Next 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.