Eckert

Southeast Neighborhood

Josh Parks

Josh Parks

Southeast Neighborhood

Timothy Bunch

Timothy Bunch

Downtown Neighborhood

Deacons, Ministry Leaders & Staff


Wayne Penn Jr.

Wayne Penn Jr.

Worship & Connections, Staff

Stephen Justice

Stephen Justice

Operations, Deacon, Staff

Stacy Lyons

Stacy Lyons

Children's Director, Staff

Justin Gates

Justin Gates

College Discipleship, Deacon, Staff

Christie Abel

Christie Abel

Operations Assistant, Staff

Dennis Uhlman

Dennis Uhlman

Youth Discipleship, Staff

Sara Johnson

Sara Johnson

Children's Assistant, Staff

Dr. Michael Tjahjadi

Dr. Michael Tjahjadi

Worship, Deacon

Challie Monk

Challie Monk

Women's Discipleship, Deacon

Grant & Caroline Shaver

Grant & Caroline Shaver

Hospitality, Deacons

Maureen Johnston

Maureen Johnston

Finance & Benevolence, Deacon

Jarrian "JayWill" Wilson

Jarrian "JayWill" Wilson

Pastor of City of Refuge, Staff

F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to be Christian to take communion?

Communion, or the Lord’s Supper, is a special command that Jesus gives to his people as a tangible reminder of the fellowship we have with one another and with Him. It is a foretaste of the great wedding feast we will celebrate when Christ returns. It is in essence a family meal where all who have been baptized into the family of Christ are welcome to partake.

What do you believe about women in church leadership?

We believe men and women are both created in the image of God and therefore equal in dignity, honor and responsibility. But this equality does not imply sameness. Women and men complement each other biologically, relationally, and spiritually. As husbands are called to self-sacrificially lead in their marriages (Ephesians 5:22-33), so qualified male “elders” (or “overseers”) are called to self-sacrificially lead the local congregation (1 Timothy 3:1-7). Yet men’s and women’s voices are both necessary and valued in the church, not only because they are equally valid, but also because each requires the other in their complementarity. In aiming to honor the complementary economy of God’s household (1 Timothy 3:14-15), we strive to build a community where women and men are co-laborers in the gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 15:2-15; Philippians 4:2-3).

Do I have to join a small group?

We believe that small groups are a helpful way to live the Christian life together. We understand that family schedules can be fluid and complex, which is why we aim to offer groups that meet on various nights of the week. We also believe that participating in a small group is much more than showing up to a weekly meeting. It involves a sacrificial “giving and receiving” throughout the week. It means everyday life with gospel intentionality toward one another.