top of page



River Church is an interdenominational Christian church in Brownsville, Texas whose doors are open to the community. We are Christ-centered, making much of Jesus together.


Preach Grace

Prize Community

Practice Compassion

Plant Churches


We value the Gospel above all else. Gospel centrality will mark every aspect of River Church. Jesus calls us to submission. Jesus calls us to mission. Neither is possible in the life of a believer unless the Gospel is present in our lives ever day. The Gospel is our power for both salvation and sanctification.

Who We Are Anchor



Randy Cawlfield


A graduate of Hardin Simmons University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Pastor Randy is a husband, daddy, pastor, friend, angler, and saltwater flyfishing guide. Randy is married to Lydia, his high school sweetheart, and is blessed with five great kids. Born and raised in Brownsville, TX, Randy spent a decade in Albuquerque planting North Church. Randy and Lydia, in their mid-thirties, decided to return home to South Texas with their kids in tow. At that time Randy successfully pursued a lifelong dream of becoming a fishing guide and outfitter. In 2012 Randy had the privilege of planting River Church, one of the great joys of his life.



As a husband, father, teacher, coach, pastor, and friend, Billy loves his city and loves his community. Born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, he went to church as a child, but church was nothing more than a Sunday and Wednesday routine. He excelled in sports at Porter High School and earned a scholarship to play Division I college football, which eventually led him to play arena football in McAllen, Texas. During this season of his life, one of his teammates invited him to a Bible study, and his life has never been the same. After wrapping up his arena football days, he was hired as a high school teacher/coach and moved back to Brownsville. He married his wonderful wife Elise in 2013, and they now have three sweet boys. 

Screen Shot 2020-04-24 at 3.17.55 PM.png





Screen Shot 2020-04-24 at 3.22.24 PM.png

elise GARZA





carlos ortiz


Leadership Anchor

how it all began

River Church was formed in the fall of 2012 as a small group of believers in Brownsville and Los Fresnos meeting for prayer in Pastor Randy and Lydia’s living room. We love Brownsville and Los Fresnos and wanted to create a place for believers to find community and share their faith in Christ with friends. In 2014, we joined the Acts 29 Network. We were originally formed under the authority of a temporary Leadership Team and are now led by our three River Church pastors/elders. We value being led by a team of pastors and find great safety and collective wisdom in this approach.

Screen Shot 2020-04-24 at 3.35.12 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-04-24 at 3.35.22 PM.png



We believe the Bible, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments, to be the verbally inspired word of God, His revelation to mankind of His character and plan, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible and God-breathed. 
2 Tim 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21, Matt. 5:18


We believe in one God, the creator and sustainer of all things, infinite, eternal, unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, love, justice, goodness, and truth, eternally existing in three co-equal persons: God the Father,

God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. 
Deut 6:4, 2 Cor 13:14


We believe in the sovereignty of God the Father who decreed all that comes to pass for His own glory

according to His own counsel. 
Eph 1:11, Daniel 4:34-35


We believe that God the Son became fully human in the person of Jesus Christ while remaining fully God, having been conceived of God the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful humankind. He lived a sinless life and died on the cross as the complete sacrifice for our sins, thus fulfilling the righteous requirement of God’s law for us. He then arose physically from the dead and ascended into heaven where, at the right hand of God the Father, He is now our High Priest and Advocate. He will come again to the earth personally, visibly, and physically to judge the living and the dead, to consummate history, and to restore creation to its original perfection through the new heaven and earth, thus completing the eternal plan of God the Father.
John 1:1-14, Phil 2:5-8, Col 1:13-20, Heb 4:14-15, Rom 3:24, Rom 8:3-4, Rom 8:34, Acts 1:10-11, Rev 21:14


We believe that God the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of humankind for the glorification of God the Father and God the Son. He is the giver of new life, convicting individuals of sin and enabling saving faith in Jesus Christ. He permanently indwells individuals from the moment of new birth and is the seal or guarantee of their full salvation. He fills believers as they yield to Him, guiding, instructing, and empowering them and gifting them for godly living and service.
John 14:16-17, John 15:26, John 16:8-14, Eph 1:13-14, Gal 5:22-23, Rom 6:22


We believe that humankind was created by God, in the image and likeness of God, to glorify and enjoy God forever. Through Adam and Eve’s rebellion, humankind fell into sin, came under God’s righteous condemnation, and experienced spiritual death. All humankind has descended from Adam and Eve and has inherited their sinful nature from conception. In and of themselves, no one is able to live righteously or to remedy their innate alienation from God.
Gen 1:26-27, Rom 3:10-12, Rom 3:23, Rom 5:12, Eph 2: 1-3


We believe that God the Father, in gracious, unmerited love and in fulfillment of His promise, sent Jesus to die on the cross, the perfect and consummate blood sacrifice, bearing the punishment for sin and God’s wrath. God the Father credits Jesus’s righteousness to all those who, through the work of the life-giving Holy Spirit, earnestly confess their sinfulness, put their faith in Jesus alone for salvation, and commit themselves to Him. God the Father ends the believer’s alienation (the believer having been justified made right in God’s eyes and fulfilling the righteous requirement of the law through Jesus perfect life and substitutionary death) and adopts the believer as His child for eternity. 
Lev 17:11, Rom 3:24-26, John 1:12-13, Col 1:21-22, Eph 2:8-9, Heb 9:11-14


We believe that God intends each believer to live in active recognition and joy of having died and been resurrected with Christ, nourishing their new nature and putting to death his or her old sinful nature through dependence on the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. We believe God is transforming each believer into the image of His Son, to grow in affection and devotion to God, to understand and apply the Bible, to grow in personal holiness and unselfish love, and to be used in leading others to Christ by their lives and words and in building one another up as followers of Christ.
Rom 6:1-6, Rom 8:13, Rom 8:29, 2 Pet 1:3-7, 2 Pet 1:19, Eph 4:15-16


We believe that upon physical death the believer enters God’s presence and is delivered from the presence of sin. When Christ returns, His followers, both living and dead, will receive their resurrection bodies and experience the perfect completeness of their redemption, being fully fitted to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. All who have rejected God’s offer of salvation in this life will face His judgment and will consciously experience His everlasting punishment.
1 Thes 4:13-17, 1 Cor 15:42-44, John 5:27-29, 2 Thes 1:7-10, 2 Cor 5:10, Heb 9:27-28, Rev 21:1-4


We believe that the one true Church is composed of all persons who, through saving faith in Jesus Christ, have been justified by God the Father and united together by the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ, of which Christ is the head. This one true Church finds her visible, yet imperfect, expression in the local congregation. These congregations meet for the purposes of worshiping God, growing in knowledge and application of the Bible, celebrating the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, fellowshipping to build one another up in the image of Christ, and being equipped to serve as God’s ambassadors to a lost and dying world. For her perfecting, the Church awaits the return of the Lord Jesus.
Eph 1:22-23, Eph 4:4, Eph 4:11-16, 1 Cor 12:12-27, Acts 14:27, Acts 18:22, Acts 20:17, Acts 2:41-42, 1 Cor 11:23-26, 2 Cor 5:20

bottom of page