Pastoral Staff

 

RH_profileDr. R.A. Hargrave, who has been in the ministry since 1974, was called to be Senior Pastor at Riverbend Community Church in 1989. In 1997, under Pastor Roy’s leadership, the church relocated to its current location at 2080 West Granada Boulevard, Ormond Beach, Florida. Riverbend, (formerly Ormond First Baptist) moved from a downtown five-acre site to a 45-acre campus. Later, the church  purchased adjacent property, bringing the size of Riverbend’s campus to 112 acres. In 1998, the formerly Ormond First became Riverbend Community Church. In the year 2000, the church instituted a theological training school (Riverbend Bible Institute).

Pastor Roy's philosophy of ministry includes a strong commitment to solid, expository proclamation from the pulpit. “The Lord builds His own church” is one of Pastor Roy’s favorite sayings, and he believes that the means He uses to build it is the clear, God-anointed preaching of the “whole counsel of God.” Evangelism is important to him, but it is not the priority of his ministry. The glory of God is the priority, and all the important things, including evangelism, flow out of that chief end.

Pastor Roy, who also heads a media ministry called "GraceWorx," was born in Kennett, Mo., in 1954 and grew up in nearby Rector, Ark. He was nine when he was saved by the grace of God in a country Methodist church in his hometown. Throughout his childhood and teenage years, he was very active in sports, particularly baseball and basketball. He was an Arkansas All-Star basketball and baseball player at Rector High School. After his senior year at Rector, he attended Southern Baptist College (now Williams Baptist College) in Walnut Ridge, Ark. He transferred to Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Mo., and received his bachelor's degree with a double major in Philosophy and Religion. In 1987 Pastor Roy received a Master's Degree in Theological Studies from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tenn. He did graduate work at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and then received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., in 2002.

Licensed into the ministry in 1974 and ordained in 1975, Dr. Hargrave pastored five churches prior to coming to Riverbend (then Ormond First Baptist) in 1989. He began in 1974-75 at Tipperary Baptist Church in Knobel, Ark. He pastored First Baptist in Holcomb, Mo., in 1977-78 and Alexander Baptist in Paragould, Ark., in 1979-82. Then he spent seven years as pastor at Philadelphia Baptist in Jonesboro, Ark., before heading to the same role at Trinity Baptist in Memphis. While at Trinity, he led that church to relocate to one of the fastest growing areas in the United States–-Southhaven, Miss.

Roy is married to the former Marki Mosley of Rector, and they have four children: Nathan, Rachel, Jordan and Roy Alton II (also known as "R.A."). They also have four grandchildren.

aldenAlden is the only member of the church's pastoral staff who grew up in the church and has been involved at Riverbend practically all his life. He is a native of the Daytona Beach area, having been born here in 1956.

After attending and graduating from Seabreeze High School in Daytona, Alden received an associate's degree from Daytona Beach Community College and then went on to Florida State University, where he earned a bachelors of music education degree. That led him to accept a position as a music/drama teacher at Seabreeze High School, a position he held for five years. Then he went into the business field, serving for 11 years as a sales representative with Unisource, a paper company.

He was summoned by Senior Pastor Roy Hargrave to join the Riverbend staff as church administrator in 1993. A couple years after that, when the church voted to relocate from downtown to its current location, Alden was responsible for overseeing the purchase of the property, the development of that land and eventually the construction of the facility on a 46-acre site. That construction was completed in February 1997. Then Alden led in the logistics involved in the church's purchasing an additional 15-acre tract in 1999 and another 50 acres in 2001, giving Riverbend a congruent site of some 112 acres.

Alden, who in the past has also worked in his dad's printing business, was ordained into the ministry in May 1998. He coordinates the activities of the church staff, manages the church budget and oversees the physical facilities of the church campus. He also assists on the music staff and has made three missions trips to South Africa and three to Honduras.

Alden and wife Nancy have three children: Lauren (married to Pastor Jeff Eckert), Cliff and Luke. They have one grandchild.A weekend retreat including sermons, small groups, fellowship, fun, outdoor activities, and relaxation. Camp Southwind is located in Ocklawaha, Fl and has a beautiful campus including cabins, a nice-sized dining hall, a large swimming pool, a lake, a comfortable meeting room, basketball courts, large soccer fields, and a huge rope swing. The campus is a perfect place for a weekend getaway in the middle of a busy school year. Our students have found this to be a spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically refreshing trip.

cobbNext to Pastor Roy, Rick is the senior member of the staff, with 24 years of service at Riverbend and 41 years overall in the music ministry. He is responsible for directing a music program at Riverbend that involves more than 400 people and 17 musical groups, including his personal direction of the 100-voice Celebration Singers (adult choir). Additionally, he plans and directs the renowned Ormond Passion Play, Celebrate America!, Riverbend's annual Christmas Eve service and other special musical and drama productions by the church. Lights of Life, scheduled to launch in 2015, iincludes what will be the world's largest outdoor singing Christmas tree. It will hold 225 singers.

