River Of Life Worship Ctr

★★★☆☆
  • 1110 S Cornell Ave

    Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

    Map & Directions
  • 856-488-8820

About River Of Life Worship Ctr

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Out of curiosity, I just googled River of Life to see what had happened to the church since I noticed quite some time ago that it's no longer on Cornell Dr. in Cherry Hill. I went to River of Life for about a year, starting in late 2001. A friend of my daughter's invited her to join their youth group. She went every week to group, and on Sundays to sevices. I joined her on Sundays since she was so excited about church. I was brought up Catholic and so was she. I wanted to see what this church was about. In the beginning, I found most of the services enlightening as did my daughter (she was a senior in high school). She soon joined the band as a singer which she thoroughly enjoyed. I have to say, I never felt very comfortable around most of the people there, especially Kyle and Danielle. When we first started going, Danielle was not involved in the band or did any preaching. About 9 months or so after we started attending, all the sudden Danielle was in charge of the band and singing every Sunday as well as doing some preaching. I was wondering why all of the sudden this happened as I knew nothing about things that happened before we started attending. In August of 2002, my daughter started college that was 4 hours away from home. She was having a tough time, and I asked the youth minister and his wife if they could send her a few emails of encouragement. Neither one of them bothered. They never asked me how she was doing. When my daughter was home, she came to services on Sunday. She was ignored by them and Kyle. If she didn't approach them first, they didn't bother to talk to her. I never really felt included as a member of the church. I came to realize it was because I wasn't doing something for them 24/7. This was not possible because of my job and family commitments. I started to feel like this church was all about Kyle and Danielle. I kept attending for a few months after they moved from Haddonfield High School to the building in Cherry Hill. The reason I stopped attending was because I didn't feel welcome and was pretty much ignored by "The Group" that was in charge, and that once my daughter couldn't attend every week she was forgotten.

1
★☆☆☆☆

Out of curiosity, I just googled River of Life to see what had happened to the church since I noticed quite some time ago that it's no longer on Cornell Dr. in Cherry Hill. I went to River of Life for about a year, starting in late 2001. A friend of my daughter's invited her to join their youth group. She went every week to group, and on Sundays to sevices. I joined her on Sundays since she was so excited about church. I was brought up Catholic and so was she. I wanted to see what this church was about. In the beginning, I found most of the services enlightening as did my daughter (she was a senior in high school). She soon joined the band as a singer which she thoroughly enjoyed. I have to say, I never felt very comfortable around most of the people there, especially Kyle and Danielle. When we first started going, Danielle was not involved in the band or did any preaching. About 9 months or so after we started attending, all the sudden Danielle was in charge of the band and singing every Sunday as well as doing some preaching. I was wondering why all of the sudden this happened as I knew nothing about things that happened before we started attending. In August of 2002, my daughter started college that was 4 hours away from home. She was having a tough time, and I asked the youth minister and his wife if they could send her a few emails of encouragement. Neither one of them bothered. They never asked me how she was doing. When my daughter was home, she came to services on Sunday. She was ignored by them and Kyle. If she didn't approach them first, they didn't bother to talk to her. I never really felt included as a member of the church. I came to realize it was because I wasn't doing something for them 24/7. This was not possible because of my job and family commitments. I started to feel like this church was all about Kyle and Danielle. I kept attending for a few months after they moved from Haddonfield High School to the building in Cherry Hill. The reason I stopped attending was because I didn't feel welcome and was pretty much ignored by "The Group" that was in charge, and that once my daughter couldn't attend every week she was forgotten.

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I have been attending this church for about eleven years now. And i have been attending through the thick and thin of the church's hardships. I grew up in the church and I personally know both of the two other people who have written a review on this church.

Of corse my real name is NOT Youth R. That is a very stupid name. I will not reveal my real name. I am a youth in the church, but one should not judge my personal opinion on just that. BECAUSE it says in the 1 Timothy 4:12 not to let anyone look down on me because I am young.

Now, lets get back to business. Frank R is a very very VERY talented musician. I know for sure this man is not stupid in any way. I remember him playing an active role in our church and the worship team. His wife is very talented as well, she actually sang a song that the children's ministry wrote.

Kelly M plays a large part of our children's ministry currently and is very sweet and encouraging. I am quite fond of her children and herself/husband as well.

I believe that both of their comments on the church are correct. Yes, our church is very... different when it comes to how things look. Yes, we do have flashy lights and smoke machines.. However, when Frank mentioned our church ALTERING the gospel. He is sadly mistaken.

