The History Of
Riverview Community Church
Written by Kay Horn
Church - August 1986
Church Inside - August 1986
Banner made by Kay Horn 1986
Hayride Fall 1986
Expansion Project March 1987
New Roof - Spring 1992
Ground breaking on June 2, 1997
Phases of Construction - July 1997
Christmas Choir December 1998
Biblical Quilt - Completed April 2002
Keenagers Sept. 2003
1st Baptismal Service March 28, 2004
In August 1986 Riverview Community Church was first formed in a garage at Bill Worthington’s home. Several people from Talma Bible Church who wanted a place where they could worship freely without strife established Riverview Community Church August 9, 1986. Twenty-one persons elected officers then agreed upon a name (Mary Konneck suggested the name Riverview) and took pledges for a building not yet secured. The council members elected were Elmer Thornton, Raymond Grubbs, Bill Worthington, Dave Busenburg, and Dick Cole.
Pastor Rodney Ruberg had resigned from Talma Bible Church on August 6, 1986 and was actively seeking employment elsewhere. On August 9, 1986 the newly elected officers of Riverview Community Church agreed to ask Rodney Ruberg to be their pastor.
On the afternoon of August 10, 1986 a cookout was held at the Worthington home with fifty-three people present. Rodney Ruberg was asked to be pastor of the newly formed Riverview Community Church and he accepted.
A building was viewed on August 11, 1986. The former Flory’s Restaurant building on State Road 110 was secured from Margaret Souther with a $1,000 down payment. On Thursday August 14, 1986 a group of people met at the former restaurant and began the job of scrubbing and cleaning and turning the building into a place to hold church services. Young and old alike worked side-by-side.
The first church service was held on August 17, 1986. A potluck dinner was held at noon with eighty-three people attending. The church service followed with the dedication prayer given by Reverend Toirac of the Spanish World Gospel Mission. The prayer was one of commitment and “many” rededicated their lives to Christ. Since that Sunday new families are attending, some non-active Christians have returned and some back-slidden members have again started to attend regular services.
A preliminary Constitution was drawn up. Riverview is a fundamental Bible believing church whose purpose is to glorify God through the encouragement of the believers by the Word of God and the reaching of our community for Jesus Christ. The first prayer meeting was held August 20, 1986 with thirty-five people attending.
On August 23, 1986 Margaret Souther sold 2.29 acres to Riverview Community Church’s Council Members for $1,000 with another $7,000 to be paid by September 15, 1986. The balance of $20,000 is to be paid in increments of $264.31 by the first of October and each month thereafter.
Sunday August 24, 1986 the first Sunday School attendance was 77 and there were 114 for the worship service that followed and there was over $3,000 in the collection.
Remember moving day for the Pastor and family September 9, 1986? Pastor Ruberg needed to be out of the Talma Bible Church parsonage by the September 10,1986. The former Junior Bose residence became available but the Bose family did not think they could be moved out until the 12th of the month. They had originally wanted to sell their house but did decide to rent it to the Rubergs for the time being. As it turned out, the Bose family was moved out by September 6, 1986 and on Tuesday September 9, 1986 there were 40 plus people who helped Pastor Rod and family move. A group of ladies helped clean the Talma Bible Church parsonage as things were moved out and another group of ladies received them at the Bose residence and fixed food for the men and women who helped with the move.
The first Riverview Review was handed out on September 14, 1986, a one-page sheet. There was a kitchen shower held for the church to get needed articles. There was a vegetable and chili soup supper. In November of 1986 the teens sponsored a hayride and wiener roast with 100 plus people for the meal. There were four wagons with approximately eighty people who went on the hayride. John Sale had special meetings that were well attended.
Ashley Kreft was the first baby born to Dawn and Wade Kreft on November 16, 1986 becoming the newest member of the Riverview congregation.
During the first four months of Riverview the missions we supported were given $25 a month. Wycliffe was given $100 monthly. We supported six missionaries at this time. The Benevolence Fund was established in February of 1987 as a way to give assistance to any member who might experience a sudden financial crisis.
In March of 1987 the expansion project got underway. On March 20th the footings were poured for the Fellowship wing. On March 28th the floor was poured. April 2, 1987 the west wall of the new wing went up and on April 4th the rest of the walls went up and the beams and posts came out.
Easter Sunday April 19, 1987 was quite a day for Riverview. First there was a Sunrise Worship Service, then the men prepared breakfast that was served in our new unfinished fellowship-educational wing. After breakfast the regular Sunday School and Sunday Worship Services followed. When church services were over we adjourned to the banks of the Tippecanoe River and were thrilled as Pastor Ruberg in the chilly waters baptized LaVaun Hanes. Sunday evening Jim Gardner of the Amazing Grace Mission was our special guest speaker.
The first DVBS was held in June. We all remember the skit with Farmer MacRadish, Abner the Earthworm and Skeezix the Scarecrow. There are four Sunday School classes for adults meeting each Sunday as well as the children’s classes. On July 3, 1987 there was a Firecracker of a Fellowship when we were able to surprise Mary Konneck on her 80th birthday. Many people honored Mary, and yes, Mary was surprised.
