Mission of Rivers of Life AME Church

Leading people to life, fullness and freedom in Jesus Christ.

Mission of AME Church

The Mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church is to minister to the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional, and environmental needs of all people by spreading Christ’s liberating gospel through word and deed. At every level of the Connection and in every local church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church shall engage in carrying out the spirit of the original Free African Society, out of which the AME Church evolved: that is, to seek out and save the lost, and serve the need. . .

What to Expect


The message is radical and relevant! Expect to be able to relate Bible-based truth to practical everyday living.

The music is passionate and moving! Expect to hear both contemporary and gospel music that makes you clap your hands, moves you to your feet, and ushers you into the very presence of God.

The prayers offered are fervent and authentic! Expect to be able to pray individually and collectively. There is always an opportunity for you to connect with someone who will pray with you and for you.


Each Sunday a free continental breakfast is offered after service.  This is a wonderful opportunity to meet other church members, attenders as well as any other guests that may be joining us.

From the greeters at the door to the personal and individualized greeting that you will receive from the Pastor at the end of every service, you will find people who are connected and wanting to welcome you.

Every Sunday you will learn about all of the opportunities to engage and connect with the members and the community as we preview and highlight all upcoming activities.


This is the place where imperfect people come to worship a perfect God! You can expect to find an uplifting worship service that will encourage you and leave you feeling renewed, refreshed, and re-energized to begin or continue your faith journey.

Leadership Team


Pastoral Leadership
Kendra M. Smith

The Reverend Kendra M. Smith is the founding Pastor of Rivers of Life African Methodist Episcopal Church located in Greenbelt, Maryland.  Pastor Kendra launched Rivers of Life on Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011 with the purpose of engaging the community with the message of life, healing and provision through Jesus Christ.

Pastor Kendra presents an innate ability to connect with people by preaching a liberating gospel that minister to the needs and hearts of people wherever they may be in their spiritual journey. A leader, with a fire in her spirit, she approaches the work of God with much fervor, passion, faith, creativity, and vision.

Pastor Kendra received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from Hampton University and her Masters of Divinity Degree with an emphasis in Urban Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary.  She is blessed to be the mother of Mariama JoAnn Smith and the grandmother of Karter Noelle where they reside in Fort Washington, Maryland.  Most importantly, Pastor Kendra loves the Lord with all of her heart, soul and mind and is grateful to be a servant of the Almighty God!

Stewards and Trustees
Angel Pittman, Joanne Smith, Michelle Bullock, Rodney Harrison

Praise and Worship Team
Milea Pickett, Charlie Shaw,  Rashe Coleman, Katina Randolph

Children and Youth Team
Rev. Leslye Dwight and Angel Pittman

Women’s Small Group Team
Sharrie Queen and Rene Raysor

Men’s Small Group Team
Rev. Ray Raysor and Rodney Harrision

New Members and Discipleship Team
Michelle Bullock and Katina Randolph

Guest Services
Tracie Mitchell

Our History

Making the Decision

The book of Ecclesiastes says, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” 

It was a challenging decision to leave her home church to launch a new church plant. After receiving wise counsel, considerable prayer and fasting, Pastor Kendra Smith recognized the conditions were not perfect.

Jesus states in the Gospels, “but don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first getting estimates and then checking to see if there is enough money to pay the bills.” Pastor Kendra Smith counted the cost and with roughly $10,000 in seed money moved forward on a “perhaps”.


Pastor Kendra Smith launched Rivers of Life with the approval, encouragement and support of her Pastors, Rev. Harold B. Hayes, Jr. and Rev. Kellie V. Hayes as well as her Presiding Elder, Rev. Dr. Louis Charles Harvey. Rivers of Life A.M.E Church was officially launched on Easter Sunday, April 23, 2011 at the AMC Movie Theater in Beltsville, Maryland with eight charter members.

Sacred Cows

It was during a conversation with a church plant coach that Pastor Kendra finally made the decision that the church needed to move. It was the “sacred cows” conversation. Her coach kindly told her that while her initial plan was a good one and it was innovative, she could not have sacred cows – valuing the place, the building over doing the work of ministry. Under strong advisement, Pastor Kendra began seeking God for another location for Rivers of Life that was more affordable and that would provide better access to the surrounding community.

Launching New Territory

Remembering a local apartment complex in Greenbelt, Maryland, Pastor Kendra inquired about space. After a few weeks of trying to make inroads, she was turned down due to the apartment management concern with the mix of church and state.

Pastor Kendra left the meeting discouraged but God had a plan! Following the unction of the Holy Spirit she inquired about space in a local elementary school. Pastor Kendra was informed that another church had come in to inquire about space a week prior and would have to wait two weeks. Within exactly two weeks, Rivers of Life’s application was approved. On November 6, 2011, Rivers of Life held its first worship service at Springhill Lake Elementary School.

Slow and Steady

Since re-locating to Springhill Lake Elementary School, Rivers of Life continues to grow. The church has made meaningful impact by connecting and engaging the surrounding community, thereby fulfilling the church’s original intent. Over the last five years, Rivers of Life has been blessed to demonstrate the love of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ by providing students and families in the Franklin Park community the following:

  • Volunteer Services to Springhill Lake Elementary School
  • Hats and gloves, book bags and school supplies
  • Rental assistance
  • Financial support to local community based organizations
  • Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter baskets
  • Hosted various Community-Wide Events
  • Launched a mentoring group for teen girls entitled, “I Love You, Girl!

Rivers of Life is the “neighborhood church” for the Franklin Park community. By being centrally located within the Franklin Park Community and the larger Greenbelt West Community, Rivers of Life has been provided the opportunity to spread the good news of Jesus Christ through acts of service.

Location and Times

Rivers of Life AME Church

Join Us:


Weekly Worship @ 9:45am Children’s Church @ 10:15am


Transformed Life Bible Study via teleconference @ 7:15pm

Visit Us:

Worship Location

Springhill Lake Elementary School

6060 Springhill Drive,

Greenbelt, Maryland

Conveniently located near Greenbelt Metro Station (Green Line).

Contact Us:



2nd Episcopal District Leadership
Rt. Rev. James Levert Davis - Presiding Bishop
Mrs. Arelis B. Davis - Episcopal Supervisor
Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Braxton - Presiding Elder - Potomac District