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The River Church Builds A Home
The River.3D rendering.2011
Construction is ongoing at the site where the future The River Christian Community Church will be at the corner of East G Street and Ventanas Avenue in Oakdale. Pictured is an architectural drawing of what the finished building will look like. The projected completion for the new church is around Christmas. - photo by Photo Contributed

For The River Christian Community Church, Christmas can’t come soon enough.

For the past six years, The River Christian Community Church lead pastor Kent Roberts has been ministering to his church family from a rented space inside Sierra View Elementary School but construction has begun on The River’s new church, which is slated for completion two weeks before Christmas.

“They’ve said we’re going to be in our church by Christmas but we’ll see,” Roberts said. “We’re super excited and very pleased with the progress.”

The journey has been long and arduous at times but patience and perseverance have certainly won out as Roberts and the approximately 275 members of his church family eagerly await their new home.

“The school has been very gracious and we appreciate everything they’ve done for us but we’re limited in what we can offer without our own space,” Roberts said.

The decision to go forward with the construction of an actual building was made in April of 2010. The first hurdle was the economy.

“We lost a number of young families when the recession hit and they had to leave the area,” he said.

But even so, Roberts and his flock were determined to find a home, which presented the second hurdle.

“We really scoured the area when we were looking for the site,” Roberts shared. “We had a difficult time finding the space we needed.”

Areas were looked at in the industrial area as a certain amount of acreage was needed, but ultimately it was decided to go with a parcel on East G Street and Ventanas that was 3.44 acres.

There are two planned stages of construction with the first phase being the actual church building, landscaping and parking; the second phase is planned to allow for potential growth and includes a secondary building and additional parking. The second phase has an open-ended completion date.

The 13,000 square-foot building will seat 340 people in the main area and there will be a large area used for the ministry’s youth. Plans are also in the works to open a Christian preschool by fall of 2013.

“I came to Oakdale to pastor another church and it didn’t work out but God called us to Oakdale for a reason,” Roberts said of his starting a new church in Oakdale. “I’m excited about seeing how our ministry will expand. Having a facility will provide more flexibility.”

The nondenominational church is open to new Christian members.

For more information on The River Christian Community Church, go to their website at