The Passion Play for 23 years has visually proclaimed the gospel each spring. It is attended annually by some 5,000 people (via nine performances).

Rick, who also teaches in Riverbend Bible Institute, was saved at age 15 and entered the vocational ministry soon thereafter. He is a graduate of Lyman High School in Longwood, Fla., and also a music graduate of Florida State University. He attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Tex., and earned a master's degree in music.

He has been on staff at churches in four states. Prior to joining the staff at Riverbend, he served at Calvary Baptist in Bryan, Tex., Samoset Baptist in Bradenton, Fla., and Trinity Baptist in Southaven, Miss., and Memphis, Tenn. (where he served under Dr. R.A. Hargrave for the first time).

In 1992 he instituted the Riverbend Conservatory of Music, which has grown to maximum capacity. In 2001 he spent two weeks in Belarus on a short-term teaching project. He has also been on mission trips to Romania (2003) and South Africa (led a music mission team from Riverbend) and has instituted a music-training program called "Project David."

Rick, who enjoys sports, is married to the former Claudia Oslund, and they have seven children: Joshua, Hannah, Rebekah, Josiah, Jacob, Grace and Bethany. The first three are married.

harschMichael has been on the Riverbend staff since May 1998 and has provided the leadership that has made Riverbend's youth perhaps the most solid doctrinely based group in all of Florida. He has developed a thorough year-round program that both supports and challenges the youth it serves. He also oversees the children's ministries.

Prior to Riverbend, Michael was on staff for a year at Thomas Road Baptist Church (under the late Jerry Falwell) in Lynchburg, Va. He served as assistant high school minister there after first serving a year as a high school intern. He also completed an internship at Glen Hope Baptist Church in Burlington, N.C.

A graduate of Liberty University in Virginia, Michael was a member of the touring YouthQuest Singers at Liberty for three years and was one of that group's soloists. He was also involved for four years on the Young Believers' Ministry Teams. In 2009 he was presented with the Alumnus of the Year Award for the Center for Youth Ministries at Liberty.

Exactly one year after arriving at Riverbend, Michael was ordained and licensed into the gospel ministry by Riverbend (May 1999). He has also led mission trips to Belarus and Romania.

Michael and his wife, the former Summer Crowe, have three children, Autumn, Noah and Payton. Summer's dad (Randy Crowe) is a pastor-missionary in the Bahama Islands and formerly pastored at New Smyrna Beach (Fla.) First Baptist Church.

karrJason is one of the two staff pastors who have served in the capacity of senior pastor at another church. He came to Riverbend after two-and-a-half years as senior pastor at North Peninsula Baptist Church in Ormond-by-the-Sea (a church, incidentally, which was started several years ago as a mission of Riverbend). He previously served three years at Skycrest Baptist Church in Clearwater, Fla., first as minister to students and later as interim pastor.

In his role at Riverbend, Jason is responsible for the church's educational ministries, including Riverbend Academy (classical Christian school), the Promise Land (daily pre-school), and the curriculum for Bible Fellowship Groups.

Jason, who was saved by God's grace as a boy through the witness of his family and church, is a 1984 graduate of Fort Walton Beach (Fla.) High School, where he was valedictorian of his class. He surrendered to God's call to the gospel ministry while a student at Stetson University in DeLand. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Stetson in 1988. Then it was off to Dallas (Tex.) Theological Seminary, where he also graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1993 with the Master of Theology degree.

He is married to the former Donna Boyett, a teacher at Riverbend Academy who is also active in the church's music ministry. They have four sons and a daughter.

pletcherDirector of GraceWorx Ministries

Formerly the Senior Pastor of TurningPoint Community Church in Palm Coast, Florida, originally known as Riverbend North. Kent has received his education from Winter Haven High School, Polk Community Junior College, University of Florida, and began his pursuit of a Master’s of Divinity degree at Reformed Theological Seminary in Oviedo, Florida.

He is a native Floridian who grew up in Winter Haven.

Kent was licensed into the ministry July 23, 2000, and then ordained into the ministry February 4, 2004—both by Riverbend Community Church.

