In 2014, the congregations of Bethesda Christian Center, under the leadership of Apostle David Rivera, and Evangel World Outreach Center, under the leadership of Dr. Ray Berryhill, merged to become Resurrected Life Church International.
ABOUT APOSTLE DAVID RIVERA
Apostle David Rivera was born in Las Monjas de Hato Rey, Puerto Rico and raised in the fear of the Lord. At the age of 15, God began confirming the pastoral call on his life. Apostle David served in several positions within his local church, Sunday School teacher, church treasurer, youth president and co-pastor. He was recognized for his dedication and integrity during his tenure in these positions. Later, Apostle David became highly known throughout Puerto Rico when he accepted a leadership position in the Youth Council of the Assembly of Christian Churches.
In 1969, he entered into a new season of his life which brought him much joy. He married Ruth Noelia Gonzalez, who became a strong support to Apostle David; sharing his dreams and plans. Shortly after, they moved to Chicago and joined the main congregation of the Council of the Assemblies of Christian Churches where he held various positions. After a few years of marriage, they were blessed with the arrival of Rebecca and David Jr., the pride of this couple.
In 1982, the Rivera family, along with a few other believers, began to sow the seeds of their faith from home to home. Soon after, the congregation of Bethesda was birthed. Now more than 3 decades later, Bethesda is a growing and thriving congregation. God has fulfilled His promise of honoring those who honor Him. Apostle David holds tightly to the mandate to, “Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation and tongue, meeting the needs of the spirit, soul and body of every person.” He has faithfully carried the Gospel across the United States, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Santo Domingo, Argentina, Guatemala, Ecuador, Colombia, El Salvador, including the jungles of Darien in Panama and many other countries in Central and South America.
Pastor Rivera and his wife, Ruth, retired to Puerto Rico in 2014, leaving his congregation in the hands of Dr. Ray Berryhill.
THE HISTORY OF BETHESDA
At the age 15, God chose Apostle Rivera to be a minister of the Gospel and for 22 years, he prepared for the ministry. He worked as a professional in the secular realm during this time and obtained a Bachelor Degree at the University of Puerto Rico.
In 1982, he received confirmation from the Lord to begin the pastorate. He began gathering in various homes with his family and another family; a total of 8 people. As they continued to meet and share the gospel, numbers steadily grew and it ultimately demanded that we obtain our first meeting place, a funeral home called Barabbas. Even so, the number of believers attending increased, filling that place to capacity. With the Lord’s help, we acquired our second property for the congregation, a factory and medical lab located at 4020 W. Division St.
It did not take very long to outgrow this facility as well. Together we embarked on the task of finding a new place. After nearly 2 years of searching; we found the current facility (4538 W. Fullerton), a closed and abandoned building. Over the next three years, we worked on the building in stages, and with great patience and vision, we were able to complete it in 10 years to create what we see today … these facilities and this temple.
From the beginning to the present, Apostle David and Ruth Rivera and the people who have worked and supported this congregation, have been ministering to and helping with the development of families and the community; spiritually, mentally, physically, and socially.
Since our beginning, we have endeavored to use all the resources we have been given to achieve this vision. There is still much to do. Everything we have done has been for the Glory of God and to establish His Kingdom on this earth.
Apostle David and Ruth Rivera have passed the baton of this great congregation and establishment to Resurrected Life Church International, under the direction of Rev. Dr. Ray Allen Berryhill and his ministerial team, with great confidence and faith in God and in the Bethesda congregation, that together we will continue to reach this city and others with the message of salvation, healing and social justice.
God will take us from glory to glory and from triumph to triumph. With all that Apostle David and Ruth Rivera have achieved, we believe that together we will achieve greater things to the glory of God.
God is with us and we know He will continue to be with us. May God strengthen us and help us in this endeavor.