River Oaks Church is a family in which people LIVE in Christ, CONNECT authentically, and ENGAGE the world purposefully.
Every church is unique. At River Oaks, we love God and Love others while holding a high value on each of the following:
We embrace the heart of God our Father who gives us a place to belong. As individuals and households, God has called us to relate and minister as His family. God’s family is built on the foundation of Jesus, and is strengthened by Spiritual Fathers (Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Evangelists, and Teachers) who equip, edify, and serve the church.
We are committed to strengthening households, the first covenantal institution ordained by God, and a basic element of establishing His Kingdom and fulfilling His mission on the earth. We value an inter-generational approach to life that involves worshipping, praying, serving, working, and playing together. Our goal is to raise up families devoted to discipling their children to fulfill their God-given purposes.
We value a Christian lifestyle marked by authenticity and maturity, and characterized by demonstrations of the power of God. This lifestyle is a daily experience that is expressed in our relationships at home, at work, and in the community and is the result of a vital walk with God through His Word and Spirit.
We pursue a model of ministry which recognizes that we need one another. Our passions, desires, gifts, ethnicity, and culture may differ, but it is TOGETHER that we fully express the glory of God and fulfill His purposes on our lives. We choose to live together in unity, honoring one another and partnering with others in the local church and in the kingdom of God.
We keep the mission of establishing the Kingdom and bringing others to Christ at the forefront of our ministry. Having a local and global view of that mission, we strive to make the message relevant without compromising the good news, and we look for everyday opportunities to demonstrate God’s love through meeting practical and spiritual needs.
River Oaks began in the Fall of 2005 when a small group of families came together with a vision to launch a church that would be full of the life of the Holy Spirit and committed to enabling families to work at discipleship as a family. We adopted the name, "New Life of the Shenandoah Valley". Seeing the need for a charismatic expression of a generation-integrated church, these families began to meet in the home of Pastor Kevin and Lynda Strite. After just a few short weeks, the Strite home would no longer hold the church, so we found a new place to meet in the basement of James Madison University's Festival Conference and Student Center.
As the church grew, we moved from room to room in the Festival building of JMU until we moved to the Lucy Simms Center on Washington street. We held worship services in the Lucy Simms center until December of 2014 when we moved into our current location at 51 G Burgess Road.
A New Name
Our first ten years of ministry were years of growing and developing an identity. As we grew, and embraced our calling to our identity in Christ as well as our calling to impact our families, our city, the nation, and the world, God began to stir within us a new name. We continue to hold family and home-based discipleship as a high value and method for ministry, but we wanted to embrace our heart for more than just the family. As we prayed and discerned, God turned us to several key passages included below. They point to a tree planted by the water. A tree that has firm roots and does not wither. A tree that is refreshed by the water of the river. And our new name was born.
River Oaks Church
It is our ongoing desire to be a place where the River of God flows. The river that refreshes, cleanses, renews and brings life. And, as we experience the flowing river of God, we continue to ask God to enable us to become and to plant strong "Oaks of Righteousness" to be established through faith in Jesus Christ. Our desire is to be a place where disciples of Jesus Christ are deeply rooted in our faith and always refreshed and renewed in the life of the RIVER of the Spirit of God.
We welcome you to join us anytime!
Inspiration of Faith
We believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, by the Holy Spirit as originally given; they are the final authority for our faith and life. (2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12)
We believe in one God revealed in three coequal, distinct persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19-20; Ephesians 2:18)
We believe that man in his natural state is a sinner, lost, undone, without hope and without God. (Ephesians 2:1-2; Romans 3:23)
Divinity and Humanity of Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who by His incarnation and virgin birth took upon Himself the form of man and became the God-Man. In the one person of Christ, there are two natures, human and divine, each in its completeness and integrity. They are distinguishable but indivisible, so that He is fully Man and fully God. He lived a sinless life and became the only sacrifice for the sins of the world. (Ephesians 1:3-5; Romans 5:1-11; Acts 12:4; 1 Peter 1:18-19)
We believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Luke 24:38-43; John 20:24-29)
We believe in the visible, bodily return of Christ to this earth to judge the world and to claim His Bride. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 1:7)
We believe that the church is Christ's spiritual body on earth today. It consists of born-again believers and has both universal and local expressions. (Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28)
Heaven and Hell
We believe in the doctrines of eternal punishment for the lost and eternal bliss and service for the saved; hell for the unsaved and heaven for the saved. (John 14:13; Revelation 20:11-15)
We believe that Satan is a fallen, created being who is the "god of this world." he and his organized company of demons are opposed to the Kingdom of God and work to defeat and destroy the believer. While his activity is real, Satan and his demon spirits were defeated and overthrown by Christ's victory at the cross. (Luke 10:17-20; Colossians 2:13-15; Ephesians 6:10-18)
We believe the Holy Spirit to be the third Person of the Godhead who is active in the world today. The Spirit indwells and seals the believer at new birth. We believe the baptism in the Holy Spirit is a subsequent experience and is available to all Christians to empower us to be witnesses. We believe in and encourage the use of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. (John 14:16-17; Acts 1:8, 2:1-4)
We believe that believer's water baptism and the Lord's Supper are ordinances of the church and should be practiced regularly. (Acts 2:38; Acts 2:44-47; Romans 6:3-10; 1 Corinthians 10:16-21)
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