|HISTORY OF THE RIVER OF LIFE|
The River of Life Christian Center, a ministry of Praysers Ministries, Inc., is a TEAM based ministry led by Senior Pastors Leonard and Dr. Janet Cook, Ph.D. Leonard and Janet are ordained by Dr. Bill Hamon the Bishop of Christian International and were licensed by Dr. Lester Sumrall in 1995. Along with their family, they planted the River of Life Christian Center in 1996 in the heart of downtown Elkhart, Indiana.
The Lord called them to purchase an abandoned theatre on Main Street to help better reach out to the lost and hurting in the Elkhart Community. For 10 weeks before opening the church, Leonard and Janet, along with Associate Pastors Scott and Lisa Tuttle, led a group of approximately ten individuals to do a Saturday inner city children’s outreach program. After ten weeks of outreach, they opened up the River of Life by inviting the families whose lives they had impacted through their outreach.
The River of Life family quickly outgrew the theater, and in 1999 they purchased the three story historical building next to the theater from Mr. Martin of Martin Investment Company. The church began restoring and remodeling the second and third floors for additional Student Ministry and School of Ministry rooms. With the help of volunteers and several donations the project was completed in 2000. The ballroom on the third floor was the home of Pastor Lisa’s dance troop “Grace in Motion." The second floor provided classrooms for our Sunday School and School of Ministry. The Pastors' offices were located on the first floor.
In 2003 the River of Life church purchased the former First Baptist building on the corner of Prairie and Hively. However the building was not available for them to move into until June of 2005. It was at that time that the River moved from the original theatre into their present location. At that time they changed the name to River of Life Community Church, a Ministry of Praysers Ministries, Inc., to better identify their heart for outreach. In 2007 they demolished the older portion of the building and built a 1.7 million dollar addition to hold the Children and Youth Ministries.
The River of Life family is a group of people God has called together from many walks of life. We come together on Sunday morning from different backgrounds and cultures to celebrate Jesus. We believe there is unity in diversity by the Spirit of God. In the book of Revelation we are told there are many tribes, tongues, and nations worshiping around the throne of God. Jesus prayed “Let it be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Worshiping at the River is like having a little bit of heaven right here on earth.