We are called and anointed by God to build strong men, strong women, strong families, and the “Healing of Races.” To see men, women, boys, and girls, saved, delivered, healed, and set-free, by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ! Willing to do things that have not been done, to receive things that have not been had. Acts 8:5 “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.” We’re willing to go down to “some-area” and preach Christ, where others dare not go.
Our Vision is to see God’s people walking in the Excellence He’s called us to, Excellence of Character, Excellence of Life, Excellence of Ministry. We’re challenging God’s people to allow God to tap into the greatness He’s placed inside them. To equip people with a hunger and thirst for righteousness, a PASSION for the things of God!
The ministry Vision is based upon Matthew 25:35-45; “I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was Thirsty and ye gave me Drink: I was a Stranger, and ye took me in. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was Sick, and ye visited me: I was in Prison, and ye came unto me”. Vs.40; “…verily I say unto you, In as much as ye have done it unto one of the LEAST of these my BREATHREN, ye have done it onto me.
Extending to people a hand up not just a hand out. We purpose to teach people how to fish, not to just give them a fish.
East Location Leadership
Pastor Carolyn Berry
Pastor Carolyn Berry has been a faithful and committed member of River of Life Christian Church since January 1980 and serves on the pastoral staff since her ordination in 1987 under the tutelage and guidance of founders, the late great Apostles Arnold P. and Bettie J. Williams.
During her thirty plus years of ministry at River of Life, Pastor Carolyn has served as the Junior Church Director for nineteen years and the Director of Good Ground Learning Center for twelve years until its closing in 2006. She has also served as instructor of Minnesota Graduate School of Theology, St. Paul Campus, after receiving her Masters Degree in Clinical Pastoral Counseling. She also is the Leader/Choreographer of Expressions of God since September 2002 along with other pastoral care duties. Pastor Carolyn’s studies also include an AA in Business Administration from Martin Methodist College and Child Development certificate through a culmination of classes from MCTC and Metro State.
After the passing of our co-founder, Apostle Bettie J. Williams (Nov.2009) Pastor Carolyn, with the team of Elders and Board of Advisory, served as Interim Pastor a little more than two years while the Church was undergoing the process of searching for the next Senior Pastor. This was accomplished March 2012 when our new Senior Pastors were installed.
Pastor Carolyn married her husband Pastor David R. Berry September 1976. They have three wonderful Adult children: Jonathan, Krystene’ and G’Alexander.
Dr. Ernest Collins
Dr. Ernest Collins came to River of Life Christian Church in October of 1979 when it was a storefront ministry. This was the beginning of God’s calling on his life to be mentored and pastored by the founders, the late Apostles Arnold P. and Bettie J. Williams and Dr. Neal Williams.
Through this ministry, Dr. Collins has developed by practicing the Word of God while maturing in the principles and ways of God. In March 1994, He was ordained by Apostle Arnold Williams to function as a Pastor- Teacher gift to the Body of Christ. Dr. Collins passion is to be obedient in performing the Great Commission and teaching all nations (in love) God’s present truth and principles that will bring the Body of Christ to God’s expected end for their life. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Dr. Collins holds two earned doctorates, Ph.D. and D Min., from the MN Graduate School of Theology (St. Paul Campus) where he is also one of the faculty members. He is an associate pastor, the church historian and facilitates the Saturday morning men’s prayer. He also is a member of the American Association of Clinical Family Therapists, and does Family and Marriage Counseling.
He and his wife Bobbie have been married for forty-two years and have three adult children, Ernest II, Marcella, and Sean. Dr. Collins and his wife live in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Pastor Linda Atlas
Pastor Linda started as a friend of the ministry. She became a member in 1980 and was ordained an Elder in 1997. She is an active part of the ministerial staff of River of Life Christian Church in St. Paul Minnesota. Formerly, Pastor Linda was Youth Ministry director (23 years) along with other ministerial duties. She currently oversees of the Young Adults and Singles Ministries and a member of the Prison Outreach Ministry, Praise & Worship Leader, Church and Conference speaker.