Apart of my job as an intern at the church is to bring my bible and notebook to every sermon I attend. So when the pastor mentions and begins to read a passage... I read along with him. I have never.. EVER.. heard him say anything different than what is written in the Lord's book.

If the pastor did change the sermon, wouldn't it already have been brought to life publically have wouldn't he have already been shamed? It says in Revelation 22:18-19 that God really doesn't play around with people altering His word...

Now, what Frank said about the community involvement is totally true. We did stop that for a while. For reasons i do not know. However, now we have multiple outreaches. We feed the homeless in Philadelphia every sunday and transport them to our Philly campus for sunday night services, we work with inner city kids, we help the trafficked women at Dawn's Place, and much more.

Frank said, "Not one differing opinion was heard or vocalized (and if it was, this person was immediately shunned)." I do not know if that was true for the time that Frank was attending the church... But if it was true.. that is a shame. However, i know for sure that the senior pastor is very very open to new opinions and has a brand new team (considering the old team got offended and left) who are birthing a new and more modern air to the church.

Frank's third to last paragraph is complete blasphemy. I, (a youth) know all about the letter he sent to the network church. And I personally know that the Senior pastor did do everything that he said he did. Who is Frank to say what he did and did not do if all he did was tattle-tale to the senior pastor's pastor? Frank quotes scripture in this paragraph, but does not provide the actual where-abouts of that quote. However, i do understand what he is talking about. It is in Matthew 18:15-17. It talks about the correct way to solve conflict with someone. And Frank, did not do this correcctly.

In Frank's second to last paragraph, he mentions a kids ministry run by someone that is not married and has no children. The person that is running the ministry is married. They have no children (both of the couples that run it), but they both work with children on a daily basis and have the parents of the children on the kid's team. There are frequent meetings about how to improbe the ministry as a whole.

All in all, I apologize for coming off as rude or anything... However, I cannot sit back and see lies posted about my church. It has changed my life and I have connected with God so much because of the River (now called something different). Thank you for your time... And Frank... If you are reading this... Sorry for bursting your bubble. But you needed a reality check.

I would personally invite everyone out to the church to get your own opinion about it. If you do not like it, then okay. If you do like it, then okay. We would love to have everyone out and experience God's love and grace. Because though men don't forgive and forget.. God does.

5
★★★★★

I have been attending this church for about eleven years now. And i have been attending through the thick and thin of the church's hardships. I grew up in the church and I personally know both of the two other people who have written a review on this church.

Of corse my real name is NOT Youth R. That is a very stupid name. I will not reveal my real name. I am a youth in the church, but one should not judge my personal opinion on just that. BECAUSE it says in the 1 Timothy 4:12 not to let anyone look down on me because I am young.

Now, lets get back to business. Frank R is a very very VERY talented musician. I know for sure this man is not stupid in any way. I remember him playing an active role in our church and the worship team. His wife is very talented as well, she actually sang a song that the children's ministry wrote.

Kelly M plays a large part of our children's ministry currently and is very sweet and encouraging. I am quite fond of her children and herself/husband as well.

I believe that both of their comments on the church are correct. Yes, our church is very... different when it comes to how things look. Yes, we do have flashy lights and smoke machines.. However, when Frank mentioned our church ALTERING the gospel. He is sadly mistaken.

Apart of my job as an intern at the church is to bring my bible and notebook to every sermon I attend. So when the pastor mentions and begins to read a passage... I read along with him. I have never.. EVER.. heard him say anything different than what is written in the Lord's book.

If the pastor did change the sermon, wouldn't it already have been brought to life publically have wouldn't he have already been shamed? It says in Revelation 22:18-19 that God really doesn't play around with people altering His word...

Now, what Frank said about the community involvement is totally true. We did stop that for a while. For reasons i do not know. However, now we have multiple outreaches. We feed the homeless in Philadelphia every sunday and transport them to our Philly campus for sunday night services, we work with inner city kids, we help the trafficked women at Dawn's Place, and much more.

Frank said, "Not one differing opinion was heard or vocalized (and if it was, this person was immediately shunned)." I do not know if that was true for the time that Frank was attending the church... But if it was true.. that is a shame. However, i know for sure that the senior pastor is very very open to new opinions and has a brand new team (considering the old team got offended and left) who are birthing a new and more modern air to the church.

