Congregationals came to America on the Mayflower to reestablish a Church on the New Testament Pattern - a fellowship of persons who freely choose to be followers of Jesus Christ. The earliest Christians believed that wherever two or three were gathered together in the Name of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, that Christ would be thre with them. (Matthew 18:20)

The Mayflower Pilgrims also gathered together freely, committing themselves to worship and serve together as the Spirit of God moved them. In matters of faith they accepted full responsibility for their personal relationship with God in Christ and allowed no outside authority to dictate how they should believe, worship or serve God.

The First Congregational Church of Rio Vista was established in 1869. It continues serving Jesus.

We believe in:

  • The Bible as the Word of God
  • A personal relationship with Jesus
  • Power of the Holy Spirit

Dr. Frank D. Ward

Pastor Ward was born in Little rock, Arkansas in 1947. He moved to Southern California at the age of eight. He entered the United States Air Force in 1965 and served until 1969.

He felt his call to vocational ministry in 1967. After being discharged from the Air Force he entered Baylor University in Waco, Texas where he graduated cum laude in 1973 with a BA in Secondary Education. He began serving in Texas as pastor and Associate pastor from 1970 -1978; teaching High School History from 1973 to 1976.

In 1978 he entered Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, CA, earning a Master of Divinity in 1982. He then earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena CA in 1992.

Pastor Frank has served continuously in full-time vocational ministry for over 45 years most recently at Columbus Street Baptist Church in Bakersfield, CA.

Pastor Frank "technically" retired in November of 2013, but on February 1, 2015, accepted the call from the First Congregational Church of Rio Vista, CA to be their pastor. The relationship of pastor and congregation was and continues to be a true blessing and gift from God.