A BRIEF HISTORY
River of Life was started in March 1997 as a Church plant from Galway Christian Fellowship and as part of the Plumbline Ireland Family of Churches.
Trevor & Diane Hill spent seven happy years working alongside Graeme & Fran Wylie in Galway and thought they would be in Galway long term, but the Lord had other plans. He made it very clear He was asking them to move to Athlone, so along with their four young children the Hill family moved to Athlone were friends Tony & Maureen joined them in seeking to see an expression of New Testament Church in Athlone. Initially there were seven adults and five children involved in those early days and for almost eighteen months they meet regularly and prayed for God to direct them. On one occasion the Lord showed them a map of Ireland with six towns within a twenty-five miles radius of Athlone and the name River of Life Midlands Christian Family came into being. A short time after that they gathered a number of people from around the country for a weekend to pray for the country. Towards the end of this gathering the picture of the six towns around Athlone was confirmed prophetically, which was very encouraging.
The first thing they did publicly was to take a Black Gospel Choir based in London into a local nightclub and launch an Alpha course from there. We saw a number of people come to the Lord in those early days and as word spread others came to have a look at what was happening and some of them stayed and join as well. In 1999 Ireland opened the way for asylum seeker and refugees to come into the country from quite a number of different African and Eastern European countries. When we made contact with the local holding site which had one hundred mobile homes to house at times 400+ people from around 40 different countries we found ourselves almost overwhelmed both by the many deep needs they had. We tried to do what we could to help and learnt many lessons as we went along, often through our mistakes, some choose to make River of Life their spiritual home while others started their own type of Church in the town.
At one stage we had people from the six towns around Athlone (from that first picture we received in prayer) travelling to fellowship with us which again was a great encouragement to us all. Over the years many people have come, stayed a while and moved on for different reasons, while others have made River of Life their home and committed themselves to bringing the Good News of the Gospel to Athlone, the Midlands and our nation. At the core of who we are and what we do are the four W’s of fellowship:
Welcome - where we contact with one another - seeking to welcome all who come in
Worship – where we connect with God – focusing on who God is and all He does
Word – where God connects with us – making God’s Word the manual for our everyday lives
Witness – where we connect with the world – sharing the reality of God’s love with others
We are a community-based Church for the whole family and would love the opportunity to welcome you sometime – as they say – the proof of the cake is in the eating of it.
Consider yourself invited and a warm welcome awaits you.