Who We Are
Meet our Pastor
Josh Turner is the Lead Pastor here at River City Church. Josh is an Atlanta native and has been married to his wife, Sara, for 17 years. They have three amazing kids – Alethia, Noah, and Nava – and have lived in the Smyrna area since 2015. Josh graduated in 2000, with a degree in Christian Education from Lee University, followed by earning his Masters of Divinity from the Church of God Theological Seminary in 2004. Before planting River City, Josh and Sara worked in Youth Ministry for about 10 years at different churches in the area.
Josh and Sara’s heart and vision for planting RCC came from a passage in Psalm 1: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.”
Here at River City, we desire to be a body that stays planted and rooted by the river (Christ). We desire to be a healthy people, never separated from our source of Life.
Who We Are
River City Church was started in 2014 with the desire to see a local and diverse community grow into the depth and knowledge of Jesus together. We were officially launched by our sending church, RiverStone Church in Kennesaw, Georgia, in April of that year. River City, along with six other churches, are a part of The Transformation Network which has a vision for planting local churches in the Metro Atlanta area with a similar heart for the gospel to be lived out in missional community.
We started with a small collection of people and met in living rooms and began to pray about where to plant River City. After a season of prayer and scouting out the Metro Atlanta area, we collectively decided to plant in Smyrna, Georgia. Smyrna is a diverse city, and we knew that this would be a core part of our vision and church DNA.
In the first couple of years, we met in different spaces and locations as we worked towards our permanent landing spot. We eventually landed in Smyrna's Market Village, the center of the city that we seek to serve. After about 8 years in the Market Village, we moved temporarily to meet at Oakdale Church of God while we wait for the Lord to reveal the next right step for our body as far as location.
We truly love the city of Smyrna and the work we have seen God do here over the years. It's an honor to grow together and partner with Jesus for the sake of our neighbors.
Christian Calendar & Yearly Rhythms
Here at River City, we believe that the Christian calendar provides an opportunity for us to reorient our hearts to the move of the Spirit rather than the secular scripts that surround us. After all, we want to be a people formed by Jesus, not a people formed by culture. Through the Christian calendar we are invited again into the Gospel Story, where we are re-formed into the people of God and once again sent to the world. The calendar continually offers us new beginning after new beginning as we re-encounter Christ again and again. As we draw into Christ, we draw into each other and truly learn to live in love. As a church, River City observes Advent, Lent, Holy Week, and other Christian Holy Days. Added to this is a Sabbath element, syncing up specific months with rest. We believe that it is only after rest that the creative and redemptive work of the Spirit can be done in us and through us purposefully and authentically. Check out the graphic below to see how our groups also revolve around this calendar!