To trace the beginnings of Riverstone Ministries is to go back to a Starbucks coffeehouse in 2004 when God clearly called Mike and Julie King to leave their home in Southern California and move to Texas. Believing that the relocation was God’s plan for them, Mike and Julie began a great walk of faith. God confirmed the move to the King’s in many miraculous ways and they, along with their four young daughters, left family and friends and moved to Texas in August 2005, settling into a newly developing section of the Castle Hills Community in Lewisville. Immediately, God gave Mike and Julie a passion to pray for their neighbors. As they reached out to their street, their burden increased for the entire Castle Hills community of nearly 1800 homes! Having grown up as missionary kid overseas, Julie’s passion and prayer was that the people of Castle Hills would know Christ. Julie felt God strongly urging her to start a Women’s Bible Study that would reach the entire community. In the fall of 2006, God drew Julie and two other women together to begin to work on what God was orchestrating. In January 2007, the Castle Hills Women’s Bible Study was born, serving up to 200 women in the community! Since that bold beginning, hundreds of women have participated in each of the four fruitful semesters of Bible study.
Early on in the lifecycle of the Bible Study, God gave specific leaders definite passions for reaching the women of Castle Hills. Leslie Lowery put her passion for prayer into high gear and called women to gather and pray early in the mornings on a weekly basis for God to move in the community. Heather Aldis employed her gifts of teaching and shepherding to train a committed group of small group leaders. God also gave Belle Joyner a heart for local outreach ministry-especially to the poor in Dallas. The women served the hungry by providing food baskets at Thanksgiving. They served the homeless of Dallas with coats, eyeglasses and blankets. One hundred residents of Castle Hills served the homeless at Operation Care Dallas last Christmas. Serving the homeless and hungry led to a massive project in South Dallas with Habitat for Humanity called “Hammering in the Hills”. In 2008, the Castle Hills Community, led by Riverstone Ministries, raised 150 K and built two Habitat homes-the only community ever to undertake and complete such a project!
In April 2008, such a deep passion for outreach culminated in nineteen women from Castle Hills embarking on a mission trip to the Amazon River in Brazil! They shared the Good news of salvation in Jesus, taught Vacation Bible School and distributed family care packs among the people living in the river villages. Seven on the team were baptized in the Amazon River at the end of that trip.
In May 2007, Chris Joyner, Mike King and nine other dedicated men called the men of Castle Hills together. Eighty came together to volunteer in leadership and planning for their first Castle Hills Men’s Bible Study scheduled for fall 2007. Since then the men have met faithfully early on Friday mornings for breakfast, study and fellowship.
Several other ministries have been born into the Riverstone family. In the spring of 2007, Riverstone hosted a marriage retreat. Live Out Loud, a ministry designed to reach young people in the Castle Hills community was successfully launched in October 2008. Residents from Castle Hills also volunteer countless hours at two homeless shelters in Dallas-the Bridge and the Austin Street Shelter.
Today, Riverstone Ministries encompasses a variety of bible studies and outreach programs throughout the Castle Hills community. God is powerfully working to change lives and bring revival and transformation to individuals, families, and the surrounding cities. If God can so accomplish these miracles through his people living in a residential community, imagine what God could do if the Bride in the north metroplex would bent her knee to Him in repentance, prayer and worship?