A Place Where the Believer and the Skeptic Feel Welcome
Since River City Church began four years ago, 73 people have followed the Lord in water baptism, and the church is currently averaging 152 in attendance.
Damian and Nancy McCrink launched River City Church in January 2013 at the Batavia Fine Arts Center (a local high school auditorium) in Batavia, Illinois. In 2015, the growing congregation relocated to its current location at the Kirk Road Facility in St. Charles. The Illinois cities of Batavia, St. Charles, and Geneva — with a combined population of nearly 100,000 people — are known as the Tri-Cities in the West Chicago suburbs, and are connected by the Fox River.
Pastor Damian McCrink says they were inspired to choose the name River City Church because of their location and this Scripture: “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God” (Psalm 46:4, NIV).
“In this great Tri-Cities community,” McCrink says, “we have met many people who are without peace and are searching for something more. We want to be a place where people can find the love and hope of Christ as we actively engage in serving this great community.”
“Leading people from where they are to where God wants them to be,” is River City’s mission statement.
“From the first day of our church, we have seen it to be a place where both the believer and the skeptic feel welcome,” McCrink says. During the first year of the church, more than half the congregation had not attended church regularly, or at all, before coming to River City Church.
“We had unchurched people who didn’t know they should not swear when coming to the prayer team with their requests at the end of service,” McCrink says. That first year, 35 people accepted Christ and 18 were baptized in water.
River City Church is active in both community outreach and world missions. The church partners with city organizers and hosts kids’ activities at the annual Batavia Block Party; more than 4,000 people attended in 2016. They also help with Batavia Food Pantry, Lazarus House ministry to the homeless, and Naomi’s House which helps women who are victims of sex trafficking. River City Church supports missionaries serving in several countries including Mali, Jamaica, Indonesia, England, and a restricted access country.
“Today, the church supports 20 world missionaries, church planters and local missions, and last year we gave more than $30,000 to missions,” McCrink says. “That’s the kind of long-term investment the Matching Fund [made possible through AGTrust supporters and Church Multiplication Network] makes in the Kingdom.”
“It has been great to see how God has been faithful to us and to River City Church,” McCrink says. “I love seeing people’s lives changed and helping them become engaged in community.”
To date, 450 church plants like River City Church have received AGTrust Matching Funds to help them get started, and they have seen 29,418 people make a decision to follow Christ.