Statement of Faith
(1) We believe that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are verbally inspired by God and inerrant in the original writings, and that they are of supreme and final authority in faith and life.
(2) We believe and understand God’s Word according to its "plain sense" (grammatical, historical, literal). Where the text uses straightforward prose we accept, with historic New Testament hermeneutics, the Truth directly written. Where the Bible employs poetic language, or implies figurative or allegorical meaning, we diligently seek to understand how the original audience would have been expected to understand the passage. At all times we believe the Holy Spirit teaches us to compare Scripture with Scripture.
(3) We believe in One God eternally existing in the three Persons of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As Creator, the Trinity spoke the universe into being in six literal days, at the beginning of Scriptural chronology. As Sustainer, the Lord of All maintains creation according to His sovereign will.
(4) We believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
(5) We believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary and is true God and true man.
(6) We believe that man was created in the image of God, that he sinned and thereby incurred physical death, and spiritual death, which is separation from God; and that all human beings are born with a sinful nature, thus being sinners in thought, word and deed.
(7) We believe that Satan exists, is a created being, has personal characteristics, has fallen, has limited evil power in this world, is overcome by the Blood of the Lamb, and is awaiting judgment.
(8) We believe that the Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures as a representative and substitutionary sacrifice; and that all who believe in Him are justified on the ground of His shed blood.
(9) We believe in the resurrection of the crucified body of our Lord, in His bodily ascension into Heaven, and in His present life there for us as High Priest and Advocate.
(10) We believe in the “Blessed Hope” - the personal, premillennial and imminent return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
(11) We believe that all who accept by faith the Lord Jesus Christ are born again of the Holy Spirit and so become children of God.
(12) We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life and bear fruit which will remain.
(13) We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the just and the unjust - the just to everlasting bliss and the unjust to everlasting punishment.
Back in the 1960's, there were several missionaries who moved to The Pas with the express purpose of reaching Canada's First Nations peoples of this particular area, namely The Pas Indian Reserve (as it was then called) as well as further north by means of airplane. Ed and Marian Hickey came to Campbell Lake with their family and a plane, and Ed piloted many people north to go share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jay and Anne Jennings (Continental Interior Mission) came to The Pas, and among other things started the "MuskegMoccasingraph", a little green magazine that contained news and stories as well as the gospel message, It was well-received. Stan and Evelyn Collie lived in The Pas. He was one of the founders of NCEM, and had a desire to see the native people saved. He was instrumental in purchasing the stip of land at Umperville that is now used for worship by the Riverside Bible Church. Mr. and Mrs. Art Acton, also with NCEM reached out to Big Eddy and the reserve in whatever ways possible. Ralph Smith and his family came to The Pas with a burden to win the lost for Jesus, and several in the community were saved under his influence and teaching. God used him to start the Gospel Mission in the town of The Pas. When that little building burned down, the present Alliance Church was built, and what remained of the building was the sign which was hung up over the doorway of the little Gospel Mission at Big Eddy. Vacation Bible School was taught at Big Eddy when Christian young people came to teach the Bible to the youth.
There was also a small Bible Camp setup at Clearwater Lake, and children from the reserve were taken there for the teaching of the Word by the missionaries who lived in the area. Jed and Gracie Reader were saved under the witness of the Smiths, and so they were always open to helping Christians in whatever way they could. God used Tommy Francis and some local men to build the little mission at Big Eddy which came to be known as the Gospel Mission at Big Eddy. Curt Bork as a Shantyman missionary came and preached, and encouraged children to come to SteepRock Bay Bible Camp which he was instrumental in starting. So there was a lot of missionary outreach in the 1960's, and the Lord brought these and many others to preach and pray for the people on the Pas Indian Reserve.
When Mr. and Mrs. McComb were assigned by NCEM to come to The Pas, they had already seen God bring revival in Round Lake, Ontario. Many were saved over there and a church was established. After this experience, the McCombs were emphatic that if The Pas Reserve was to be reached effectively with the Good News of Jesus, the missionaries needed to live in as close proximity to the reserve as possible. No arms length approach for them. They chose to move to Big Eddy and lived in a small house trailer at first. From 1966 to 1977, they stayed there and ministered the Word of God - the people were their friends, they helped and preached and taught by word and deed. At the same time Betty Lumley, another NCEM missionary, ministered and lived at Umperville. The little house she lived in had been built for Mrs. Matthews and her family after her husband drowned up in Round Lake where they served as missionaries previously. The Matthews family moved on before Betty Lumley took up the ministry at Umperville and taught the children faithfully. She also encouraged the people from Umperville to attend the services at the Gospel Mission at Big Eddy, so there was always a close connection between the communities ever since the '60's. Several were saved during the days of the McCombs ministry at Big Eddy.
