It all started when...
March 10, 1945, Riverside Chapel Seventh-day Adventist Church was formally organized with a charter membership of 26. Of the 26 was Elder Charles M. Kinney, the first Black minister to be ordained in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, who in 1889 proposed separate conferences for Blacks.
Originally in the fold of the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference, where its Sabbath School had made outstanding reports for approximately ten years, Riverside Chapel was shortly transferred to the newly organized South Central Conference.
It was during the ministry of Elder Eugene Carter that a new, separate, brick chapel was constructed and then dedicated in May of 1956.
By this time, the membership had grown to 40-50 members, including children.
Besides serving as a worship center, the chapel accommodated numerous cultural programs and ceremonial observances, including graduation exercises of the School of Practical Nursing.
Many faithful pastors served Riverside’s ever growing congregation: Elders Louis B. Reynolds, Eugene Carter, VonGurt Lindsay, and C. Sampson Miles.
Then starting in 1961, there were Elders Edwin Humphrey, T.M. Rowe, Garland Millet, Fred N. Crowe, Joseph LeCount Butler, Isaac Lester, and Xavier Butler.
It was during the ministry of Elder Butler that the vision was cast for the current building, which was erected between 1992 and 1995. Elder Butler continued to shepherd the Riverside congregation followed by Elders Randolph P. Stafford and Samuel R. Hutchins.
Today, Elder Furman Fordham, II, who began his service at Riverside Chapel in December 2006, pastors Riverside’s 650+ members toward the current vision.