Frank's third to last paragraph is complete blasphemy. I, (a youth) know all about the letter he sent to the network church. And I personally know that the Senior pastor did do everything that he said he did. Who is Frank to say what he did and did not do if all he did was tattle-tale to the senior pastor's pastor? Frank quotes scripture in this paragraph, but does not provide the actual where-abouts of that quote. However, i do understand what he is talking about. It is in Matthew 18:15-17. It talks about the correct way to solve conflict with someone. And Frank, did not do this correcctly.

In Frank's second to last paragraph, he mentions a kids ministry run by someone that is not married and has no children. The person that is running the ministry is married. They have no children (both of the couples that run it), but they both work with children on a daily basis and have the parents of the children on the kid's team. There are frequent meetings about how to improbe the ministry as a whole.

All in all, I apologize for coming off as rude or anything... However, I cannot sit back and see lies posted about my church. It has changed my life and I have connected with God so much because of the River (now called something different). Thank you for your time... And Frank... If you are reading this... Sorry for bursting your bubble. But you needed a reality check.

I would personally invite everyone out to the church to get your own opinion about it. If you do not like it, then okay. If you do like it, then okay. We would love to have everyone out and experience God's love and grace. Because though men don't forgive and forget.. God does.

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The River Church in Cherry Hill is a dynamic, energetic church that breaks the mold of traditional church as you know it. What a phenomenal church on every level! The band is off the hook and the creative arts department slams it every time they take the stage! The pastors deliver motivating and positive messages that inspire you. Far too many churches leave you feeling condemned but at The River you walk away encouraged and refreshed! Riverkidz (children's church) is AWESOME and my children LOVE going every week. Best children's ministry my children have ever attended! The leaders of Riverkidz are enthusiastic & committed to teaching the children in fresh & exciting ways! This church is passionate about connecting people to God, to God's people and to their purpose in life! What amazing leadership teams they have. Their passion and excitement is contagious. A breath of fresh air after years of chasing religion! The senior pastor has a saying that "it should be illegal for church to be boring". :) Unconventional yes! Boring NO WAY!

5
★★★★★

The River Church in Cherry Hill is a dynamic, energetic church that breaks the mold of traditional church as you know it. What a phenomenal church on every level! The band is off the hook and the creative arts department slams it every time they take the stage! The pastors deliver motivating and positive messages that inspire you. Far too many churches leave you feeling condemned but at The River you walk away encouraged and refreshed! Riverkidz (children's church) is AWESOME and my children LOVE going every week. Best children's ministry my children have ever attended! The leaders of Riverkidz are enthusiastic & committed to teaching the children in fresh & exciting ways! This church is passionate about connecting people to God, to God's people and to their purpose in life! What amazing leadership teams they have. Their passion and excitement is contagious. A breath of fresh air after years of chasing religion! The senior pastor has a saying that "it should be illegal for church to be boring". :) Unconventional yes! Boring NO WAY!

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First, let me qualify my statements with the fact that I was a founding member of the church and was there for over 10 years as a leader, present at many staff meetings, and as a contributor both financially and creatively. My opinion is shared with 12 other founding members who also left in 2009 and 2010.

Second, let me say that when a person makes comments that are negative, it is not with the intent to "ruin" someone else, nor is it with the intent to "prevent" people from getting saved or hearing the Gospel. It is in an effort to prevent other people from having a significant investment made into something that could potentially do more damage than good in the long run. All people are entitled to their opinions??each person should make his or her own choice about a religious institution with whatever information they can find (and the more the better!).

This church is about getting people saved and connecting them to their God-given destinies. The outworking of this mission is very poorly executed.

The focus of all Sunday services is to attract unsaved people (people who do not consider themselves a Christian). This is done through multimedia, creative presentation of the sermons, a significantly simplified (and sometimes modified) "Gospel" which is not a complete and accurate representation of the Gospel in the Bible, and through a focus in all communications to get unsaved people "interested in" the messages and the church community. This is done to the detriment of every other effort. I've seen community involvement go from very little to none because people would be stretched too thin to participate in leadership on a Sunday, and thus, the staff cancelled the community programs. It is also so much the focus that, once a person is part of the church and wants to get involved, it's essentially to join in the effort to attract more unsaved people.

Though, from an evangelical perspective, this seems good and right, the Bible is specific that a church is to equip the saints??that all the things that Christ taught should be taught to all believers (discipleship). This is not done??most people have made a decision to follow Christ and that's where their own understanding of their faith stops (a very shallow place to be as a Christian, and is evidenced by the extreme turnover of leaders, the less-than-adequate education of the leadership apart from the Senior Pastor, and the very low average age range of the congregation).

