The River Church is part of the internationally known Church of God with headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee and has had four pastors in our illustrious history, namely:
Founding Pastor, Reverend Rueben Atkins - 1970 - 1997
Bishop Jack Sollogub - 1997 - 2007
Bishop Daniel R. Sturgill - 2007 - 2011
Bishop Michael W. Smith - 2011 - Present
The River Church was originally called the West Palm Beach Church of God. It was birthed through much hard work and prayer from Reverend Atkins. Pastor Atkins vacationed in West Palm Beach for several years and was always troubled there was no Church of God here for him and his family to attend. In mid 1969, after asking the Lord why, His answer was, “Because YOU have not started it yet!” Soon after this great church began an incredible journey and on Sunday, February 15, 1970 held its first officially organized church service.
Reverend Atkins along with his family convened weekly services where the power of the Lord would be with them in a very powerful way each week. As a result, it was noised abroad and The West Palm Beach Church of God began growing at a rapid rate, reaching an average attendance as high as 500, as news spread of a spirit-filled church that was experiencing Revival! In the early days, the Spirit of God would fill the church during worship in such a tangible way; all they could do is worship Him more!
The church became known through the area for being a church that:
* Worships until the presence of God comes.
* Loves every person with the Love of God.
* Preaches the uncompromising Word of God.
* Prays with signs and wonders following.
In 1997, the church entered the waters of change. With the retirement of our founding pastor, a difficult season of transition was entered. It was at this time Pastor Jack Sollogub was appointed to lead our wonderful flock. Pastor Jack along with his dear wife Linda skillfully navigated the waters of change. Their love for people held the church together through this difficult season and began laying the foundation for the future. Pastor Sollogub’s tenure was marked by his administrative skill as he led the church into the 21st Century. It was through hearing the voice of the Lord as He spoke Ezekiel chapter 47 and verse 9 where it says "And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and everything shall live whither the river cometh" that Pastor Sollogub was moved to officially change the original name of the church to what is now known as The River Church.
The RIVER Church re-entered the waters of change in March 2007 when Pastor Dan was appointed to be our Pastor, becoming the third pastor in our history as well as the youngest and the first to have young children still at home. Pastor Dan's tenure was marked by a renewed passion for worship and making The RIVER Church into a place of grace, love and acceptance.
In October 2011, with the direction of God and by the power of the Holy Spirit, The River Church continued to maneuver the waters of change. It is in this new season that we received our 4th Pastor and "gift" from God in the person of Bishop Michael W. Smith. Now the youngest and the first African American pastor in the history of this great church, Pastor Michael came with a new zest and zeal to lead us to another level in Christ. With much care and compassion and a tremendous sense of commitment beyond all odds, Pastor Michael has not only preached and taught Christ and faith in Him, but he also lives it. He has testified with his life's example to us how to face adversity head on and come out victorious in Christ. He continues to lead us in our REVOLUTION!!!
Though time, changes and sometimes seemingly insurmountable obstacles have come to this great church, we are still known for being a Worshipping, Loving, Preaching and Praying church that is experiencing Revival once again!!