About The River

The River is a Spirit-filled, non-denominational church in Safford, Arizona. Out first service was April 1, 2012. Since then, we have seen God do many amazing things. Most importantly, we have seen hundreds of transformed lives through the ministry God has given us.
New Here?Give

Our Mission & Vision

Our vision and mission is to help connect people to faith

The River is located at 1726 S. 1st Ave. (Highway 191) in Safford, Arizona. We are one mile south of US70 on Highway 191. We are non-denominational so everyone is welcome! We teach directly from the Bible, the only source of divine inspiration. Everyone is challenged to read it for him or herself and discover God’s great truths for living. We meet Saturdays at 6pm and Sundays at 8:30 and 10am. Kids classes are available at the 10am service.

Mission, Vision and Values

Mission Statement (Why We Exist): “Become more like Jesus and advance His kingdom.”

Vision Statement (Where We’re Going): “Raise up a thousand Jesus followers.”

Core Values (How We Live):

  1. Connect – A culture of love and unity
  2. Worship – a culture of worshiping Jesus
  3. Learn/Grow – a culture of learning and growing in Christ
  4. Serve – a culture of serving and putting others first
  5. Give – a culture of generosity
  6. Share – a culture of sharing the gospel

Our Team

Our Beliefs

Worship Times


Youth & Kids

Our History

About the Bible

We believe the Holy Scriptures to be plenary-verbally inspired, the very Word of God, authoritative, infallible and inerrant in the original writings (autographs). The Bible, being fully inspired by God in its entirety, is His perfect Word and is the authority for all faith and life. 

2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 5:18; John 16:12-13

About God

We believe there is one God who is personal, infinite, perfect; and He exists eternally as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

Deuteronomy 6:4; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Matthew 28:19-20

About the Person and Work of Jesus Christ

We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, became man, without ceasing to be God, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man. We believe that He accomplished our redemption through His sinless life, and death on the cross as a voluntary, substitutionary sacrifice. We believe that our redemption is made sure by His literal, bodily resurrection from the dead. We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is now in heaven exalted at the right hand of God, where as the High Priest for His people, He fulfills the ministry of Representative, Intercessor, and Advocate. 

John 1:1-2; Luke 1:35; Romans 3:24-25; Romans 4:25; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Hebrews 7:25, 9:24; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2

About the Person of the Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, and works in convicting men of sin, righteousness and judgment, and indwells all believers of this present age. In the life of the believer, He is involved in the New Birth, the sealing of salvation, and in developing holiness. The Holy Spirit empowers believers for service, including all of the supernatural gifts mentioned in the New Testament. 

Romans 8:4; 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4-5; Colossians 3:16; John 16:8; Ephesians 1:13-14; Acts 2

About Man

We believe that man, male and female, was created in the image and likeness of God, but that in Adam’s rebellion the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, became alienated from God, and can be restored to God’s favor only through the work of Jesus Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We believe in the literal historicity of Genesis 1-3. 

Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 3; Romans 3:22-23, 5:12; Matthew 19

About Marriage

In accordance with God’s Word and Church history, we define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. According to Genesis 1:28 and 2:24, marriage was intended by God to be a lifelong covenant relationship between a man and a woman. This definition of marriage was confirmed by our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 19:3-6; Mark 10:6-9 and reiterated by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:31-33 and Hebrews 13:4. This definition of marriage has also been affirmed throughout Church history by leaders of the Christian faith.

About Salvation

We believe that salvation comes to man only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, apart from any human merit. Salvation is a free gift of God brought to man by grace and received by personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ whose precious blood was shed for the forgiveness of our sins. Every believer’s salvation is secure, being kept by the power of God. However, a believer by disobedience can mar his fellowship with God, lose his joy, testimony and incur the Father’s loving discipline. While we do not believe good works are meritorious in obtaining salvation, we do believe that good works are an evidence of salvation. 

John 3:18; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12; Ephesians 1:7, 13-14, 2:10; Romans 8:38-39; John 10:27-30; 1 Corinthians 1:4-8; 1 John 1; Hebrews 12:9-11

About the Church

We believe that Jesus Christ is the head of the church, and every local church has the right under Christ to govern itself. All those who have experienced salvation are members of the Church, which is His body, and are therefore eligible for baptism and membership in a local fellowship. 