There is a very strong authoritarian culture here??similar to the Shepherding Movement. Prior to my leaving, all aspects of the church were ultimately controlled by the Senior Pastor. The culture is probably the most dangerous part??if the Senior Pastor didn't like someone or something, all core leadership followed suit. Not one differing opinion was heard or vocalized (and if it was, this person was immediately shunned).

There is no legitimate Senior Pastoral accountability. The "network" to which the church belongs refused to listen to any verbal or written evidence pertaining to a major issue brought against the Senior Pastor in 2009. When presented with the written evidence, it was returned with a statement of, "We are speaking with the Senior Pastor directly and will listen only to what he has to say." Unfortunately, when dealing with integrity and accountability, this is not the appropriate course of action. According to Scripture, the appropriate course of action is to listen to two or three testimonies from upstanding members of the congregation. Thus, after a 6-month sabbatical, the Senior Pastor returned to govern the church in similar fashion.

I am no longer there (my family left mid-2009), so I cannot say for sure what things have or have not changed. I can see that they now have a Children's Ministry leader who is not married and has no kids. This is troublesome to me (I'm a parent of 3). I speak to good people who remained there for a time, and they, too, are considering leaving for many of the same reasons we left earlier on.

All in all, I would not recommend that any attend this church until the staff is overhauled entirely (and not made up of family members, either). They need someone fresh and unbiased to come in and clean house.

Hope this helps someone.

1
★☆☆☆☆

First, let me qualify my statements with the fact that I was a founding member of the church and was there for over 10 years as a leader, present at many staff meetings, and as a contributor both financially and creatively. My opinion is shared with 12 other founding members who also left in 2009 and 2010.

Second, let me say that when a person makes comments that are negative, it is not with the intent to "ruin" someone else, nor is it with the intent to "prevent" people from getting saved or hearing the Gospel. It is in an effort to prevent other people from having a significant investment made into something that could potentially do more damage than good in the long run. All people are entitled to their opinions??each person should make his or her own choice about a religious institution with whatever information they can find (and the more the better!).

This church is about getting people saved and connecting them to their God-given destinies. The outworking of this mission is very poorly executed.

The focus of all Sunday services is to attract unsaved people (people who do not consider themselves a Christian). This is done through multimedia, creative presentation of the sermons, a significantly simplified (and sometimes modified) "Gospel" which is not a complete and accurate representation of the Gospel in the Bible, and through a focus in all communications to get unsaved people "interested in" the messages and the church community. This is done to the detriment of every other effort. I've seen community involvement go from very little to none because people would be stretched too thin to participate in leadership on a Sunday, and thus, the staff cancelled the community programs. It is also so much the focus that, once a person is part of the church and wants to get involved, it's essentially to join in the effort to attract more unsaved people.

Though, from an evangelical perspective, this seems good and right, the Bible is specific that a church is to equip the saints??that all the things that Christ taught should be taught to all believers (discipleship). This is not done??most people have made a decision to follow Christ and that's where their own understanding of their faith stops (a very shallow place to be as a Christian, and is evidenced by the extreme turnover of leaders, the less-than-adequate education of the leadership apart from the Senior Pastor, and the very low average age range of the congregation).

There is a very strong authoritarian culture here??similar to the Shepherding Movement. Prior to my leaving, all aspects of the church were ultimately controlled by the Senior Pastor. The culture is probably the most dangerous part??if the Senior Pastor didn't like someone or something, all core leadership followed suit. Not one differing opinion was heard or vocalized (and if it was, this person was immediately shunned).

There is no legitimate Senior Pastoral accountability. The "network" to which the church belongs refused to listen to any verbal or written evidence pertaining to a major issue brought against the Senior Pastor in 2009. When presented with the written evidence, it was returned with a statement of, "We are speaking with the Senior Pastor directly and will listen only to what he has to say." Unfortunately, when dealing with integrity and accountability, this is not the appropriate course of action. According to Scripture, the appropriate course of action is to listen to two or three testimonies from upstanding members of the congregation. Thus, after a 6-month sabbatical, the Senior Pastor returned to govern the church in similar fashion.

I am no longer there (my family left mid-2009), so I cannot say for sure what things have or have not changed. I can see that they now have a Children's Ministry leader who is not married and has no kids. This is troublesome to me (I'm a parent of 3). I speak to good people who remained there for a time, and they, too, are considering leaving for many of the same reasons we left earlier on.

All in all, I would not recommend that any attend this church until the staff is overhauled entirely (and not made up of family members, either). They need someone fresh and unbiased to come in and clean house.

Hope this helps someone.

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