Persevering Saints

saintsPersevering Saints is the official name of Riverbend's 55-up Ministry. The name was actually chosen by Dr. R.A. Hargrave, Senior Pastor, after he viewed a list of prospective names that had been submitted by the Leadership Team. “Persevering Saints is a description,” he said, “of what Riverbend is and of what senior adults are supposed to be.” 

NOTE:  Persevering Saints is NOT a Bible Fellowship Group.  It is the ministry name for all adults 55-up---more than 360 Riverbenders.


The purpose of Persevering Saints is to glorify God by providing an avenue of fellowship and outreach, participating in activities that foster spiritual growth and health, and helping senior adults live, learn and serve through the vitality of Jesus Christ.

Biblical Theme

But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.James 1:25 (ESV)

NOTE: Persevering Saints is an “action ministry” that seeks to involve senior adults (ages 55-up) in persistently and consistently practicing the principles of Scripture in ministering to each other, to others in the church, to those outside the church.


Many Riverbenders are involved in the planning and development of Persevering Saints activities and ministries. However, the core of the coordination is conducted by the Leadership Team. Members of that team include Dr. R.A. Hargrave (Senior Pastor), Jerry Schaeffer (Pastor of Senior Adults), Kay Moody (Administrative Director), Sandy Leisner (Secretary), Dave Van Zuiden, Jim Bianchi, Mary Ann Bianchi, Aggie Dixon, Louis Donath, Ruth Donath, Arlene Fortson, John Griffin, Faye Griffin, Frank Martin, Bea Martin, Bill Pletcher, Kathy Pletcher, Pat Schaeffer, Vann Stephens, Dave Van Zuiden and Brenda Van Zuiden.



 Getting to know others ... enjoying the company of fellow Christians ... Examples: gatherings for food & fellowship, ice cream socials,  hymn-sing events, Valentine banquets, game days/nights (horseshoes, cards, ping pong, board games, etc.), picnics, movie matinees on campus, etc.


 Helping others with their various needs ... reaching out to people in  the community, especially spiritually ... Examples: providing  transportation to-and-from church, mission trips to Central America,  HarvestFest booth, Thanksgiving baskets for those in need, senior  seminars (wills, estate-planning, finances, firearm safety, etc.),  honoring veterans, connecting with younger groups (young marrieds,  etc.), “adopting grandkids” on Grandparents Day ... visiting homebound members ...participating in the church’s Above & Beyond mission ventures ...


 Day trips that promote fellowship/ministry ... extended trips for  group enjoyment (worship/vacation/recreation) ... Examples:  Wycliffe Bible Translators Headquarters (Orlando), Bluegrass  Festival (Palatka), Gaither Homecoming (Orlando), Holy Land  Experience (Orlando), a Christmas program in the area, Cypress  Gardens (Winter Haven), Space Center (Cape Canaveral), Straw- berry Festival (Plant City), St. Augustine, Answers in Genesis  Museum (Kentucky), Branson (Missouri), Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge (Tennessee), Bible cruise to Caribbean, Charleston (S.C.), Epcot,  Savannah (Ga.), New York, Alaska, etc.


Calendar of Events


  • January 18 -- Movie Matinee: Courageous
  • January 18 -- Sole-Savers (Foot-care) 
  • February 15 -- Sole-Savers (Foot-care)
  • February 22 -- Pancake Day
  • March 15-- Sole-Savers (Foot-care)
  • April 19 -- Sole-Savers (Foot-care)
  • May 17 -- Sole-Savers (Foot-care)
  • May 18 -- Pig Roast
  • June 21 -- Sole-Savers (Foot-care)
  • July 19 -- Sole-Savers (Foot-care)
  • August 23 -- Sole-Savers (Foot-care)
  • September 20 -- Sole-Savers (Foot-care)
  • October 18 -- Sole-Savers (Foot-care)
  • November 15 -- Sole-Savers (Foot-care)
  • November 20-21 -- Thanksgiving Basket distribution
  • December 5 -- Christmas Party
  • December 20 -- Sole-Savers (Foot-care)

 Contact Person:  Jerry Schaeffer, Pastor of Senior Adults ...
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