Saturday, December 17, 2005

A Community of Churches

Other churches began to rally behind The River. Culpeper Baptist gave financial support and offered office space. Alum Spring Baptist and Mountain View Community Church budgeted financial support. The Virginia Baptist Mission Board approved pastoral support as well as a start up grant to help defray the costs of getting a church off the ground. It was obvious that something big was behind The River.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Small Groups

The first men’s group launched in Mama Mai’s pizzeria. In attendance (besides me) were Henry Hall, Aubrey Driggers, and Chris Geil. We decided to meet at Aubrey’s house on Wednesday nights. As the weeks went on, more guys joined in. A few weeks later, a women’s group was started.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Our First Gathering

We kicked off with an explanation of the vision of what The River Community Church would look like. “We envision The River to be a community of small groups that gathers to honor God while impacting the world by discovering who we were created to be.” After this initial gathering, we began to gather monthly to grow our base of leadership in preparation for launching the church publicly.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

A Name at Last

People had spent the past few months calling the unnamed church “Joe’s New Church”. I cringed every time I heard that. I earnestly sought to find an appropriate name before it ended up as JNC. After months of searching, the name "The River" came to me. I immediately knew that we had a winner. Rivers are seen as life-giving and positive. While Culpeper does not have rivers, its county borders are defined by the Rappahannock and the Rapidan Rivers.

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Leaders in Waiting

After I shared about starting a new church, I was told about a potential worship leader by his parents. I had heard a few good things about Aubrey, so we had lunch at the Thai restaurant in town. It was a great conversation, and we started to meet more frequently. I soon discovered that he was a passionate and gifted musician, and that he had a heart for God and others. He joined up with Henry and I as we looked to expand our start-up team.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Telling My Church

After sharing my new calling with my pastor, Ted Fuson gave overwhelming support. From that point, I shared this call with the youth and the deacons, and received support from them as well. Culpeper Baptist Church ended up being the parent church for this new congregation.