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

Born in Little Rock Arkansas in 1947, Pastor Frank then moved, in 1955, with his family to the San Fernando Valley in Southern California.

He served in the United States Air Force from 1965 until 1969. After completing his service with the Air Force, Pastor Frank entered Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he graduated cum laude in 1973 with a BA in Secondary Education. He taught high school History classes from 1973 to 1976.

He felt his call to vocational ministry in 1967. Pastor Frank served in Texas as both Pastor and Associate Pastor from 1970 – 1978.

In 1978, he entered Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, California, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree in 1982, followed by achieving a Doctor of Ministry degree at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, in 1992.

Pastor Frank served on two mission trips to Russia, where he trained budding congregational leaders for strategic church planting.

Pastor Frank "technically" retired in November of 2013, but on February 1, 2015, he accepted the call from this blessed congregation to be their pastor. This relationship continues to be a true gift from God.

Pastor Frank is thankful and blessed to have served in vocational ministry for over 50 years. He lives in Rio Vista with his wife, Amy Grace, and their two dogs. He enjoys playing tennis and watching college sports.