Here is some of our community history.
“The Gathering at the River” was given it’s beginnings through the ministry of Jess and Melva Talley as they began a church work in South Texas called Destiny Fellowship. Shortly after it’s conception, Pastor Jess and Melva Talley turned over the church to Pastor Gary and Patty Wilhite and the Church Elders. For five years, we operated under the Destiny Fellowship name until God made it clear that we would be coming into our unique church identity. With that identity came the name, “The Gathering at the River.”
It is our belief that church vision and church uniqueness are defined by the uniqueness of the individuals who make up the particular church. The church is the people, not the name & certainly not the building! If you are not plugged into a church body, God may be calling you to find your place in “The Gathering.” We welcome all who are searching.
If you have been previously hurt in church and have walked away from your Christian walk or if you are one who cannot relate to traditional church, you are at the very top of our invitation list! Our vision is to help all experience the love of God and a culture of honor that will encourage and assist fulfillment of purpose and destiny just as a loving family would!!
Healthy relationships are essential to healthy, functional, vibrant families. You cannot connect with others without “hanging out” first.
Jesus wrote in parables and so will I.
A man stood on the seashore looking at a group of surfers, amazed at the grace in their moves as the waves came rolling in. He noticed that the least experienced surfers tended to try to catch each and every wave. This resulted in small rides, lots of paddling and exhaustion. He noticed some were giving up and paddling back to shore. Unfortunately, it seemed, they had an attitude of “been there, done that” and it appeared they would never try surfing again.
Then he noticed the more experienced surfers paddling to catch the more powerful swells. The larger swells resulted in longer rides and more opportunities for creativity. He continued to watch each wave and couldn’t help but notice the different styles and manuevers of each master surfer, so different yet in unison with the waves. It also became apparent that the wave was really in control. Each ride began and finished as the wave appeared, moved and disappeared back into the ocean. Many people on the shore were also amazed at the incredible feats these master surfers were able to accomplish as they waited on the swells and trusted in the wave to provide opportunities.
When the swells calmed and the day was coming to an end, these masters paddled back to shore with an obvious sense of accomplishment and satisfaction having connected with the waves and subsequently the Wave Maker! They had demonstrated the creativity placed within each one of them to the amazement of the people who were watching. Although their focus was not on the people, they knew the people on the shore had experienced something not only extraordinary but supernatural.
The activity of the waves and the wave catchers all pointed to something greater than themselves. Something that was huge, something that was in control of the surrounding elements, something that called out to the wave catchers as well as the watching crowd.
Several people on the shore approached many of them wanting to know how they learned to do the amazing things they had just seen. The masters simply told them, “Open the eyes of your heart, feel the wave with your body and soul, keep an occasional eye on us, but most of all, believe that the Wavemaker is calling you to join His wave. Then see yourself as part of the wave & trust the Wavemaker. You first need to paddle out, feel the wave, watch the wave catchers and trust your inner leanings as you risk in the pursuit. God will do the rest. Once you start, God will do the rest. The way in is the way on! Your part is to paddle out to catch the wave and connect to the master surfers, who are connected to the Master! You will then become a master surfer yourself and will be able to help others to do the same.”
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says…”
(Jesus Christ, Matt 13:9)
“The Gathering” is a close group of believers who respect, honor and love each other & others regardless of spiritual condition & experience. We believe discipleship in the context of a culture of honor is crucial to Christian maturity. Jesus demonstrated true discipleship throughout His ministry which culminated with the washing of His disciples feet just before He laid His life down at the cross. Unity of the Spirit occurs through relationships that are forged through love. Excellence and unique gifting is manifested as a group of believers embrace and follow the movement of the Spirit of God (The Wave). Fulfillment of purpose and destiny are the final result. Our heart is to facilitate an environment that is very positive, loving and full of Life.
Whether you are an adult, young adult, teenager or child, we have just the right connection for you.
If you have a passion for the lost, the word, worship, prayer, etc, there is a place for you in our body. We will embrace your strengths and be loyal to you as He helps you with weakness. At The Gathering, you will discover freedom to be all you can be! You will be loved and honored.
Our Small Groups take on different forms
Creativity found in each of our leaders is different as each person is unique. Please consider “paddling out” to where we are and “hanging out” with us as we catch the “Wave of His Spirit” and do remarkable exploits with the Master of our souls. If you are searching for something unique as you are unique, come “paddle out” to the Wave with us and discover the possibilities! I promise, you won’t be disappointed.