Pastor Linda became an employee of the Minnesota Department of Human Services in 2000 to current. She is an Eligibility Specialist with the Disability Services Division. She formerly worked as the HIV Outreach Coordinator providing outreach and access for AIDS Drug Assistance Program to under-served HIV positive people, who are members of communities of color and to HIV positive people who are living in greater Minnesota and to other service providing systems, providing technical assistance.
Pastor Linda has worked and volunteer in the HIV/AIDS arena as HIV prevention education and direct services for 20 years. She is a 2003 /2005 graduate fellow of the Black AIDS Organization Los Angeles California, African American HIV University, area of studies were HIV science, treatment and health educator.
Linda has also volunteered for the following programs:
- Minnesota Institute Black Chemical Abuse currently known as African American Family Services addressing the need of Chemical Health prevention with the African American Community.
- Ruth House a support facility for women involved domestic Abuse as a support group facilitator.
- Oasis of Love youth program KIDPLACE for child witnesses of Domestic Violence as a support group facilitator.
- Twin Cities against Drug and Violence which was faith based collaborative group hosted prevention & intervention youth rallies, school assemblies and concerts with Dr. Joseph M. Jennings and others
Pastor Leroy Carter
Pastor Leroy Carter came to Saint Paul, Minnesota from Brooklyn, New York in 1990 not long after he graduated from Teen Challenge. A year later the Lord led him to River of Life Christian Church where he stopped by one week day and was warmly greeted by Apostle Arnold P. Williams. They had such a wonderful meeting Pastor Leroy was compelled to join the church immediately.
Over the next two years he served as an usher. He then joined the choir, drama ministry and in 12-Step Free Indeed. In essence, Pastor Leroy was willing to serve where ever the Lord wanted him. Not long afterwards, he was promoted to deacon and head of the ushers. Having been found faithful, and committed to the work of the ministry, he was ordained an Elder by Apostle Arnold P. Williams.
On November 7, 1992 the Lord blessed him with a beautiful wife, Sister Barbara (Bebe) Carter. They have four children: Genell, Timothy, Philip and Chara.
Pastor Leroy currently serves as Director of the River of Life Christian Church Food Shelf, Men Ministry (Men of Vision) and Sunday Morning Bible Study. Pastor Leroy is bold, sold out and on fire for God. He is a dynamic speaker and witness for Christ that fervently loves the Lord, the Word, his family and the body of Christ. Pastor Leroy continues to remain faithful to the Lord’s vision for River of Life Christian Church and the ziezgdom.
Pastor Steven Brown
Pastor Steven Brown came to River of Life Christian Church in January 1980 while on parole from Jackson State Prison in Michigan. Because of the acceptance and leadership of Apostles Arnold and Bettie Williams, their example of Christ enabled him to receive Him as Lord and Savior. Elder He served as Deacon from 1982 to 1998 at which time he was ordained as an Elder. He has a B.A. in Pastoral Care.
Currently, Pastor Brown coordinates the Marriage Fellowship, Counsels, serves at Oak Park Heights Prison also New Members Orientation. Pastor Brown is a licensed Realtor and is President of Dynamic Enterprises LLC. He is married to the phenomenal Dr. Barbara Leone-Brown and together we have four adult children and eight grandchildren.
Pastor Mark Osborne
Pastor Mark Osborne has been a member of the River of Life Christian Church since 1988. He married to his wife Janet in 1989 at the “River” officiated by our founding pastors, Apostles Arnold and Bettie Williams. He is the father of four adult children, grandfather of many more and great-grandfather of two more.
Pastor Mark serves the Lord and the River in many different capacities including: Overseer of our Youth Ministry, Usher Ministry, Van Ministry, Security Ministry, Prison Ministry and our Free Indeed Recovery Ministry that meets every Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Arnold P. Williams Community Outreach Center (APW), located at 999 Selby Ave St. Paul. He also serves on the Trustee Board.
Pastor Mark Osborne received his Master’s Degree in Christian Clinical Family Counseling through the Minnesota Graduate School of Theology; St.Paul Campus with a 4.0 GPA.
