Pastors Mike and Grace Ibay have been part of the Leadership Team in River of Life Church International Christian Fellowship for many years before moving to Gaithersburg in 2016 to serve River of God Church as Lead Pastors.
Our pastors recognize the value of each other in their relationship and love how God uses them together as a team. Mike is passionate to see people walk in their identity and pursue God’s call for their lives. Grace loves to see people encounter the Lord and bring His love to their families and communities.
Mike loves mountain biking, fast cars, and the great outdoors, while Grace loves the arts, books, and chocolates, but they love spending time together as a family the most. They are blessed with three amazing children whom they homeschool and serve with in changing the world.
“Even from the start, we knew it is not by our might or power, but only by the Spirit alone,” Pastor Mike shared on his first sermon back in April, 2016. “We want to reveal the Father’s goodness, walk in our identity as His sons and daughters, expand the Kingdom of Jesus, and manifest the Holy Spirit’s presence and love. We have a team who have the heart and vision for the Kingdom, and united for how God wants to lead us forward.”
We came from humble beginnings, raising godly families and changing the lives of many. Our roots go back to Maranatha Christian Fellowship (MCF; Bishop Joseph DiSarno) in the Philippines and The Tabernacle (Bishop Tommy Reid) in Orchard Park, New York. In 1992 Bishop DiSarno sent Pastor Joseph Porter and his family to lead a growing fellowship of believers at Rockville, Maryland. This fellowship became our church, growing steadily through the years until 2016 when Pastor Porter retired to the Philippines as a teaching pastor of MCF. Since then, Mike and Grace Ibay have been serving as our Lead Pastors. We are excited for spirit of adventure that God has called our church toward!
What We Believe
- The Bible is the inspired and only infallible and authoritative Word of God.
- There is only one true God who eternally exists in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
- Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became flesh to reveal God and to become Savior of the world by His sinless life, death, and resurrection.
- God created humanity in His image, yet man willfully rejected God and fell into sin, bringing evil and death into the world.
- We are saved by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ. This salvation means being forgiven of sin, declared right before God, restored to His fellowship, and given eternal life with Him.
- The Holy Spirit sanctifies every believer into righteousness and holiness, and He supernaturally empowers us to be genuine, powerful witnesses for Christ.
- The Church (all who put their faith in Christ) is equipped to carry the ministry of Jesus, advance His Kingdom, make an impact upon the world, and disciple all nations.
- We celebrate the ordinances of baptism and communion.
- We embrace the biblical government of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.
- Jesus will visibly return for His glorious overcoming Church and fulfill the promises and prophecies of God’s Word.