Our story as of October 2014 - the unfinished history
River City Baptist Church was birthed in the early months of 2011 as God changed the burden of Pastor Justin Soto for the Natomas area into an actual call to plant a brand new church. Upon the arrival of summer that year, the workings for a new church were in full operation as a location was secured, tracts were printed, and like minded churches began partnering with this new work. God allowed several families to yoke up with Pastor and his family and so a starting base of 9 adults and 6 children existed prior to the first service.
10,000 door hangers announcing a new church were printed and on September 9, 2011 the first door was knocked with an invitation to experience Christianity as outlined in the book of Acts. 8,600 doors and 5 weeks later, the church was ready for its first service. On October 9, 2011, within the walls of a freshly painted conference room of Westlake Charter School at 4400 East Commerce Way an empty church sat waiting for its inaugural service. Somewhere around 10:45 the car of the first guest hesitantly pulled into the parking lot paving the way for many to follow. Of the fifty-three people who attended the first service, forty of them were guests from the local area! What a blessing. The second week, traditionally speaking, for a new church may be the hardest as oftentimes the crowd is half of the first week. We were blessed to have returning families as well as brand new visitors and had a total 45 on our second week. One guest was a young man named Sina who was born in the Middle East and attending college here in the US. He returned on Sunday night and after a half an hour of conversation, was saved. Not only was he the first person saved at River City Baptist he was also the first baptism as he returned on week three to follow God's command of believer's baptism. Thirty-four more have followed the command of in our church's history.
The winter months can be slow for church growth but work continued and a nucleus of people were being gathered. On April 15, 2012 we had our official charter signing service and we had thirty-six people sign our charter.
During the summer of 2012 the charter school needed to convert the conference room into two class rooms so we were moved to the gymnasium of the same building. This would require weekly set up and tear down, but the RCBC folks gladly volunteered as we continued to persevere forward as a new young church. The first anniversary quickly came upon us and we embraced the occassion by having a special event each Sunday for the month of October. During this time we continued to see steady growth and the church averaged 68 people per Sunday over that stretch.
In the early months of 2013 the church continued to search the North Natomas area for a place to lease. Pastor located a place on Northgate Blvd. and shortly thereafter opened up the location on a Monday for any from church who desired to see the potential location. After several months of negotaitons, a lease was signed on April 10th. The new location not only had occupancy needs from Sacramento County, but also structural needs to turn it into a church. All the t's were crossed and i's were dotted for the church to move into the building on July 7, 2013.
Having a permanent location for such a young church was not only miraculous, it also allowed for continued and steady growth. Through the latter part of 2013 and early 2014, the church saw a steady increase and more importantly a strengthened nuclues. The spring of 2014 brought crowds of over 100 regularly. This pattern continued all summer. One highlight of the summer was the 6 teens/adults baptized in the American River on June 30th.
As of this writing, the church is less than a week away from celebrating her 3rd anniversary... we'll keep posted.