"If art is good art, if it is true art, if it is beautiful art, then it is bearing witness to the Author of the good, the true, and the beautiful.” - R.C. Sproul
Welcome to our creative world!
Riverbend: Blessed to be a Blessing, and Different on Purpose. Those missional statements are no better supported than through showcasing our Creative Arts ministries.
What we are about
Riverbend: Embracing Austin, and the heart of Austin's artistic scene. We are passionate about the arts – identifying art as a reflection of the Creator. As beings created in God's image, we also reflect Him in our creativity. Austin is a city that embraces the arts and its artists. At Riverbend Church, our support of the arts is intended to lovingly affirm and support the individual heart of the artist, as well as the Austin artistic community at large. Riverbend is blessed to showcase, be involved in, and encourage the works and development of multiple disciplines and variety of Austin artists. Featuring professional musicians, visual artists of every medium and a state of the art performance venue, RB strives to honor and glorify our Creator to draw His Creation, His people, to Him.
Cartlon Dillard – PASTOR OF MUSIC & WORSHIP
Carlton joined the Riverbend Church staff in 1989. He spent many years in music ministry serving churches in Texas and New Mexico. He is known for his contagious enthusiasm and creative use of various styles of music in the contemporary church. Besides being a gifted vocalist and worship leader, Carlton is a conductor, arranger, and record producer. He and his wife, Sharon, have four children and four grandchildren. Sharon also serves on staff as Manager of Riverbend Centre for the Arts. Carlton's other passions include home theater design and installation, and their two dogs, Maggie and Zoe.
Casey McPherson – Resonate Worship Director
Casey McPherson is a songwriter and worship leader for Riverbend Church. In addition, he performs solo, and fronts the bands Alpha Rev and Flying Colors which tour nationally and internationally. Casey is not only a songwriter but enjoys scoring films as well. His most recent score was for the comedy called "Divine Access." One of his passions is teaching young musicians and songwriters how sustain themselves on creative content driven income. Casey also runs and produces music at a recording studio in Austin, Tx called "The Ice Cream Factory" where he records most of his music and where he produces other artists. Look for his music on Itunes, and his shows and whereabouts on the links below!
Under the direction of our Music and Worship leaders Carlton and Casey, Riverbend is flooded with incredible Austin-based talent each and every Sunday for our three Worship services. Few churches in the world can boast of such gifted and refined musicians as what God has blessed Riverbend – and Austin at-large – with. We are not only thankful for their dedication to Riverbend, we are also excited to share them with our congregation each and every week. We encourage our congregation to support Riverbend’s local musicians and artists by attending shows and concerts, as well as purchasing original recordings and other offerings.
Created as a showcase for local artists that needed a place to display their works, Riverbend established the Inspiration Gallery and has hosted a bevy of artists, from the well-established, like Mark Kohler, to the bleeding edge art of Austinite Bill Stidham, and including the emerging art of some of the most talented graduates of the University of Texas' art programs. Always open on Sundays and open to art of nearly every medium, the Inspiration Gallery is located on Riverbend Campus. For information about a showcase, call (512) 327-3540
Pianist/Keyboardist – Celebration Service
Riverbend has been blessed for many years to have the incredible services of Professor Jeff Hellmer, Director of Jazz Studies at UT. He maintains an extremely active performing and teaching profile, appearing frequently on the central Texas scene as well as throughout the United States at venues ranging from the Litchfield Jazz Festival to the Idyllwild Arts Academy. Twice named a finalist in the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, he has performed, taught and adjudicated jazz throughout the United States as well as in Russia and Taiwan. His recording, Peak Moments, was declared an “exciting addition to the modern jazz piano catalog” by the All Music Guide. He has been a soloist and guest conductor with the Dallas Wind Symphony twelve times, and has recorded with classical saxophonists Dan Goble and Harvey Pittel.
Thank you, Jeff, for sharing your amazing talents and heart with us every Sunday!
JUN 6, 18
JUL 9, 19
Nationally-recognized and local River Place artist Ash Almonte will be featured in Riverbend Church’s Inspiration Gallery. Ash, a contemporary abstract painter born in Abilene, has gained national attention for her unique and fresh style using references to abstract expressionism. In her eyes, it’s more about the execution of the painting than the final product. Ash’s art has also been described as “…a raw expression of her passion for life, showing real images that are inspired by people, love and God”.
Riverbend Church’s Inspiration Gallery exists to showcase and promote local artists’ original works. The Inspiration Gallery is an extension of the Creative Arts Department which seeks to honor what Riverbend sees as the God-given gifts that inspire and ultimately help create their art. The gallery remains open every Sunday morning and all proceeds from sales go directly to the artist.
We encourage any artist to consider contributing their artistic expression - and maybe even finding a home at Riverbend. If you are interested in learning more about one of our many artistic serving and involvement opportunities, please click on the button below. While it may seem intimidating at first, we trust God to take care of all of that worrying stuff and allow us to partner in a way that brings about things we never could have imagined ourselves. That is the beauty and power of collaboration and partnership!
- Choir Members - Come join 100 other volunteer choir members who sing on Sunday mornings for the 9:45 Celebration service, and for special events. Rehearsals are usually on Wednesday nights at 7:00.
- Photographers - Whether you are a professional or a hobbyist, we could use you to help us photograph many of the different events that go on at Riverbend each week.
- Sunday Morning Tech - From running the graphics/media systems to running cameras during services, we are always looking for people to help with Sunday morning tech.
Graphic Design - For the student to gain "hands on" experience in creative arts, graphic design, and communication departments in a church setting.
TV Broadcast and Production - For the student to gain "hands on" experience in TV Production, IMAG and Broadcast ministry
Creative Arts and Music - For the student to gain "hands on" experience in church creative arts/music ministry