The atmosphere pulsated with high energy and the Holy Spirit’s presence as two congregations in the Heartland Conference came together on August 27th, 2017, to mark a significant milestone in their history. River of Life (ROL), pastored by Richard and Linda Goad, and Passion Church (PC), led by Pastors Steve and Julie Ely, celebrated the 10th anniversary of their mother-daughter relationship with a combined worship service.
In August of 2007, River of Life released a team of leaders to launch the new congregation. Passion Church now ministers to over 200 members in Bethany, Oklahoma.
River of Life, located in far Northwest Oklahoma City, hosted the joint celebration service. It included a combined worship team and band, video greetings from both general and conference leaders in the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (some of whom were present in the service), and the dynamic preaching ministry of guest speaker, Rev. Stacy Hilliard.
“River of Life is privileged to be a part of the success of Passion Church,” said Pastor Goad. “This is kingdom business, and we are thrilled with what God is doing through our daughter congregation.”
This “family” of churches continues to expand as Passion Church is launching its own daughter congregation in nearby Yukon, Oklahoma. The new work is under the leadership of PC’s former youth pastors, Woody and Jessie Burpo.
“In the natural parents are proud of their children,” says Pastor Ely, “and we know in the supernatural River of Life is proud of us. But we are also extremely proud of our parent congregation. River of Life has modeled for us what real church is about, and we’re thankful to be a part of this family.”
The celebration service concluded as members of both congregations came together around the Lord’s table by observing Holy Communion.
By Shirley G. Spencer