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!