Pastors Michael and Jennifer Derrick

Founding Pastors

Michael and Jennifer are local business owners who were called to plant a River church in Western New York. They love this community, born and raised here, they desire to see the lives of the people transformed by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Although they work full-time in their business they volunteer as much as they can to help inspire the ministry team to achieve the great work here in Lackawanna and encourage the congregants to press in towards a deeper, transformational relationship with Jesus Christ. On top of all this Michael and Jennifer have two wonderful sons, Caleb who is 9, and David who is 2 1/2 years old. Their family is a top priority for them and usually wherever they are, Caleb and David are quick to follow.

Phil and Chayo Wright

Music Directors and Worship Leaders

Phil and Chayo Wright have been ministering in music for over 25 years in Western NY and across the continent. Their ability to adapt to the different styles of music has been their ‘forte for the honor and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Phil, who was raised in the church is from Buffalo, NY. He was saved as a young teenager at the age of 13. He studied music privately, then went on to minister full time for about 15 years on the road with various music ministries. Meeting Chayo in her hometown of Southern California, they were married and began their family soon after. Chayo grew up a Roman Catholic and thanks to the persistent outreach of a born again Christian family, she and her family dedicated their lives to Jesus Christ. God has anointed both to become music directors and worship leaders for His glory.

They have two wonderful children, their daughter Jami, and son Sean. Both also have musical gifts that they are using to serve their home church in East Aurora, NY.

Sandra Bauer

Unite Director

Born in Niagara Falls, NY. Raised Roman Catholic. A mother of one daughter (Michele). Saved at the age of 45 at work during my lunch break while watching TV. A preacher was preaching a funeral for a policeman who was shot and killed in the line of duty. I was especially drawn to what the preacher was saying since he mentioned that he was now going tor pray for the policeman’s murderer. As he raised his hands to Heaven and said “Forgive him for he has not known what he has done”, I immediately felt the power of the Holy Spirit and my heart melted. I never knew there was forgiveness like that! Needless to say my life changed. I asked God to forgive me and gave my heart to Jesus Christ. I began reading the Word of God and was lead to serve God. I joined a Holy Spirit filled Christian church, volunteered as a greeter, usher, and a bookstore attendant. At the age of 58 married the Reverend Robert M. Bauer. What I see in my spiritual rescue is that God is real and He is the God of the impossible, and by my testimony I can honestly say God sees where you are. It’s a personal choice. Call out to Him and ask Him for forgiveness and allow him to take charge of your heart. It’s never too late for He has a plan and a purpose for everyone.