Dear River Family,

For the past several years, God has directed our steps and provided us with our future home. Dad purchased the Safari Dr property over seven years ago. Our attempts sell our Sam Ridley Property stretched over five years but not until 2017 did we start seeing movement, with our first closing in 2018. The initial sale gave us the freedom of being debt free, and the closing of the next two parcels will allow us the capital to cover a large portion of the construction. We have spent the past year in many board meetings, architect meetings, engineer meetings, and finance meetings to make the best decisions to fulfill the dream of Phase 1 at the lowest and wisest cost. Equipped with a vision to reach our community and the wisdom of the leadership and elders, we are certain that the time to act is now.

We have now kicked off our capital campaign called “Forward in Faith.” We are trusting God and working to raise necessary funds to move into Phase 1 of the new campus. We are anticipating:

  1. An expanded children’s ministry space, larger nursery facilities, and multiple classroom spaces.
  2. A larger sanctuary space to hold more families - equipped with optimum acoustic design, sound, lighting, and visual media.
  3. A larger gathering or “common” space, including a café area, for seating and fellowship.

There will be multiple small group opportunities for all members to discover more information. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with specific questions. I hope and pray that you will be a part of this important campaign as The River moves Forward In Faith.

With much Excitement,

Pastor Aaron Minick

Lead Pastor

PS. Make sure you are at our May 19 service. This will be one of the most historical Sundays for our congregation. We will come together in the culmination of this campaign and celebrate with a children’s carnival and lunch for the entire congregation.

Our Past Legacy

Our Story

In 1992, Dr. Johnny Minick felt the leading of the Holy Spirit to plant a church in the little town of Smyrna, TN. Dr. Johnny and his family all sold their homes in Little Rock and relocated to the Nashville, TN area to plant River of Life in Smyrna, TN. The process was familiar to Johnny, having been a church planter in Little Rock. The first service was small (about 8 people) but the little church family grew quickly and began to impact their community. In 1994, the congregation purchased 21 acres on Sam Ridley Parkway and made plans to build a home campus.

A Transition in Leadership

Pastor Aaron had been involved in ministry his whole life with his father. He had always worked side by side with him throughout the years of singing, film production, volunteering at the church and running Johnny Minick Ministries, but he felt the calling to full time ministry at River of Life in his mid 30s. He and Julie joined the staff in 2014 and became the youth pastors in May of that year. During the course of the next few years, God orchestrated and directed Dr. Johnny and Pastor Aaron to begin the transition process of Aaron becoming lead pastor. The transition took place on March 4, 2018. Pastor Aaron is building on the vision for the church and this new campus is the beginning of a new era for River of Life.

Our Future Legacy

Planning leading to this reccomendation

For several years, River leadership has been seeking God’s direction for the congregation. In 2011 a survey went to the entire congregation. From the results we found that the three most important ministries to our congregation are worship, children’s and youth ministries, and outreach. A Master Plan Committee presented their recommendations to a congregational breakfast in 2014. The plan called for proceeding with a renovation of our Preschool and moving ahead with planning for an addition to the south for a multi-use chapel and additional space for our children’s classrooms. The board approved hiring of Centric Architects and formed a committee to work with them to develop plans. Those plans have been priced and are the core of this proposed addition. In addition, South Hall will be upgraded to better accommodate current and future outreach ministries.

Financials

Frequently Asked Questions

IS THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY PAYING FOR THE NEW BUILDING?

The last sale paid off all of our debt and is currently covering the architect and engineering bills. We have two parcels that we will be closing on at the end of this year, if there are no delays, but the money will not be in hand until then. We need to be in the process of moving into our new building because the buyers will need the parcel where our current building sits.

WILL WE BE GOING INTO DEBT?

We will have to carry a construction loan until all closings have happened and money is in hand. So yes, for a time we will have to carry some debt.

IS THE 3 YEAR PLEDGE THE SAME AS MY TITHE AND OFFERINGS?

No, this commitment is above your tithes. We need to operate the church as well as build the new building at the same time.

WHY IS BUILDING THIS BUILDING SO IMPORTANT?

We are losing people because of our lack of children facilities for small children and age-appropriate classrooms. We have two small classrooms that are at capacity on Sundays and Wednesdays and the nursery area is at capacity. The youth and children are sharing the same room. In the new building, the youth will have their own space. We will be tripling the amount of kids that we can hold in kids church. Our foyer space is at capacity on Sundays with no room to sit or congregate. The new building has a much larger gathering area for adults and kids. The new building (Phase 1) will be twice the size of our current building.

I AM ON A FIXED INCOME. WHAT WAYS CAN I GIVE?

You can give from assets, such as boats, motorcycles, trucks, real estate, stock and bonds and matching gifts from companies. For tax purposes, you should donate it to the church, and the church will liquidate and take the cash value so you won’t be paying tax on the sale of these assets.

HOW MANY DOES THE NEW BUILDING SEAT?

450 in one service. (We currently seat 270 comfortably)

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON'T RAISE THE MONEY?

It will delay the process with the possibility of moving into a temporary facility.

Make Your Commitment

Commitment Form