Pastor Ed was born & raised in southern California . He began his pastoral training at Columbia Christian College (where he met his wife, Judy- also a religion major) in 1986. They married in June of 1988. He & Judy continued their biblical training and both of them received their religion degrees from Pepperdine University.
Ed has been involved in ministry since 1985- full time since 1997. He has been involved in children's ministry, youth ministry, family ministry & has been the pastor of Riverside Community Church since January 1, 2000.
Ed was born in 1964 and has been married to Judy now for almost 30 years. They have a 23 year old son (Jonathan- a third generation Alaskan!) who now lives in Prescott, Arizona and a dog (Ty).
If we were to describe pastor Ed's style we'd probably have to say laid back and relaxed with lots of humor and lots of devotion to Jesus.
A Note From Pastor Ed
Hi, I just wanted to take this chance to say, "welcome to our website". I hope you'll find all the answers to your questions about Riverside on this site. If not, please e-mail me (info@RiversideCommunity.net) and I'll do my best to answer any questions you might have. I believe that we have created a truly unique & comfortable place for you and your family to find God's purpose in your life.
People ask me what the purpose of Riverside is... I guess you could say that Riverside exists to reach out to people who are unsure of God (either because they've been burned by people claiming to speak on God's behalf or they've just never spent much time thinking about God at all) and then to help discover and live out the lives He created them to live. We do this as encouragers- not enforcers.
God has created a unique family here. We're sort of the Island-Of-Misfit-Toys of churches. People are allowed to be who they are without trying to pretend to be something they're not. Everyone is accepted for who they are and where they are in their journies to discover who God is and how they can relate to Him. We are definitely a Christian church (for us it's all about Jesus) but we have tons of people who consider themselves agnostics, atheists, Bahai, Universalists, Buddhists, and even a few muslims. Why are they at Riverside? You'd have to ask them but we don't really care... we're just glad they're here. You wouldn't believe how many people finally met Jesus at Riverside when they had spent their lives being absolutely sure that He couldn't be the way to God (not because of Jesus' teachings but because of the way someone who claimed to speak on His behalf treated them).
So I hope you'll join us this Sunday, no matter what you think of Jesus or His people. Give us a chance to show you another side of God and His plan for your life. You just might be surprised.
Riverside offers upbeat, contemporary music, a friendly & relaxed atmosphere, funny video clips from TV, movies & the internet, and positive, relevant messages deigned to bring the Bible to life in our lives. But don't take my word for it... drop by Sunday and check it out for yourself.
I'll see you at Riverside!
Pastor Ed Gardner