In 1994, Janet and I moved to Richmond from upstate New York. We left 94 inches of snow behind and came to Richmond where Pansies were blooming – we’d moved to paradise!

However, when you move to a new town you have to start over. This includes finding a new church. Newly married, and trying to blend our different church backgrounds, we joined a church, but over time we recognized it was no longer the right fit. With encouragement from our neighbors, Tom and Wendy Graves, as well as our friend Jean Cauble, we visited River Road Church, Baptist. We were given a warm welcome by the new Pastor, Mike Clingenpeel, and felt it was a good place for us to grow in our faith together.

We were moved by the choir, impressed by the missions programs, and drawn in by the message every week. Mike encouraged us to participate beyond the Sunday service to become more connected with the church. Slowly, we started to understand what Mike meant – we must be proactive and get involved.

Since joining in 2005, we’ve had the pleasure of being active in groups such as Tellers, Deacons, Sound Committee, and FIXERS, and made many friends. We look forward to our Bible Study class taught by Tom Graves, who has an enthusiasm and zest that encourages participation. This all gives us a sense of belonging to a church family and a feeling we have roots in Richmond. In the world we live in, these things couldn’t mean more to us.

River Road is blessed to have such a varied congregation with a wide range of gifts and a desire to bring God’s word to each other and the community. We want to support the church not only in our activities but also with our financial commitment. So, I would say, why wouldn’t we give to support our home, River Road?

Written by Tom and Janet Ahl


Growing in Commitment, Rooted in Faith