He is prophetic exhorter, encourager and teacher, i.e. instructor at Minnesota Graduate School of Theology.
Pastor Mark is a State licensed Building General Contractor by occupation, working mainly on remodeling and home repairs. He is also a licensed low-pressure steam engineer through the State of Minnesota.
Elder Donald Steele
Elder Don Steele, a native from Jamaica, along with his wife has been faithful, active members of River of Life Christian Church since 1985. Elder Don’s passion is to see God’s people come together in unity. He is a motivator to encourage the people of God to walk in the many blessings that God has made available for us. Since being at “the River”, Elder Don has been involved in various ministries to include Usher/Security, Men’s Fellowship and the Building Strong Marriages Ministry.
Elder Don, and his beautiful wife Joyce of 40 years, have three sons, one daughter and three grandchildren. They are also the owners of a successful, family construction company called D & J Construction Company and are in the process of going into development of properties.
Elder George Wilson
While my wife and I were at a bus stop in 1990, we had a “divine connection” with a member of River of Life Christian Center (at that time Pat Graham). She began telling us about the 12 -Step Free Indeed Ministry that was being held at 999 Selby Avenue so we attended. When we got to the groups with all my addictions and behaviors, etc. we met a man five foot three and a quarter inch tall. He looked like any ordinary person attending but then ministered and it changed my life. Apostle Arnold P. Williams began to father me and mentor me. As I began to faithfully go to group, I realize the love that was there. So my family and I began to grow and to change as God worked with me as a leader of my family. I realized the old was gone and the new was here.
During my now 24 years at River of Life Christian Church, I have served as a Deacon. I have also served in various ministries, i.e. music- as a skilled drummer, hospitality, a facilitator and teacher to 2 Smart 2 Start and 12 Step Free Indeed Ministry, Security and Maintenance. I was ordain an Elder in September, 2013.
I’ve been married to my beautiful queen Vivian since 1985 and we have been blessed with two children, Catima and David, who are now young adults. I am so thankful to God for the vision and for our Bishop Earl and Pastor Pamela Gilchrist.
Elder Jaci Rogers
Jaci Rogers, with her three children, moved to Minnesota October 1980 and accepted the Lord that following December. She started attending River of Life Christian Church when it was located at 999 Selby Avenue, in February 1983. She became an active member and ordained Deaconess served in various ministries- nursery, ministry of helps in cleaning, hostess, praise dance and women’s fellowship, drama to name a few. While still serving as hostess, she and her husband started a business called “Uniquely Me” The business was birthed from a prophesy spoken to her husband, Jimmy in 2007. “Uniquely Me” was launched in May 2011. To this date, the Lord has continued to open doors, exposing their business and bringing people they don’t know, into their path, giving them opportunity to testify of His goodness and grace.
Jaci met her best friend and now husband of 26 years on Christmas Day, 1985. Together they have five children and three granddaughters.
Elder Jimmy Rogers
Elder Jimmy Rogers moved to Minnesota September 1972 and accepted the Lord in 1978. He started attending River of Life Christian Church when it was located at 606 Selby Avenue. He became an active member and served in various ministries including the Ministry of Helps in Cleaning, Usher and Drama. Currently he serves in the Video Ministry.
He met his best friend and now wife, Jaci, of 26 years on Christmas day 1985. Together they have five children and three granddaughters.
Elder Rohan Scarlett
Rohan an immigrant from the beautiful Island of Jamaica came to the United State in 1981 with his parents Donald and Joyce Steele. Became a believer in 1988; six months later he became a member of River of Life Christian Church, where he discovered later that his parents also attended the same church.
He works in Transportation, with a strong construction background, which he learned from his father.
His interest drew him to the audio ministry, youth and children ministry. He remains in the audio ministry where he is the overseer of a great team.
He’s attending The Minnesota Graduate School of Theology. His desire is to become an effective Pastor and take the Gospel to the Nations. He serves as Elder and head of the audio ministry.
