The vision for Riva Trace Baptist Church began in early 1985 with the deeding of 6 acres of property in the Riva Trace subdivision by the owner, Mr. Gary Pyles, to Heritage Baptist Church. The property was given with the intent of planting a new church. Heritage Baptist Church accepted the land and voted to start a satellite church in Riva Trace. The first Sunday meeting of the new church was held in June of 1985 at Annapolis High School.
Over the next 18 months the church met at both the high school and various other locations until a trailer was purchased and located on the Riva Trace property. In February 1988, the church called a full time pastor, Rev. Dennis Gray. Less than two years later the first building was erected on the site with the help of numerous volunteer teams, as well as many Riva Trace Baptist church members and supporters.
By the fall of 1991, it became clear that Riva Trace would soon outgrow its new building. Use of donated commercial space, local homes and additional trailers helped, but it was only a matter of time before more space would have to be added. A fund raising drive was held in the fall of 1992 and groundbreaking for the educational building and a remodeled sanctuary took place in November of that year.
As growth continued we expanded to 4 worship services, 2 Sunday Schools and continuously remodeled our existing space in order to better serve the needs of our ever growing church family. In 2000 and 2001, additional education trailers were added to the current property, a large outdoor fellowship court was constructed, and various playgrounds, parking lots, and other temporary structures were added. As there was no additional way to expand we began to pursue relocating to provide more space to minister the growing number of people God had sent our way.
In September 2006 after a long and difficult process, we relocated to our current campus. God blessed us with amazing property and a beautiful facility that has enabled us to minister to our community in new and greater ways.
We are committed to serving our local community which is demonstrated in a number of ways. We operate a monthly food pantry out of our gym, giving out approximately 12,000 pounds of food every month. We serve our local schools through service projects and hosting both teacher training and student AP testing. We host homeless guests every winter through Anne Arundel County’s Winter Relief program.
RTBC is also committed to church planting and missions. South County Community Church in Shady was planted by Riva Trace in 2011. In 2014 Iglesia Bautista Vida Nueva was planted and began meeting in our facility. We support missionaries in the Philippines and South Africa, as well as have regular mission trips to Mexico and Cuba. In September 2016, First Baptist Church of Edgewater merged with Riva Trace.
We look forward to seeing what God has in store for us at Riva Trace as we follow Him.