Since that event-filled first year at Riverview we have added four more missions to the ones we support, ten missionaries in all, with our support increasing to $55 monthly.
In 1989 the kitchen was enlarged and cupboards put in. The new Church steeple and the lighted cross were added. The new nursery and office were built into the areas. Some sad times were also part of the history of Riverview with Cletus Owens, Lois Perkins, Sarah King, and Maurice Peterson all passing away during the first few years of our Church.
In 1991 a new organ and piano were added instruments. New windows were another improvement that year to the church’s auditorium. We were able to surprise our Pastor and wife Marilyn on the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary in July. Pastor Rod’s Dad brought the message and a carry-in was enjoyed after the service. That month the ladies also cooked for over 100 campers at Camp Emmanuel. The Cookbook project started with the result being the Riverview Recipe Round-up compiled by Elnora Craig, Thelma Peterson, Jerilyn Peterson, Ginger Caswell, Kay Horn, and Pastor Ruberg.
Early in the summer of 1992 a new roof was put on the Church and an entrance was added to the front. Short time later sidewalks were added and Dave Busenburg assisted the landscaping. The mortgage was burned sometime in 1992. The Food Pantry was another program started to aid Riverview members when there might be a need for some groceries from time to time. Baskets are given at Holidays to help with supplies to various families, as they are needed.
The Parade Ministries were started the summer of 1993. We were in the Mentone Egg Festival Parade, the Round Barn Parade in Rochester, and the Akron 4th of July Parade. We passed out hundreds of tracts and candy. The Pioneer Clubs were featured this year. The Pioneer Club was a youth program started for the younger members of Riverview Community Church under the able direction of youth pastor Tim Steinmeyer and his crew of dedicated volunteers and super-duper cookie bakers.
Pastor Ruberg began his WROI 92.1 radio broadcasts on the first Sunday on each month. The missionary support was raised to $65 per month. We support eleven missionaries plus the Home Missions. In 1995 the missionary support was raised to $90 per month.
A Church Directory was completed in 1996 and handed out. Also, brochures about the various programs of Riverview Community Church were made available to further the ministry of Riverview. A new auditorium was in the planning stages. The necessary details need to be approved by the State so permits may be drawn up. We patiently waited for these to be done. There was $62,869.31 in the Building Fund.
Ground breaking for our new auditorium took place on Sunday, June 2, 1997. Councilmen Dick Cole, Bill King, Raymond Grubbs, Jim Vigar, Dale Irwin, and Pastor Ruberg helped break ground for this monumental undertaking. Many from the morning worship service witnessed as ground was broken with Raymond’s golden shovel. Ground leveling was completed June 7, 1997 and trenches were completed July 1st. The trenches were prepared July 3rd and concrete was poured July 10, 1997. After the concrete curing around July 12th, the actual building construction began. Many helped with the physical work and labor while some prayed no one would be injured. Others brought food, held ladders, swept floors, hammered nails, sawed lumber, and sweat a lot.
When the trusses started going up it was an awesome sight. Just the thought that someday this would be our new auditorium was overwhelming. Then when the roof was on and the roofing shingles started going on an even bigger feeling was felt. Every detail of the new structure brought us closer to the day when we could occupy the new sanctuary. Memorials, pledges, and gifts to the building fund have totaled over $112,936. We borrowed $50,000 from the bank and other donations of materials or products had also been received. Many hours of labor had been put into the building project and the knowledge of the skilled and unskilled workers was very much appreciated.
The first service for the new auditorium was the wedding of Jenny Green and Pete Harris on June 20, 1998. The first worship service was on June 21, 1998 just a little over a year from the groundbreaking ceremony. Don’t we have an AWESOME GOD? The Dedication of the New Auditorium was August 9, 1998 at 2:30 p.m. It had been twelve years since Riverview Community Church was established in the garage at Bill Worthington’s home (where the Fishers now live). Most of the same people still attend church services at Riverview today.
The first annual business meeting held in the new auditorium was September 27, 1998. Raymond Grubbs was the moderator.
In 1999, the Pioneer Club was featured in a nationally published magazine put out by the home office of Pioneer Clubs on how their game night worked.
At the April 1999 business meeting coat racks had been installed, a “missions” bulletin board had been added to the new addition’s foyer and an external cross was hung on the outside of the church. Also in April 1999 Tim Steinmeyer became a part-time Associate Pastor for Riverview Community Church.
In December 1999 Debbie Swango and Kay Horn introduced a “Quilt Block Bible Sampler” idea, with the idea of giving a finished quilt to one of our missionaries. The Y2K idea surfaced and Tom Tucker had a program to alert every one that this was not the end of the world, but we should be prepared for it. This occurred near the end of 1999. The Quilt Project became a Partners in Patchwork or Yes 2 Kquilting idea and starting in January 2000 Debbie Swango and Kay Horn purchased five different fabrics and made packets with directions for several different quilt block patterns. Each square had some reference to a Bible verse and these were given to the ladies of the church who wished to make a quilt block for the church’s quilt.
