Key Information

Our Ethos …

The River of Life Church is full of people from all walks of life who want their lives to really mean something. Each of us have come to a real, life-changing experience of the love of God, which is hard to put into words. All we can say is it has to be experienced to be understood. The Bible has so much to say about life, relationships, healing and forgiveness. We teach and apply the words of God as expressed in the Bible to the whole of life and find God makes all the difference!

These points help to describe our philosophy at River of Life:

1. The Church is not a building – it’s a group of all kinds of imperfect people. In a loving family, people don’t just meet together, but they do life together. We want to help people work out problems and deal with issues. In Church life, we feel it’s important that, even thought at times there may be disagreements and feathers may get ruffled, you don’t just pack up your bags and move to another Church. Let us realise that each individual has a vital role to play; something to contribute.

2. God is the superstar, not the Pastor, nor anyone else. Writer A. W. Tozer stated a long time ago, “It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a meeting where the only attraction is God.” Here at River of Life, we want Him to get the attention as much as possible.

3. The Church is a home, not a supermarket. Christians often look for a Church as if they’re shopping at a store, but we believe that God links people to a group of His kids where they feel as though they belong and are at home. Likewise, we want anybody who comes to Church not knowing much or anything about God, to quickly feel they are valued for who they are, rather than being judged or treated as second class.

4. Everybody is a minister. The Pastor and leaders do not own the market on ministry. Everyone has specific talents and gifting to share in Church and in their world.

The Church I See …

The Church I see is a vibrant Church – a Church which exudes the life of God, not in a superficial way, where it’s words and froth, but in a real way, with a tangible sense of God’s presence in every gathering. It’s a Church where the Holy Spirit empowers and enables people to reach their potential.

The Church I see is an attractive Church, where people are valued and creativity encouraged, where the best is sought, rather than a ‘that’ll do’ attitude. It’s a Church which presents the gospel in a way people can understand a relate to; it’s a Church which stands out as being up to date and relevant, using modern technology to stay ahead of the game, portraying God in all His splendour, power and authority. It’s a Church which grows day by day as people make Jesus Lord and Saviour. It’s a Church which equips, enables and releases.

The Church I see is not one which hides away in a corner; a clique for Christians, but is bold and confident, seeking ways to reach into every aspect of society to bring life and love to our communities. It is a Church which genuinely cares about ordinary people, not just to get them into Church, but to reach out unconditionally with God’s love and the good news of the saviour, Jesus. It is a Church which makes a difference in people’s lives, without judging or condemning, but demonstrating the love of God in deeds as well as in words.

The Church I see is passionate about God – desperate to worship and pray together, seeking every opportunity to express that passion and to share it, so that others can catch its contagious effects.

The Church I see is filled with people who get on with each other well and care for each other’s needs. It’s a Church which has unity and oneness of purpose, where individuals are generous toward each other, with good words as well as actions. It’s a Church where people resolve differences and respect each other, bearing with annoyances and seeking to build each other up.

The Church I see is a big one, growing healthily with new believers whose faith grows quickly, bringing strength, confidence and stability. It’s a Church which develops influence to transform our community, causing it to be a place where people love to belong.

Pastor Mark Smith.

Message from Senior Pastor; Mark Smith


The core leadership team is headed up by Senior Pastor, MARK SMITH and contains the following people: HELEN SMITH (Kings, Womens’ Ministry & Pastor’s Wife!), DUKE MILLER (Associate Pastor), MORAG MILLER (Children’s Pastor) and DAVI SANTOS (Youth and Young Adults Pastor). For more details, see our TEAM page


There are five trustees: Mark Smith, Helen Smith, Duke Miller, Glenn Rogers & Rebecca Hickman.


The Church is a recognised charity in Scotland, registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator – Charity Number: SC019962 and is in process of converting to a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) with the title, ‘The River of Life Church (Dumfries)”, Charity Number: SC049246.


The trustees appointed Scott Wilson, of Eurolead, as a consultant, advisor and accountability mentor for the Church.