Kent's primary responsibilities at Riverbend are:

1. Executive Pastor

2. Director of GraceWorx (Riverbend's Media Ministry)

He is married to the former Hilari Hodge, a native of Arkansas, and they have four daughters: Malori, Noelle, Tori and Kaci.

schafferJerry is in his 20th year on the Riverbend staff but his 28th with Dr. R.A. Hargrave as his senior pastor. Arriving at Riverbend, Jerry was charged with developing an evangelism ministry and a prayer ministry at the church and with upgrading the church publications.

He took the church through five years of Evangelism Explosion and a semester of FAITH, a Southern Baptist program, before designing and implementing the evangelism strategy--The GOSPEL TRUTH, a doctrine-centered emphasis on the sovereignty of God in salvation. This course is taught in Riverbend Bible Institute, the church's theological training ministry.

Ordained and licensed into the ministry in 1998, Jerry formerly served Riverbend as Pastor of Education, taught CLASS 301: Discovering My Ministry for ten years and conducted SHAPE interviews with more than 650 Riverbenders. He has been involved in Riverbend missions, working in the countries of Belarus and Honduras.

Jerry oversees the majority of the church's publications and assists with GraceWorx and the Riverbend website.

Prior to Riverbend, Jerry served 20 years (1974-1994) as Assistant Director of Athletics for Information and Promotions at Arkansas State University and, during that institution's 2010 centennial, was named as one of its "Top 100" staff members during its first 100 years.  He has also worked as a sports editor-sports writer at five different newspapers and spent ten years as a radio announcer for ASU football and basketball games and once had his own daily radio show. Previously he served as an editor at the Baptist Brotherhood Commission in Memphis, Tenn. In 1981 he authored the bookletChurches Don't Grow on Trees for the Southern Baptist Convention.

A native of North Little Rock, Ark., Jerry earned bachelor's (journalism) and master's degrees (mass communications) at Arkansas State. He has done work toward a Doctorate in Biblical Studies from Master's Graduate School of Divinity. He also spent two years as an intelligence officer in the Army, serving a year in Vietnam. While in Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star.

Jerry is married to the former Pat Barber of Jonesboro, Ark. They have two daughters: Amy Nielsen (married to Riverbender Bret Nielsen) and Laura Johnsen (married to Riverbend Academy teacher Aaron Johnsen) and seven grandchildren.

stjohnKenny joined the staff in June 1998. He has been in ministry since being ordained in 1983.

He was the youth pastor at First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fla., where he ministered under the late Homer Lindsay Jr. and Dr. Jerry Vines. After leaving Jacksonville, Fla., he directed Rick Gage's "Go Tell" youth camps for several years while leading the youth ministry at First Baptist Church of Snellville, Ga., where Dr. James Merritt was the senior pastor.

Since joining the staff at Riverbend, Kenny has helped direct and build the Biblical Guidance ministry which provides direction and encouragement from the Scriptures to Riverbend members.

He oversees Single Purpose, a ministry to single adults. He also helps guide the Riverbend's ministry to men–Man to Man.

A native of Jacksonville, Kenny and wife Cindy have two children: Sarah and Caleb and four grandchildren.

clayton

Tommy Clayton, Pastor of Covenant Life BFG and Chief Editor of GraceWorx Ministries 
 
Born in Arkansas, Tommy moved to FL to pursue his calling into the ministry. He graduated from UCF and continued his training at the Master’s Seminary in California where he received a M.Div. degree.

He moved back to Ormond Beach, FL in 2012 at which time he rejoined the Riverbend pastoral staff. 

Tommy was licensed into the gospel ministry July 23, 2000 and ordained to preach on July 20, 2003, both by Riverbend Community Church.  
 
He and his wife, Sarah, a native of TX, have been married since 2004 and have four children.
 
Tommy’s primary responsibilities at Riverbend include: 
  1. Covenant Life -  Bible Fellowship Group (Mixed Adults)
  2. Writing and editing for GraceWorx Ministry 
  3. Evangelism an Outreach  
  4. Disaster Relief

eckert

Jeff Eckert is Pastor of CrossRoads, Riverbend's college ministry. 
 
Born in Florida, Jeff graduated from UCF and continued his training at the Master’s Seminary in California where he received a M.Div. degree in 2010.

He moved back to Ormond Beach, FL in 2011 at which time he joined the Riverbend pastoral staff. 

Jeff was licensed into the gospel ministry and ordained to preach in September, 2011, both by Riverbend Community Church.  
 
He and his wife, Lauren, a native of Florida, have been married since 2009 and have one son.
 
Jeff’s is the pastor of CrossRoads (College Ministry).

 

You may also contact members of the Riverbend support staff by e-mail by clicking here: Support Staff