In March 2000 Marcella Meredith suggested we have greeters to welcome folks to our church each Sunday with appropriate nametags, so newcomers would get to know others better.
During the Camps at Camp Emmanuel, Pastor Steinmeyer had the junior camp and Pastor Ruberg had the teen camp. Riverview furnished meals for one day during each week of camp. The camps were held at the former Sangrelea Home for boys instead of the former campgrounds due to state regulations concerning space, and facilities.
In February 2001 the quilt had sashing added by Kay Horn and borders added by Debbie Swango. Leota Holloway and Kay put the quilt together with a back and batting and basted the whole thing together. Leota quilted one row (the quilt became a 5 x 6 square quilt with each square measuring 12” x 12”). Kay Horn quilted the remainder of the quilt. Those who constructed the squares were: Debbie Swango, Mary Harvey, Stacey Andrews, Maxine Hisey, Shannon Kegarise, Ruth Campbell and her daughter, Erlene Irwin, Peg Kubley, Leota Holloway, Missy Wagoner, Sandy Ettinger, DonnaBelle Grossman, Vernice Rhodes, Mildred Wagoner, Mary Konneck, Mary Alice Overmeyer, Sharon VanDusen, Phyllis Triplett, Tim Steinmeyer, and Kay Horn.
In April 2001 a special gift for building materials for new walls in the old fellowship wing to replace the curtains was noted. Dick Cole has volunteers to help with the wiring.
In July 2001 some temporary changes in the order of morning worship were tried. Morning worship will be first at 9:00 a.m. followed by Sunday School at 10:20 a.m. and dismissal at 11:00 a.m. It was thought to allow more time in the afternoon for family gatherings, opportunity to enjoy more daylight and warmth especially for families who only have Sundays off.
The Steinmeyers left in July and John and Shannon Kegarise, and Missy and Gary Wagoner took over the Teens. They wanted to raise money to redecorate the Teen Room and so had a workday at the church to earn the money.
The storage room has added shelves for more storage. The nursery now has a diaper changing-table. The Copier room has been painted and doors have been added to the shelves. The outside church walls were painted. New walls have been added in the classroom area. This project was completed in August of 2001.
In September 2001 the second Spell Bowl was held with the Riverview Radical Revelators participating.
The Associate Pastor position has been eliminated from the church roster of offices.
Good Talent Night in February 2002, the church has been hosting concert performers, one per month. Many good groups and individuals have been ministering in music to our community.
The Bible Sampler Quilt that was started in January 2000 was completed in April 2002. Kay Horn presented the Quilt to the missions Committee with chairman Gary West to come to a consensus of who the recipient would be. After some deliberation it was determined that Pastor Rod and Marilyn were missionaries to the Riverview Community Church family, many times going above and beyond in their ministering to the folks at Riverview, and the Quilt was presented to them. They seemed very pleased.
In 2002 at the September Annual Business Meeting, it was noted the loan was paid in full. The Councilmen paid off the loan for the new addition in June of 2002 with a symbolic burning in front of the congregation. It was proposed to blacktop the parking lot at a projected cost of $40,000 to be done in the summer. It was discussed how to get the funds or to borrow the money. The special offerings started coming in and no money had to be borrowed.
Care packages were prepared by the Teens and sent to our Service Men and Women in Iraq and other places. The people of the church donated articles for these packages. Toiletries, gum, magazines, books, etc. were collected. They received many letters thanking them for their efforts in sending the packages.
The second Church Directory was underway.
KeenAgers meet for the first time in June 2003. This is a group of more mature adults 60 and older who like to get together for some fun, food and fellowship. They plan to meet once a month on the first Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. at the church or some other designated place.
The parking lot was blacktopped in July 2003. In September 2003 the Teen group elected to invite the 5th and 6th graders to join them to make it more enjoyable, since many of the older teens are away in college and gone from the area. A successful Sunday School promotion by superintendent Leroy Van Dusen saw 104 people attending Sunday School on Easter Sunday in 2003.
The first Baptismal Service using our new Baptismal tank was held at Riverview Community Church on March 28, 2004 during the morning worship time. Eight people chose to testify of their faith in Jesus Christ by water baptism officiated by Pastor Ruberg. They were Keith Gunter, Patty Gunter, Justin Gunter, Laura Lewis, Jack Lewis, Michelle Roberts, Jason Engle and Zachary West. The people in the congregation were thrilled as these folks testified to their faith in Jesus Christ. We have had numerous Baptismal Services at the river, this was the first using our own indoors tank.
Our church building has become a nicer place to worship. Pastor Rod and Marilyn have given us much guidance. We are very thankful for their friendship, for their willingness to share with us all, and for their willingness to “step out in faith” with us. We should all try harder to make the next years even better than the previous ones. Let’s all do our part to win others to Jesus Christ. We need to keep our eyes focused on God and stay in constant contact with each other’s needs. With guidance from God we can remain the happy, harmonious family we have become here at Riverview Community Church. Come join with us for many more years of learning more about our AWESOME GOD and the things he can do. Pray without ceasing!