Elder Bobbie J. Collins
Elder Bobbie Collins has been an active, faithful member of River of Life Christian Church for over 30 years. During these years she has served in Junior Church Ministry, Choir and ordained Deaconess. Currently, Elder Bobbie oversees the Deaconess, Too Smart to Start Ministry (for children and youth). She is also a facilitator in the 12 Step Free Indeed Ministry, a member of the praise dance ministry, Wednesday Night Praise & Worship team and Women’s Prison Ministry.
Elder Bobbie attended the University of Minnesota and completed her BA degree in Biblical Studies and Theology through the Minnesota Graduate School of theology- St. Paul Campus. She was ordained Elder in September 2013. She and her husband, Dr. Ernest Collins, have three adult children.
Elder Gayle Payne Foreman
Gayle Payne Foreman was born, raised and educated in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is the middle daughter of the five children born to Mr. William H. Payne Sr. and Mrs. Dorothy Chambers Payne. She graduated from St. Paul Central High School and received her BS from Mankato State University; majoring in Elementary Education and minored in Early Childhood Development. Lady Gayle also received her MS from University of MN, and a Dr. of Theology from Minnesota Graduate School of Theology.
She became a faculty member at the University of Minnesota and retired after 30 years. She researched, developed, and instructed classes in various disciplines. The University curriculum committee “adopted” and added 2 courses to their CLA course curriculum; Afro 3405 and Afro 5404 The African American Child: A comprehensive Approach–which she created and taught for almost 10 years.
Being a faithful member of River of Life Christian Church since 1983, Elder Gayle has taught in Junior Church Ministry, served in the Women’s Hennepin County Correction Facility, Women Fellowship Committee, along with Intercessory Prayer Ministry. She is currently the Dean and faculty member of the Minnesota Graduated School of Theology/St. Paul Campus.
Elder Gayle is currently in the process of completing an Instructional Manual on Godly Parenting.
She is the mother of 4 adult children, who are “truly” gifts from God! Lady Gayle also has four grandchildren and Identical Twin great granddaughters.
Elder Johnnie Mae Barber
I have been a member of River of Life Christian Church for more than twenty years. Currently, I serve and lead the Junior Church Ministry for children ages three to twelve years of age. I am passionate about building effective leaders who know and understand the word and love of God. I am also skilled in writing and implementing curriculum that is engaging and challenging to build the whole child. I also assist in supporting the Sunday morning and Wednesday night teaching ministries for adults.
Beyond the church setting I continue to serve my fellowman. My current position is teaching students, grades k-6, training teachers and other staff members how to become culture competency. I have served effectively as Principal and Assistant Principal for elementary and middle school. River of Life Christian Church works together with the surrounding communities for the healing of the races. I bring to the table some valuable experiences in this area as well. I served successfully as the Director for diversity programs for several years for East Metro Integration District. I continue to look forward to seeing our families, communities and children taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ‘uttermost parts of the world.’
Elder Vikki Sanders
Elder Vikki Sanders has been a member of River of Life for 35 years. One of her first ministries was running a book library which has evolved into River of Life Book store. She loves to read the word and has been called to help others recognize their gifts and positions in the body of Christ. Throughout her journey with the Lord, she has developed the ability to speak and teach the word of the Lord. Past achievements has been organizing the first Sorority Girl Scout troupe with 22 plus girls. BGS (Black Girl Scouts), which was supported by the Girl Scouts of River Valleys, visited Historically Black Colleges such as Fisk, Howard, Dillard, Hampton, Grambling, Morehouse, Spellman and Southern University. She was the editor and author of Remember Rondo Tradition of Excellence 1995, a historical documentation of the African American Community before the I 94 freeways came through the Saint Paul Neighborhood. This piece was published in the St Paul Pioneer Press and distributed throughout the state. Vikki’s current job is Safety Consultant Principal for OSHA Consultation and also serves as Workplace Violence Prevention Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. Vikki is the wife of James Sanders and the mother of two children Justyn and Dominique. She currently serves on the Women’s Prison Ministry, ROLCC Bookstore, Hospitality Committee, Annual Women’s Conference Committee and various other church committees.
