In late summer of 1943… a man who had been recently saved from a life of sin and ruin, felt God had called him to preach and lead others into the glorious light of Being Born-again in his community of Riverdale, Roanoke Va. He commenced to raise funds to build a open air shelter to preach in, it opened in August of that summer. Many came to Christ and a church was established, and money secured to close the shelter in and make it usable all year long.
This young man was R.L Painter. He would associate with the Church of the Nazarene, and his humble church in Riverdale would become-“Riverdale Church of the Nazarene. He was uneducated, and unable to read and write so the presiding officials of the Virginia District decided to get another Pastor who had an education. R.L. Painter moved on refusing to be dissuaded, he bought a tent and began moving it about setting up to preach in Bedford, Roanoke, Salem, Botetourt, Franklin and other places, he was being mightily used of God to spread a Revival of salvation. R.L. Painter later started another church on Kirk Avenue in Roanoke, He named “House of Prayer”. He led that congregation for the next 48 years.
In the Fall of 1989 a young evangelist named Steve Parker came and preached for the Fall Revival @ House of Prayer. R.L.Painter set about to get the congregation to call him as their next Pastor so he could retire. In the spring of 1993 Pastor Steve Parker became the second Pastor of House of Prayer in Roanoke. One Sunday morning shortly after the congregation moved into it’s new church building in 1996, a young man and his wife knelt at the invitation and surrendered their life to Christ, Steve and Dottie Roberson.
Steve had grown up in the Riverdale community and a bus ministry brought him to the Riverdale Church of the Nazarene when he was but five years of age. After Steve’s conversion he felt God calling him to preach and went to Bible College and prepared and returned to help Pastor Steve Parker in the new Church Plant-Living Well Church of the Nazarene that had been planted in Salem, a co-operative effort between-Parkway House of Prayer and the Virginia Church of the Nazarene. Steve Roberson had always envisioned being the Pastor @ Riverdale where he first heard about Jesus.
The good news is, Steve Roberson will be the Pastor @ the new Church Plant Living Well Church is planting this Fall 2020. It will be a venue of Living Well, it will be called ---Living Well Church @ Riverdale.
Cool part… R.L.Painter planted Riverdale Church of the Nazarene, and later planted House of Prayer church where 50 years later Steve Roberson was saved and called to preach. Now almost 65 years later Steve Roberson will lead the church plant of re-planting Living Well Church @ Riverdale. The power of God comes full circle.