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Pastors' directive: Move forward, don't look back

Scripture teaches us to follow God's word with faith

Gigi Tinsley | 6/26/2014, 9 a.m.
(L-R): Melvin, Pastors Desmond and Edna, (front), Desmond Rivers II, grandson.

The His Extended Hands Ministries was conceived in the heart of Pastor Desmond and co-pastor Edna Rivers in the early part of 1995.  After struggling with that idea for about a year, Desmond informed their former pastor, Rev. Carl Johnson, the spiritual leader of The Community 93rd Street Baptist Church, of what God had placed in his heart. Johnson encouraged him ‘to follow the Lord.’ 

In March of 1996, after much prayer and supplication, he and his family went on assignment to Brownsville Baptist Church, Where he served faithfully for three-and-a-half years.

While attending the 2000 Pastors and Leaders Conference in Dallas, TX “the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me, and said "Go forth, now Is the Time, Rivers said. “I stepped out on faith and established the His Extended Hands Ministries, Inc.

The first service was held in their den on November 5, 2000. “I was given a mandate from God, to operate his ministry with a spirit of excellence,” Rivers said. In attendance was his wife, Edna and his children: Nathan, Latesha and Melvin. “The scripture,” said Desmond, “was taken from Genesis 12.  The title of my message was "Move Forward and Don't Look Back. The following Sunday, we were blessed with our first member and by April our den was full to its capacity.”

In “May of 2001, Pastor Edna started our Children’s Church in our living room. By December 2001 we were overflowing into the dining room and kitchen area. In March 2002 we moved to 1602 NW 95 St. our current location.”

The Rivers says that “We are a small church with a big vision from a great God! We have seen healing, deliverance and miracles happen in our church.”

Pastor Edna proclaimed that “Pastor Desmond is a walking miracle. He has had four strokes in the past five years with no evidence that he has ever had one.”

“The Rivers,” Evangelist Ladi Jenkins said,” work diligently to serve our community.” All of that was evident by what this reporter saw on last Saturday. Lined up across the length of the church and storefronts were men and women standing in the food line being served.

According to the Rivers, “We go to the food bank every week and purchase food to restock our food pantry.”

They call themselves “old fashioned pastors who are not afraid of getting our hands dirty. We are always here for anyone in this community that needs us.”

They seem very proud of the fact that they “live a transparent life that includes not dwelling on the negative.”

The team of ministers, elders, and deacons that help with the various ministries were all working diligently with smiles on their faces on the Saturday this reporter was at their church.

The ministries at the church include: Personal Touch (Mission), Evangelism /Prison, Women of Excellence ( Prayer-Line Monday-Friday 6 a.m.), Mighty Men of God (Prayer Line Monday-Friday 5 a.m.)C. Y. A.O.T. – Christian Young Adults on Target (Ages 18-35), Joshua Generation - Youth (Ages 2-17), Joseph’s House (Food pantry partnership Feeding South Florida), bi-monthly, Saturdays., from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Also, Music: Praise & Worship Team; Mass Choir; Male Chorus and Youth Choir, Ushers: Seniors,’ Men’s, Adult and Youth; School of Wisdom, Dance, Food, the Announcers’ Guild, Victory House & Hope House (Transitional housing) and Transportation.

The Rivers have been married for 19 years and are proud of their highly respectful children. They have one grandson, Desmond II, who is “the love of their lives and the apple of their eyes.” “We have been blessed to be a blessing to the Dade County area and the world,” the Rivers stated.

The scripture declares, the Rivers said, “Whosoever will, let him come.” The Rivers take that scripture literally and welcome with open arms anyone who steps across the threshold of Extended Hand Ministries.

The public is invited to worship with them and said “We are The Church where the Spirit of God is Exalted, the Spirit of Man is Humbled and the Power of God is Present.”