Rivers of Life Fellowship

An On-fire Spirit-filled Church located in York, PA

OUR HISTORY AND CALLING MAKES US SPECIAL

 CALLING AND PREPARATION

In 1987, Pastors Doug & Mary received the undeniable call from God to full-time ministry.  At a service in Baltimore, MD, Pastor Becky was slain in the Spirit for more than 4 hours.  During that time she was ‘baptized with fire’ and given a word that she and Pastor Doug would be married and pastor a church in which they would work together in the power of the Spirit and do mighty miracles.

In 1991, shortly after their marriage, Pastors Doug & Mary were led by the hand of God to receive training for ministry at Elim Bible Institute in Upstate New York.  Upon graduation, they formally affiliated with Elim Fellowship (a support organization for about 800 pastors and missionaries, worldwide), and received their credentials for ministry.

 

REVIVAL

In May 1994, the worldwide move of the Holy Spirit, known as the ‘Toronto Blessing’ was poured out on the Elim Campus resulting in unprecedented revival.  It was during this time that Pastors Doug & Mary received the call to pastor in York, Pennsylvania.  During one particular visitation of the Holy Spirit, both Pastor Doug & Mary were knocked to the floor and stuck there for a long period.  Pastor Mary received a vision of a bright light on a map where York is located.  From there, lights shot out, like shooting stars and landed in different places all over Pennsylvania.  Then lights came out of these places to countries all over the world.  At the same time, Pastor Doug received a word from the Lord telling him to “go to York, NOW”.

 

RIVERS OF LIFE FELLOWSHIP BIRTHED

During the following year, the Lord birthed the vision of the Rivers of Life Fellowship.  The hunger for revival and desire to effect and relate to the whole Church and the whole world are deeply ingrained in the fabric of ‘Elim’.  Rivers of Life Fellowship was birthed out of this vision and remains committed to seeing revival come to our generation.

In September 1995, Rivers of Life Fellowship held its first worship service at the facilities of the Little People Day Care on Carol Road.  In November 1998, the Rivers of Life Fellowship bought its current building on Old Dutch Lane.  The Lord has blessed the church greatly, growing from 5 people to nearly 100 regular attendees.

 

NEW DIRECTION

In 2003, Pastors Doug & Mary felt led to take a sabbatical.  God opened the door for them to use a family cottage in Palm Beach, Florida.  During their time there, God led them to a church in Palm Beach Gardens called Covenant Centre International (CCI) which was experiencing a move, similar to the days of John Wesley and Charles Finney. 

At one of their first services at CCI, Chuck Pearce, an internationally known prophet was speaking on the New Apostolic Movement.  He also gave Pastors Doug & Mary a word that God would speak to them within the next 3 days, giving them clarity and setting them on a new direction in which they could move forward in ministry.  Within 3 days, God had done just that.  He told them they were to become part of this new apostolic movement.

 

THE NEW APOSTOLIC MOVEMENT
 
Near the end of the 20th Century, God began to restore to His Church an understanding of the importance of apostolic ministry.  Local churches throughout the world began to recognize a need for the full restoration of the 5-fold ministry gifts as listed in Ephesians 4:11-16: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.  The early church operated under a spiritual government where these 5 ministry gifts were in full operation, working as a team equipping and releasing saints to the work of the ministry.   The result – the early church turned the world upside down.  It is essential that this form of government be restored to the modern church, if it is to fulfill the mandate of the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel to every nation and bring in the end time harvest. 

By the end of the 20th Century, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers were already widely accepted and operating in the local church.  However, the ministry of the apostle had yet to be restored.  A God inspired move began to take place.  Christians started recognizing that God had chosen certain men and women to be apostles, functioning in a unique capacity as spiritual parents and mentors.  Pastors and leaders world wide were divinely motivated to connect apostolically, bringing themselves under the support and accountability of those whom God had gifted and called as apostles.  Apostolic networks were formed to connect local churches and ministries to cooperate together for greater results.  This move has become known as the New Apostolic Reformation. 


 LORD, OPEN THE HEAVENS

It was also at CCI that Pastors Doug & Mary met apostles Toni & Lynne Barletta.  (Toni is a marketplace apostle and Lynne is an apostle/prophetess overseeing Open Heavens Centers.)  While Lynn was sharing a prophetic vision at one of the CCI services, God put on the Pastors’ hearts to ask Lynn to come to York and speak at their Friday Nite Onfire Service. 

During her time in York, God knit their hearts together to such a degree that Lynn felt led to invite Pastors Doug & Mary to be part of the Open Heavens Centers, an apostolic fellowship of Pastors & ministers seeking revival.   After prayer, they sensed the hand of God moving them to join the Open Heavens Centers.  The vision of OHC is to network Churches & Ministries up the eastern seaboard that have the same vision to see the heavens opened & God’s glory poured out.  As these churches & ministries link together, it will connect the dots, so to speak, in the heavenlies, creating a greater opening.  The heart of Rivers of Life Fellowship has always been “Open the Heavens, Lord – Let Your Kingdom Come.”

 Formal apostolic networks, such as Open Heavens Centers are one of a new wineskin that God is using in Christianity today to expedite and accelerate His will on the earth!  We are excited and privileged to be a part of this new thing God is doing. 

For more information on Open Heavens Centers check out their website http://www.openheavens.info/  

 

OUR UNIQUE DESTINY

We believe that the work the Lord has for the Rivers of Life Fellowship will be a very significant one, which will impact the entire state of Pennsylvania and ultimately many countries of the world. 

Pastors Doug & Mary have received strong impartation from leaders in the revival movement, including Tommy Tenney, Rodney Howard Browne, Todd Bentley, Maurice Cerillo, Benny Hinn, Peter McDonald.  They have participated in the Toronto Blessing, Pensacola Revival, Lakeland Florida Outpouring, and the Move of God at Bethel Church in Reading, CA. 

They have also received several prophetic words ... Here’s just a few that have been given for the pastors and the Rivers of Life Fellowship…

“The day cometh and soon shall be that the weapons in your hands shall be new threshing instruments and you shall not see handfuls but you shall begin to see combines going through the harvest field and you’ll be driving them.  For the Lord shall give you much, much more than even you could imagine or think…you have the capacity to believe (what everybody else says is impossible) and the miraculous is going to come.  The miraculous is going to come.”  David Shock  - internationally known prophet (mentored Tommy Tenney)

“The Lord has placed this church strategically in this area…The Lord would say to you as He said to Esther, that for this day and for this hour, He has placed you here.  And as He said unto Abraham, to look up and spy out the land -  to look to the north and to the east and to the south and to the west and as far as you can see, He would say to you, that it is yours.  And the promise He gave to Joshua, I speak to you, that if you will go in My Name and you will go by faith, wherever you place the sole of your foot, it shall be yours, says the Lord…I shall make you a well of living water.  I shall make you a place where all will be welcomed, where there will be water enough for all.”  Dave Roach – Pastor, Elim Fellowship

 It is this history and calling that convinces us that our church has a unique destiny.   It is our prayer that God will prepare and equip each one of us to do our part in keeping the revival fires going and helping to gather in the end time harvest.

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