History

Since 1987 Sr. Pastors Matthew and Amy Stoehr have ministered the love and salvation of Jesus Christ in North San Diego County. The Stoehrs and their leadership team are dedicated to pleasing God, honoring the Holy Spirit,  loving people, equipping disciples and teaching the Bible. They desire to pursue sincere worship, see the Church become a House of Prayer, build strong families, and bring the love of God to the world. The River has always been a FAMILY church, with people of every age and cultural background. The River is excited to partner with the local and global Church in fulfilling the Great Commission. We are affiliated with the One Church pastors network of North County, the Global Prayer Mobilization Network, The Marriage Resource and, in 2008,  became affiliated with the Southern California District of PCG. We are located on seven beautiful acres right off HWY 78 in Vista. 

Our Core Values, the Church we aspire to be

A Church that loves and obeys God wholeheartedly, seeking to please Him in everything
A Church that understands and holds fast to the reality of the resurrected Christ
A Church whose priority is a daily prayer lifestyle, endeavoring to be a House of Prayer for all Nations
A Church where the integrity God’s Word and sound doctrine is honored and valued above all
A Church that works with the Holy Spirit in both our personal lives and our corporate services
A Church that loves to worship the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit with true heart worship
A Church with a culture of love, faith and joy
A Church dedicated to building strong marriages, strong families and strong relationships
A Church committed to  making disciples of all nations, beginning with our families and city
A Church with a servant-hearted, accountable and united leadership team, submitted to God’s purposes
A Church that equips people to become the very best they can be, valuing each person’s unique giftings
A Church committed to the unity of the Body of Christ and health of the local church
A Church actively involved in supporting and sending missionaries  to the world  
A Church that truly is a family, where all ages, cultures and backgrounds are loved and celebrated

What can you expect at a Sunday Service?

When you arrive, you will discover plenty of parking and friendly greeters who are happy to welcome you. Each service begins with engaging, contemporary worship. You will see people expressing their praise and worship in various ways, some standing, some sitting, some lifting their hands. The goal is sincere expression of praise to God and preparing our hearts to welcome His presence. A priority in every service is praying together, and this is a meaningful time led by one of our leaders. Each week you be challenged by excellent, inspired teaching, as both Pastor Matt and Amy teach God’s Word in a way that will open up the Bible and challenge, encourage and equip you in your daily life. At The River you will find authenticity, sincerity and joy. We think that coming to Church should be the best time of the week! Above all, our fervent prayer is that you experience the presence of God and encounter Him. While the services are about an hour and a half, we absolutely love the time after services in our beautiful courtyard, where people enjoy refreshments and sharing life together in a garden setting.

The best way to describe The River is that we are a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led church with a foundation built on love for God and obedience to His Word. We are known for authentic love and our foundational belief that God wants every person on earth to know Him personally, and that every believer is a minister. Our firm commitment is to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit. We passionately pursue worshipping Jesus Christ, and are convinced that Bible promises are as true and available to every believer today as when they were first written. 

Where Do I Take My Children?
We love children at The River! When you arrive, register your children at the Children’s Registration Table. Follow the signs to the Nursery/Toddlers classes located in the building. Children who are ages K through sixth grade enjoy worshipping with the family in the main service and are then dismissed to Kids Church. We have a dedicated Children’s Team who love your kids and want to help them grow in God.  An awesome, loving Nursery team will love your baby from the beginning of the service to the end, and there’s a comfortable, private place for nursing mamas to sit and still hear the message.

What About The Youth?
The high schoolers stay in the sanctuary with the adults. We believe the best place for young people to be transformed by God’s Word and experience His presence is with Pastor Matt and Amy and the church family during the service. They love it!

Wednesday Nights at The River
Wednesdays are casual, connecting and refreshing. They are also Prayer Nights!  At 6:00 pm we gather for an Hour of Prayer and encourage everyone to attend. From 7 to 8 is an exciting Bible Study, along with testimonies and practical application. Wednesdays are just great family nights at the church.

Connecting
A big focus of our culture is uniting people through connect groups. These groups are formed based on prayer, common interest or Bible topics. We love involving everyone in serving and volunteering, as we believe the local church is God’s idea for every believer to experience Him. Of course throughout each month we gather as a church for special events and celebrations

Reaching out
For thirty years The River Family has been actively involved in serving our community. Our commitment continues to be to touch as many lives as we can, both in America and throughout the world. Passionate prayer and Holy Spirit led ministry has been our empowerment for all that we do. We will always be committed to loving the broken hearted and reaching out to our lost and dying world with the Good News of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.