The River Fellowship began in the home of Paul and Heidi Hughes on the edge of Fort Langley—the historic birthplace of British Columbia, Canada—on Sunday, June 10th, 2007. This decision came after a season of waiting, fasting and praying.
In 2006, Paul ended his teaching time at Trinity Western University where he had taught for just under twelve years. While there, Paul pastored and mentored his students as well as teaching a variety of Old Testament courses and photography. The decision to leave was a difficult one, also made with much prayer and fasting; a step into the unknown of an uncertain future. It wasn’t until about eight months later that they got the word from the LORD to plant a church.
Paul and Heidi were married in 1985 and have three grown sons. They have both served as lay pastors and have been in various church leadership roles. With several university degrees in biblical studies between them, they both enjoy preaching, teaching and mentoring. They have a passion to see the Kingdom of God come, and to raise up young people as leaders and world changers.
For years they had prayed for and longed to see a combination of the preaching of the Word and the unhindered move of the Spirit in the gathered church. When they began The River in their home, that is exactly what happened, and the meetings often went much longer than expected (which is one reason the weekly gathering time was moved to Saturday nights within the first few months). The LORD has also brought many to join alongside them in pursuit of the new thing God wanted to be birthed.
Though The River originally met for more than a year in the house, they never intended to remain a house church (several prophetic words were given in the early days about quick growth). Through transitions from Sunday morning to Saturday night to Sunday night (at present), from the house to the Fort Langley storefront to the lecture theaters at Trinity Western University to the dance hall in Langley (West Langley Hall) to the present venue at the Walnut Grove Lutheran Church, The River Fellowship has retained its organic, intimate family feel, though the numbers have increased.
The journey has had some major challenges and God has transformed many along the way. God gets all the glory for everything he has done and continues to do at The River.
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