When Bert and Liz Genaille were saved at Cormorant, another area opened up for ministry in the early 70's. Many from Cormorant came to attend services at the little Gospel Mission at Big Eddy. Many children went to SteepRock Bay Bible Camp and accepted Christ there. Many summers Cormorant was the place of ministry for trainees with NCEM, so there was a consistent witness for Jesus all through the summer months. At the same time, weekly Bible Studies started in Cormorant. These eventually grew to become the Cormorant Gospel Chapel, always with a strong connection to the Gospel Mission at Big Eddy.
Dennis Anderson came to The Pas as a single NCEM missionary in 1972. He filled in for the McCombs when they had to be away, as well as at Umperville when Betty was away. He lived with the McCombs for a few years and then moved to the little mission house at Umperville when Betty moved on. During these years, he was mentored, challenged and taught by the missionaries who lived in the area, as well as the local Christians who lived out their faith daily. He also took campers to SteepRock Bay Bible Camp, and it was here where Dennis and Amanda met. God kept them from and for each other until they were married in 1977 and Amanda was accepted as an NCEM missionary and joined Dennis in the ministry.
Mr. and Mrs. McComb moved from Big Eddy to Saskatchewan in 1977. From November of 1977 to the fall of 1978, Dennis and Amanda lived at Umperville while Gary and Wanda Brown lived in the NCEM house trailer at Big Eddy. Even then, Gary was being trained to take over the Aviation department of NCEM, so Dennis preached many Sundays at the Evening services at Big Eddy. Then in 1978 when Gary and Wanda moved to be full-time with Aviation, Dennis and Amanda took up residence at Big Eddy and served the little church there, as well as went to Cormorant for a weekly Bible Study. In March of 1979, Ethel Constant from Big Eddy was saved, and she influenced a lot of others - friends and family - who then also started coming for Bible Study and church on a regular basis. Sunday school attendance climbed as these young families brought their children for teaching, and the church was growing. Youth Group meetings began on a weekly basis as the new Christians took responsibility to teach the youth. Weekly Bible Studies at Moose Lake also flourished. All during these years, Dennis and Amanda supervised summer trainees in outlying villages. Children were taken to Steep Rock Bay Bible Camp every summer, and Bible Clubs were organized and taught by young teachers who came from Child Evangelism Fellowship of Manitoba. At least 5 other NCEM missionary couples made the Gospel Mission at Big Eddy their home church and so helped with the teaching and the praying.
All worked together as a team.
In the 1980's, there was a surge of interest in going to Bible School, so several families as well as single students attended KeyWayTin Bible Institute at Lac la Biche, Alberta. Some went on to minister in other communities, some came back to The Pas and helped with the Gospel Mission at Big Eddy. It was an encouraging time. Even though the church was never officially organized in the strict sense of the word, it was well-known who were the adherents. Part of that clarity came about because of some strong opposition the Christians had to face. It was not a popular thing to be known as a Christian - they were made fun of, called "Shakers" in a derogatory manner, and it cost to be associated with that little mission church. Through it, most stayed strong and kept growing, while others took offense and went back to an easier lifestyle.
The little church building which had been built in the '60's, was showing its age, and beginning to deteriorate. The floor was "wowing", and in places holes were appearing along the walls, insulation was rotting, and after 30 years, it needed to be replaced. With that realization, came the knowledge that Dennis and Amanda needed a more permanent place of residence as well. By faith they set a goal to get their own housing instead of renting. The Lord opened up the opportunity to set up their own home at Umperville where the mission still owned a piece of property that could be developed. The Lord very graciously provided a lovely home for them (that's another long story), and then provided a church building given by the Little Woody Baptist Church near Swan River. In 1989, Dennis and Amanda moved to Umperville, while still holding services at Big Eddy. Then the small mission house which still stood at Umperville became the meeting place, and the people from Big Eddy very graciously came to Umperville. The transition didn't seem too difficult, since the Christians from Umperville had come to Big Eddy for many years; now it was the Big Eddy people who returned the favor. In 1995, the present church building was moved by Reimer Movers from Swan River to Umperville. Renovations have taken place, and it still serves adequately for the group of believers who meets there for Sunday morning services, weekly Bible Studies, Sunday Schools, etc. The name "Riverside Bible Church" was suggested and received as its local identity.
It is always good to be reminded of the fact that Jesus promised He would build His church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. We realize this is His church and it is more than a building made of wood. The church is the blood-bought body of the Lamb, redeemed out of this world for the purpose of being a light in this dark world, pointing the Way to the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is here to preach and teach the Word of God, to keep Christians encouraged and challenged to be salt in this community - to make a difference here, and to be faithful at all costs, watching, waiting and praying until Jesus comes for His bride.