The River

New church opening its doors in Amherstburg

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A new church is slowly but surely being created in Amherstburg.

Pastor Tim Charter and his wife Marta are launching The River church, with it currently being based out of their Front Road North home. The couple hosts Bible study every Wednesday night with three couples usually turning out, though more are welcome.

They hope to offer service by September at the latest.

The Charters are originally from Mississauga but lived in Amherstburg from 2005-11. A family situation saw them move to the Toronto-area for several years until they returned in Sept. 2017.

“We fell in love with Amherstburg. It’s just a cool place,” commented Tim.

The Charters wanted to come back to be closer to their children and grandchildren as well as to start a new church.

“We wanted to come back with a purpose,” Tim said. “We believe very strongly in the word of the Lord.”

Tim is ordained and has a Master’s Degree in theological studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in religious education from the Ontario Bible College. His 15 years as a pastor has seen him work in churches in Kingsville, Comber and Mississauga. He added it is the second church they have started, noting they had “quite a bit of success with the first one.”

The Charters have connected with the Canadian National Baptist Conference to help get The River church launched. The name was chosen not only because of their home’s proximity to the Detroit River, but for the religious symbolism a river depicts.

“Our goal is to get people down the river more and more towards the ultimate goal, which is to be like Christ,” he said.

Tim and Marta Charter have started a new church, known as “The River.” It is currently operating out of their Front Road North home.

There are phases to becoming a church. Currently, they are classified as a “seed,” then they would become a “church plant” before actually being designated a church. They do not have a physical building as of yet and hope to hold services out of their home for the time being.

“We’re resisting renting space,” Tim said, adding they don’t want to ask for money unless they have to.

That said, they now can accept donations if a person chooses to give one.

“I’m really happy to say we have charitable status,” he said. “We are able to accommodate donations and people are able to get a receipt, even though we’re a young church.”

The Charters believe there are many who may not go to church currently but would see The River as a church they can get behind and help build from the ground up. They encourage as many people as possible to join them and help build the church.

“We’ve noted people get excited when they are part of the process,” said Marta.

While acknowledging the churches in Amherstburg are doing good things, they believe there is room for another.

“Amherstburg, as a community, is very under-churched from an evangelical point-of-view,” said Tim. “We just feel Amherstburg could use something new.”

Tim and Marta both expressed their love of the community.

“We love the town,” he said. “We think Amherstburg is fantastic. I really think it’s an unknown little gem. We fell in love with it the first time we were here.”

To participate in their Bible study groups or to become involved with The River church, e-mail info@gototheriver.org or call 416-409-7583. People can also join their Bible study groups every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Their home is located at 1274 Front Road North.