FAQ about Riverside

 

Where are you located?

Riverside Church address is 8660 Daniels Parkway, Fort Myers, Florida 33912, which is in south Lee County approximately 1 mile west of I-75 on the south side of Daniels Parkway.

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What are your service times?

Sunday mornings at 9:00 and 10:45 a.m.  Read more >

What do you offer for my kids?

We have three different types of ministries for your kids depending on their age. We have Kamp Big Enough (Birth-Pre-K) and Hang10 (K-5th grade) at both 9:00 and 10:45 a.m., and Students (6th-12th grade) only at 9:00 a.m. All of the teaching, music and activities are age appropriate, engaging and fun.

What kind of security measures are in place in for the kids?

At Riverside Church your child’s safety is of utmost importance to us.  All of our volunteers are trained, screened, and undergo a background check. We also have a check-in/check-out policy and procedure, see below.

Elementary and Preschool

We have an electronic check-in system that prints out secure badges for parent(s) and child(ren). The system is attached to our church-wide database, which is run by Churchteams software, so after the initial signup of your child(ren) check-in is fast and easy. After checking in, the students are walked to their classroom. At pickup parents come to the classroom door, the badges are matched by the teacher and the student is released to the parent(s). We take security seriously, so if your experience feels unsafe in any way, let us know.

What are your adult services like?

Our Sunday morning adult worship services are designed to engage you at every level, with uplifting music and biblical teaching. God’s Word is taught in a way that you can understand and apply to your everyday life.

What can I expect on my first visit?

You can expect somebody to welcome you at the door and to get a good cup of coffee. We want you to feel safe in knowing that we will not embarrass you, single you out, or ask you to do something that you don’t want to do. You can expect to hear a relevant message that will help you connect with God.

How should I dress?

Come just as you are. Some will dress in Khaki’s and dress shirt, or jeans, shorts and a t-shirt. No need for a suit and tie. We care about you, not how you are dressed.

What are Life Groups?

A LifeGroup is a smaller group of people within our church who meet regularly to establish a sense of community and to live out the reality of the Christian life on a day-to-day basis. The mission of LifeGroups is to grow Christ-centered communities through loving relationships.

How often do you serve communion (Lord's Supper)?

Communion is served monthly typically on the third Sunday of the month depending on baptisms and other events.

Baptism

We believe that Christian baptism is an outward sign of commitment to an inward change of the heart or public profession of your faith.  It is identification with the message of the Gospel, the person of the Savior, and the group of believers. Theologically, baptism may be defined as an act of association or identification with someone, some group, some message, or some event. Biblically, baptism is associated with forgiveness (Acts 2:38, 22:16) union with Christ (Rom. 1-10) making disciples (Matt. 28:19) and repentance (Acts 2:38)  If you have never been baptized but have placed your faith in Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, then we encourage you to be baptized.         

   • Lean more > icon Baptism Belief Statement

   • Listen to Bob Reed's message on the sacraments> We Believe - The Sacraments

 

Who do I speak to if I have questions about Christianity, the Bible or God?

Starting Point is a conversational environment where people can explore faith and experience community. Starting Point groups are a safe place for people with questions about faith, as well as those who want to learn about the Bible and Christianity. Groups meet for about 10 weeks and together explore the grand story of the Bible. One of the goals of Starting Point is to help participants find their places in the story.

Who oversees the finances of the church?

The Financial Management Team which consists of 1 staff, 2-3 elders, and 1-2 lay members. This team is responsible for the operational accountability of the budget of Riverside Church.

What is the Leadership Structure of Riverside Church?

We are Elder governed, staff led. This means that the Elders provide the spiritual guardrails for the church and have entrusted the pastors and staff to lead the day-to-day operations of the church. We believe this structure empowers ministries, provides accountability, and is God honoring.

 

What is the History of Riverside Church?

This church was founded on December 23, 1916 as a mission church of First Baptist Church of Fort Myers. It was located on Tarpon Street, two blocks from the Caloosahatchee River. In its first few years, the church was called Second Baptist. Eventually it was renamed Riverside Church.

 

Riverside prospered for many years in that location. Hundreds were led to faith in Christ and baptized into His church. Numerical and spiritual growth marked the church’s history. It was the first church in the area to found a Christian radio station. The church owned and operated the station for over 25 years before selling it to the Moody Bible Institute in 1998. Riverside pioneered in other kinds of ministry as well: outreach through a growing Sunday school, televising its services, special music productions, ministering to those with special needs, and planting other mission churches.

 

Riverside has been known for its willingness to take risks in order to aggressively pursue its ministries. Perhaps one of the biggest was the decision to relocate to Southern Lee County in 1991. The church met in Three Oaks Middle School for just over eight years before finally moving into the current 41 acre facility on Daniels Parkway in December, 2000.


Are we affiliated with a certain denomination?

The answer is both yes and no. Riverside, from its inception, has been a Southern Baptist church. We greatly appreciate and respect the rich heritage and doctrine of the Baptist faith. Over the years we have contributed to the SBC’s cooperative missional efforts. With that being said, we don’t necessarily operate like a traditional Baptist Church nor do we contribute to the convention. We wanted to support missionaries personally and not just write a check to a convention. We operate as an autonomous, Elder-governed/Staff-led church. As much as we appreciate our rich heritage, we do not want to be defined by a denomination, but rather as followers of Jesus.

 

We want you to make your decision about our church based on what you experience and what we believe. The reason Baptist was taken out of the name is because we are not trying to reach more Baptists. We want to reach people…people who are spiritually lost, been turned off to church or are looking for a place to belong and grow spiritually.

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