Elder Dr. Barbara Leone Brown
Barbara Brown, the eldest of 5 children born to Robert and Bessie Mansfield, was raised in St. Paul, and attended the University of Minnesota for undergraduate studies. In 1979 she accepted the Lord, and first attended a River of Life service in the summer of 1980. After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1983, she returned home, and became an active member of the ROL church family. Over the years, Elder Brown has been active in Junior Church, Dance, and 12 Step ministries. She has taught at the Minnesota Graduate School of Theology classes on the Book of James, Galatians, and Proverbs, and also on the History of the Christian Church, Hermeneutics and the Bible and Science. Elder Brown is currently responsible for overseeing the Women’s Prison Ministry, which has church services at the Shakopee State Correctional Facility and the Hennepin County Correction Facility monthly. She continues to minister with her husband of 9 years, Pastor Steve Brown. Together, they have 4 children and 9 grandchildren.
West Location Leadership
Pastor Kinzie Chandler
I was born in Chicago, IL, after graduating from High School; I enlisted in the US Navy where I served for seven years with fours tours of duty to Central Europe.
During a difficult time in my life, I became an alcoholic, and used crack for sixteen years until God healed, delivered and set me free by His Might hand. Realizing I’d become a chronic addict on August 9, 1996, I entered the Treatment Program at Minnesota Teen Challenge! Philippians 3:13 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.
I became committed and faithful to the program and leadership at Teen Challenge, graduating on August 13, 1997. I completed a 6 month internship at Teen Challenge and transitioned to full time staff working in admissions until March 2002.
I became a member of Waters of Life Outreach Ministry in 2005, my service in the Ministry includes; 12-Step Free in-deed Facilitator, (every Wednesday) Prison Ministry Outreach at Lino Lakes Correctional Facility, (Attended three times a month) and Building Strong Marriages Ministry Facilitator (Once a month). I was ordained a Deacon on March 18, 2006; ordained an Elder on June 26, 2010, and a Pastor on September 15, 2012.
1Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
I have been married to my loving wife Elder Tracy Chandler for 8 years, and together we have four children.
Elder Tracy Chandler
God’s hand of mercy has been on my life since I gave my life to the Lord on June 12, 1994. I have been a member at Waters of Life Outreach Ministry for the past 10 years. I was ordained a Deaconess on March 18, 2006 and an Elder on Sept. 12, 2012 by Bishop Earl Gilchrist. I have the honor to serve in several awesome ministries within our church, such as, the Women’s Prison Ministry at Shakopee Prison, Facilitator for the 12-Step Free Indeed Ministry on Wednesday nights. I’m also a part of the Women’s Fellowship Ministry team, one of the facilitators for our Building Strong Marriages Ministry, I’m a member of our Praise Team ministry, and I am an active participant in our Intercessory Prayer ministry on Saturday mornings as well.
I am also blessed to be a 16 year cancer survivor which qualifies me to minister to the sick regarding healing. I am the wife of Pastor Kinzie Chandler and together we have 4 wonderful children.
Elder Dwight Alexander
Elder Dwight has been faithful member of the Waters of Life Outreach Church by way of attending the 12 Step Free Indeed Ministry in 08/2005. He showed his dedication and faithfulness to the Body of Christ by taking on the responsibility of cooking meals for the 12 Step Free Indeed Ministry soon after joining the Body of Christ at the Waters of Life. Elder Dwight was ordained in to leadership as a Deacon on June 27, 2010, He has overseen the 3rd Sunday Fellowship Meal Ministry since it was established in 2009. He currently serves in the office of an Elder which he was appointed on September 22, 2013. He now cooks for 12 Step Free Indeed, Fellowship Meal, Rivers of Life Bible Study meal, and Marriage Building ministry and many other events. He is married to Elder Ivy Alexander, the proud father of five children, and seven grandchildren. He is the Owner of Smoke in the Pit, a strong up and coming Restaurant Business in South Minneapolis.
