Rich was raised in a Christian home. He was born again at the age of six in his Grandmother's bedroom. During his teen years he began to rebel against his upbringing. He was enticed by heavy metal music and became a lead vocalist in a metal band and lived in a world of sex, drugs, and rock n roll. This path even led him to become involved in the occult and witchcraft. After almost overdosing on cocaine, he had a visit from God Almighty. Rich heard the song Highway to Hell in his mind while laying on a rehearsal floor in an audible voice God said,"That is exactly where you are going.' An experience he has never forgotten but still the lure of that lifestyle drew him. After a serious car accident he realized that he needed to make things right with God. He found himself at the altar the next Sunday and was immediately delivered from the occult, alcohol and drugs. A few months later he and his soon to be wife Kerrie met. Although they both wanted to serve the Lord it seemed that they still were missing something that would give them the power to lead the life they desired. That was when Rich was introduced to the Holy Spirit and he soon answered the call to preach. Rich & Kerrie served many years at River of Life in Chattanooga under their pastors Alan & Terri Crider as a Worship Leader, Pastoral Care minister and Prison minister. Then in July of 2008 God sent them out to start River of Life Lafayette, a sister church of ROlC where he is living out his vision of Empowering People to live a Holy and Victorious life through God's Holy Word and Demonstration of the Holy Spirit to impact our city, the nation and the world.
Being from the South and the heart of the bible belt, it is hard not to have some knowledge of God and religion. Religion was my problem. I heard a lot of talk about Christianity but not a lot of doing Christianity. As a result I struggled with if Jesus was real. To complicate matters, I was abused sexually by a family member who was a professing believer and also had some bad experiences with Church goers. At one point, I tried to commit suicide. I had decided by my early teens that I didn't ever want to go back to church and that the whole thing was a myth. Despite my resistance and mostly because Rich went, I went back into church. I was born again that day and things began to change. I wish I could say that I was delivered of all my demons immediately but I continued to face daily battles with depressions and poor self esteem. I believe the greatest revelation from the Word of God I ever received is that Jesus loves me, not because of the things I do but because who I am and who He is. I really don't like to talk about the bad things in life because the good things Jesus has done for me and given me far outweigh the bad things the devil ever did. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. I feel that is my mission in life. To let people just like me who have suffered through ignorance of the Word of God and at the hands of the devil, that we have hope. Not only do we have hope, we have the power to overcome. Not only do we have the power to overcome, God has called us to rule and reign over the works of the enemy. My testimony today it "Thanks be to God who always causes me to triumph in Christ."