Acts 2; 1 Corinthians 12; 1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 2:21; Colossians 1:24; Ephesians 5:25

About the Ordinances

We believe the Lord Jesus left for the obedience of His people two ordinances, which are to be observed during this present age: Baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper are commanded by Christ. 

Water baptism is an outward sign of what the Holy Spirit has performed in the heart of the believer. Learn more about baptism at Venture ». 

The Lord’s Supper is observed by the believer at Christ’s request until His return as a memorial of His sacrifice in securing our redemption. 

Matthew 28:19; Acts 8:26-38, 10:47-48; Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:27-31

About Satan

We believe in the personal being of Satan, a fallen angel of God. He is the open and declared enemy of God and God’s people, the destroyer of human lives and whose destiny is eternal punishment. 

Job 1:6-7; John 10:10; Ephesians 6:10-20; Revelation 21:10

About the Second Coming of Christ

We believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ. We believe that immediately following the tribulation, He will establish His millennial kingdom on earth. 

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53; Revelation 20:6; Zechariah 14:4-11

About the Eternal State

All people will experience the resurrection, believers to the state of eternal life and unbelievers to the state of eternal punishment. 

Luke 16:19-26, 23-43; 2 Corinthians 5-8; Philippians 1:23; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Judges 6-7; Revelation 20:11-15

” The River is all about having a personal experience with God. This happens when we meet as a church family, but also when we go outside the walls of the church building. The teaching of God’s Word is designed to be practical and applicable to daily living. Whether you’re new to church or a seasoned follower of Christ, there’s something for you and you’re entire family at The River. “

– Pastor David Chapman

Who We Are

Our Team & Leadership

At The River we strongly believe in servant leadership, the model Jesus set. God has assembled a unique team of leaders that serves the people of The River. But we also believe in the ministry of every believer and have over 120 people who are active in serving.

Our Lead Pastor: David Chapman

Our Lead Pastor: David Chapman


David Chapman is the founder and lead pastor of The River. He is the author of 20 books, including his newest, a commentary of the Book of Revelation. Because David has a heart for developing leaders, he operates a School of Ministry and is a Certified Church Consultant. He has a Doctor of Ministry in Theology. David believes in the power of the Holy Spirit confirming the Word of God with signs following. His wife, Debbie, is a Veterinarian. Together, they share three children and normally have 12-14 dogs. David is a lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fan and loves Italian food.
Maria Kouts

Maria Kouts

Associate Pastor

Eddie Gonzalez

Eddie Gonzalez

Associate Pastor

Kirk Gray

Kirk Gray

Business Administrator


Frequently Asked Questions

Is The River part of a denomination?

The River is non-denominational. While denominations can be a helpful resource in some ways, they can hinder or limit in other ways. We believe that being non-denominational gives us the greatest influence to reach the most people for Christ. The Holy Bible is our guide for church life.

Is The River one of those churches where everyone looks the same?

The River values diversity! When you come, you will find people of every age, race and ethnicity – all worshiping and serving together! You won’t feel out of place if you’re wearing a three-piece suit, or if you’re wearing a t-shirt with tattoos.

Do I have to become a member to be part of The River?

The River does not have formal membership. We believe that every Christian is a member of the body of Christ. All believers who come may participate in the ordinances of the church – water baptism and communion. Further, all believers who attend faithfully may serve in the different areas of ministry associated with the church.

Does The River believe that God still does miracles?

Not only do we believe that God still does miracles, but we see them at The River on a frequent basis. The first step to receive a miracle is to have a problem that can’t be fixed. We encourage people in this situation to come to The River because we have faith in Jesus to do the miraculous. God still watches over His Word to perform it and to keep His promises where they produce faith.

Do I have to donate money to attend The River?

While generosity is a virtue that we promote, we don’t make a big deal about giving at The River. There are donation boxes available within the sanctuary, but we don’t pass an offering plate. We are a ministry of faith and God provides. The church has never borrowed money in its history and all of our buildings are debt-free.

Does The River support missionary endeavors around the world in order to spread the Gospel?

All believers have the same Great Commission to reach the lost with the Gospel. The River is very involved with helping missionary organizations in countries where the Bible is illegal and preaching the Gospel is forbidden. The River purchases several hundred Bibles each month for the purpose of reaching these closed areas. We also support pastors and churches in Mexico, India and Africa.