Elder Ivy Alexander
Elder Ivy Alexander professed her love for the Lord at the age of eight years old at Gospel Temple Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. She later dedicated her life as a Christian on 10/07/2001, and begun a faithful walk with the Lord. Ivy came to Waters of Life by way of attending the 12 Step Free Indeed Ministry in 08/2005, and soon joined the body of Christ at the Waters of Life. Ivy was ordained as a Deaconess on March 2, 2008, and immediately starting serving soon afterwards in the Shakopee Women’s Prison Ministry, where she has been committed to over 5 years of dedication to encouraging women to turn from the flesh and be willing to live a life committed to Christ. On September 15, 2012, Ivy was ordained into the position of Elder, were she currently serves faithfully. She is dedicated to serving as a facilitator of the 12 Step Free Indeed Women’s group, helped with overseeing the Youth Dance Group, Precious Gems of Revelation, in the Children’s day care, and served alongside of her husband in the Food Ministry. She is married to Elder Dwight Alexander, who are the proud parents of five children, and seven grandchildren
Elder LaKeisha “El Ke” Thompson
Elder LeKeisha Thompson, was ordained an Elder, on September 15th, 2012 by her spiritual parents then Pastor (now Bishop) Earl and Pastor Pamela Gilchrist. Elder Lakeisha gave her life to the Lord, in August 2000. Elder LaKeisha began to give herself wholeheartedly to the Lord when she was touched by the spirit at a Women’s Fellowship at the Waters of Life Outreach Ministry. Shortly afterwards she became an active member of the Church in 2008. On June 27th 2010 she was ordinated a Deaconess at the Waters of Life Outreach Ministry. Elder LaKeisha currently is a part of the Audio Video team ministry. She is a leader of Youth Ministry, to build up the youth as leaders of the church and the community, to ensure that they know the word of God for their lives and to encourage them to live as mighty soldiers in the Army of God. She also coordinates many of the youth fellowship and community events. She actively ministers with the Prison Ministry at Shakopee Women’s Prison.
She is a proud parent of one daughter.
Elder Pierre Rhodes
Elder Pierre Rhodes and his lovely wife Deaconess Kharunissa Rhodes have been faithful members of Waters of Life Outreach Ministries for over 6 years now. He was ordained an Elder, by his father in the Lord, Bishop Earl Gilchrist on September 15, 2012. Elder Pierre gave his life to the Lord, September 29th, 1996 at the River of Life Christian Center. While serving at the River of life he served the ministry as an Usher and Armor Bearer in Training. Since becoming a member of Waters of Life he’s been active in the Men’s Prison Ministry at Lino Lakes, for over 3 years now, and also serves as a Youth Leader of the Youth Ministry at Waters of Life. Elder Pierre currently Co-Founded and owns two Group Homes for Boys ages 10-18 called “The Vintage Place” in Saint Paul, MN. He is the current President of the Minneapolis Optimist Club (a non-profit geared toward bringing out the best in youth). He also serves as a Co –Facilitator in the 12 Step Free-Indeed Ministry on Wednesday nights at the Waters of Life. Elder Pierre Rhodes serves as a team leader alongside his wife and other seasoned married couples in the Marriage Building Ministry established by Bishop Earl and Pastor Pamela Gilchrist in 2014. Elder Pierre is also a distinguished member of the Men’s Vocal Group.
He and his wife are the parents of four children and one grandchild.
Elder Willie Green
I moved to Minnesota in April 2000 from Chicago, IL. I have been married now for nine years to my wife Toni Green. I have three daughters, three sons (a daughter-in-law) and eight grandchildren and one great granddaughter. Both parents have gone on to be with the Lord. I also have three sisters in Chicago and two sisters are deceased.
I began attending Waters of Life Outreach Ministries (WOLOM) in 2003. I heard Pastor Earl speak at a graduation at Minnesota Teen Challenge, where I am currently employed. I have been employed as a maintenance technician with Minnesota Teen challenge for 13 years.
I have served as an usher, the church van driver, audio ministries, maintenance tech and also help facilitate the 12 step free indeed. I do Security for our facility and all events that we participate in. I do whatever I can for the kingdom
I was ordained as an Elder of WOLOM in 2005. And I do not take that title lightly, I continue to be stretched, molded and shaped by the power of the Lord through the teachings of my Bishop and Pastors.