Let's Start at the Beginning. . . .
In the mid 1980's, Church By the Side of th Road (CBSR), under the leadership of Pastor Ron Brooks purchased, 10.3 acres of land on the west hill of Kent. CBSR purchased this land with the original intent of building a Rehabilitation Center for substance abusers and victims who needed healing and a new start in life. This Rehabilitation Center was going to be under a ministry of CBSR called "Prodigals". Pastor Brooks resigned the Church by the Side of the Road in the early 1990's, the vision for a Rehabilitation Center began to fade and eventually disappeared.
Church by the Side of the Road, under the new leadership of Pastor Dennis Sawyer, began to seek God in regards to what should be done with this property. At that time, the property was surrounded by farm land and woods. There were many ideas that began to surface regarding the use of this land. There had been consideration of selling the property CBSR is currently located on (Pacific Highway and 148th Street) and build a brand new facility on the Kent property. However, after much prayer and discussion this did not seem to be what God was directing the church to do.
The CBSR Board began discussing the possibility of having two churches, one on the current CBSR property and one on the Kent property. From the beginning, this looked like an impossibility because of cost etc. Then one day Pastor Sawyer and I went to a Fellowship of Christian Assemblies (FCA) meeting at Philadelphia Church in Ballard, Washington. We had a time of prayer with Pastor Scott Smith (Philadelphia Church) and during that time of prayer Pastor Smith said (paraphrased), "I feel that God showed me that He is the Provider and that He is going to provide all your needs for whatever He is calling you to do. God will pour open the flood gates of His storehouse."
It was on that day that I felt the Lord gave me a Scripture regarding the plans He had for CBSR and the Kent property - Psalm 24:1 - "The earth is the Lords and everything in it." At that point in time, I had no idea of what God's specific plan was nor what part I would play in it. I was just beginning to feel as though God was going to have two churches and that He would supply every need.
In April of 1999, I took a family vacation to North Carolina. We stayed with Kim's Grandmother in her farmhouse. My routine was to study the Bible and pray in the living room late after everyone else had gone to bed. One particular night, I was praying and all of a sudden I felt as though the Lord was showing me a vision in my mind. I saw a church building with several classes on the Kent property - A church that was powerfully effective in reaching the Kent community starting with the homes nearest our property and I was the Pastor. I kept seeing this same vision over and over again. As I was praying, I felt that God was saying He was calling me to start this work.
This was all very overwhelming and surprising to me. I was extremely happy with my role at CBSR. My dream had always been to be Senior Pastor of CBSR, in fact, Pastor Sawyer was mentoring me for the role. I did not want to jump to any hasty conclusions or miss what God was really trying to say so I never said a word to Kim and just slept on it.
The next morning I couldn't get it off my mind and that night as I prayed, I saw that same thing again but with an even stronger impression that this was indeed the Lord speaking to me. The next day I went for a walk on the farm. I reached the far corner of the 48 acre farm and just sat overlooking the countryside and I began to pray and ask God again if He was really calling me to do his work. Feeling a confirmation in my heart, I decided to bring the concept up to Kim on the way home. She was rather surprised but agreed to pray about planting a church. After a few weeks of praying, she felt that it was of the Lord and that she would stand by my side in all the Lord was directing us to do for Kent.
I then met with Pastor Sawyer to share my vision with him and shortly after, shared it with the Elder and Deacon Board of CBSR. It was not long before we all knew that we needed to start a work on the Kent property and that I should be the Senior Pastor. We did not know if we should start it out of a home or try to build a church building. So the Board directed me to find ten families from the congregation that would be willing to commit their time, tithe and talents to help start a church plant in Kent.
I immediately prayed and asked the Lord to show which families He was calling. God put 10 families on my heart and mind. I called each family and asked them if they, at that point, would be willing to meet every Thursday to hear what God had put on my heart regarding a church plant in Kent. also asked them to pray. This did not commit them, it was just a time to share and pray.
God did some great things in these prayer meetings. There were prophetic words spoken and a sense of unity developed among these families. After holding these meetings from November 1999 to February 2000 we had twenty families commit to seeing this vision fulfilled. At that same time, a construction company by the name of Polygon purchased much of the land surrounding our Kent property and began to build a brand new housing development which would contain almost 1,000 new homes once completed.
In February 2000, Pastor Sawyer and I shared all that had taken place with the church membership. They proceeded to vote to begin the process. Shortly thereafter, Pastor Sawyer and I drafted a letter to be sent to every regular attendee asking them to pray for God's guidance as to which church to attend - CBSR or Riverview. We decided to name our church Riverview because the housing development Polygon was building was named the River View Community. This would allow us to begin strategizing with those families who were committed to this new endeavor. We had to prepare for this work God had given us.
By April 2000, I had received my responses from the letter and starting in June, we all met every Wednesday to pray and plan. We met all the way through March of 2001. his proved to be extremely helpful in the preparation of this great task. In the meantime, it became clear that God was directing us to build a Phase One church building. So we put together a building committee and went to work on the plans.
In March, each person that wanted to be committed to the planting of Riverview Community Church signed a membership covenant. The covenant was a one year commitment to seeing this church planted. There were a total of 58 adults who signed the covenant and with children included, we had 77 people to start this new work. March 25, 2001 was our last Sunday at the Church By the Side of the Road. Pastor Sawyer and the Elders commissioned and laid hands on us, sending us off in the grace and name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We rented a school building, Kent Elementary, for our church services until our building was constructed. On Sunday, April 1st and April 8th, 2001, we had our first "practice services". At these services we worked out all the bugs and tried to run through our routine. This was exciting, none of us had done this before. We had no idea of the logistics of "setting up" church every week. Even at these practice services we had new guests show up to attend church.
On April 15, 2001, Easter morning, we had our first official service open to the public and there were 231 people in attendance. Five of those guests made a public commitment to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Praise the Lord! That's what I call - a great start! Pastor Brett Hollis
In June 2013, RCC welcomed a new lead pastor, Andy Rosas, along with his wife Colleen and sons Alex and Jared. As Pastor Brett and his wife Kim followed God's leading in a new direction for their ministry, Pastor Andy followed God's leading into RCC. Armed with years of experience serving small-to-large congregations, he is well-poised to take RCC to the next level of its spiritual growth. God is faithful and so good!