We have a vision — one that began many years ago, and continues to expand.

We believe Riverbend Church was put on this earth by God, and placed in this city, to be different and to make a difference … because grace. 

The founder of this church, Dr. Gerald Mann was a rebel and a difference maker. God raised him up, brought him to Austin and gave him a difficult vision … because grace. In 1996, Riverbend Church was required to take out a key-man life insurance policy on then Senior Pastor Gerald Mann, as we had taken out a significant loan to help fund the building of the Home for Hope Sanctuary.

When Gerald retired, the church leadership felt it would be prudent to continue the policy. Following Gerald’s passing in November 2015, Riverbend Church received $2.0 million in proceeds — which we consider to be his final gift to us. We are stewards of that unconventional legacy, and he has left us with this lasting gift — and with one last challenge. Those funds have been incorporated into the becauseGRACE campaign. With a campaign goal to raise $5.0 million, $2.0 million is in the bank and another $1.0 million is already committed by Riverbend staff, committees and stakeholders. We invite you to join us on this journey. 

WE CARE | Outreach & Missions

Our goal is to provide $1.5 million of seed money, to be spent over the next 3-5 years in developing the infrastructure to expand our spiritual influence across the city, including: 

  • Seed money to launch Riverbend’s first NDC (Neighborhood Development Center)

    • A multi-use facility located in a neighborhood to be determined that will provide goods and services needed by the neighborhood. It can also be used as a community center, and even a church plant.

  •  Seed money to expand our influence and impact in working with community leaders & pastors in cross-cultural communities such as:

    • The Nuevo Amanecer Church and Community Center in Rundberg.

    • The Travis Heights Christian Outreach Church, food pantry, and community center in South Austin along Ben White Blvd.

    • Serving the formerly homeless at the Community First! Village in east Austin, building relationships, building micro-houses, & more.

    • Continued funding for the Sparrow House for women coming out of prison or off the streets in the Rundberg area. 

  • Seed money for short term mission trips to third world countries outside of El Salvador, as we look to establish other long-term relationships with communities and churches in need across our borders.

    • We love our ministry in El Salvador, and that will continue to grow, but we feel there are other areas of the world that Riverbend can help to impact for Christ.

  • Seed money to help build up our staff infrastructure to help in several fronts:

    • Additional ministry leadership support in missions & outreach

    • Additional support and resources for our spiritual formation strategy in helping take our congregation deeper in their faith, equipping them to support our enhanced missions and outreach efforts.

    • Additional strategic leadership in communications to better inform about and promote our outreach efforts.

    • Specialty focused ministry development, such as faith-in-the-workplace initiatives, local neighborhood initiatives, and other needs based initiatives developed to help us express grace beyond the walls of our campus.

WE CONNECT | Building Community

Our goal is to provide approximately $2.2 million to increase our ability to build community at Riverbend, creating opportunity for hundreds more Riverbenders to connect in community, grow deeper in their faith, and be mobilized to serve our city and across borders. All of this helps create a stronger home base that makes our outreach efforts more sustainable over the long run. Considerations include:

  • A major renovation of the Fellowship Hall that will enable it to still host large events, but also have the flexibility to divide into multiple meeting spaces for medium size groups, complete with video/audio capability. This will provide us with dramatically better quality as well as quantity of meeting spaces for adult ministries and events.

  • An enlarged gathering space in the Fellowship Hall, for use in between services and community groups, for people to share coffee and conversations, fostering relationships and community.

  • A newly renovated kitchen, designed to be used by multiple groups simultaneously, and able to service multiple events at the same time, including serving our expanding MLF ministry and other outreach ministries requiring food prep.

  • A facelift for the Quads, similar to what was done for Building 5, cleaning, painting, restoring, re-carpeting, adding closets, and enhanced Internet connectivity and audio/video systems. This will provide higher quality meeting space for groups from both inside and outside the church.

  • A new database system, to enable Riverbend to better keep track of our congregation and who’s involved in what activities. This will help us to get more people involved in outreach, monitor our progress, help with our targeted communications, and will help foster community.

  • Other support enhancements such as replacement golf carts, doors, and a build-up of our reserve fund in order to continue to fund facility maintenance for all of our buildings.

WE CREATE | The Arts

Our goal is to provide approximately $1.3 million to enhance the Home for Hope, a beautiful building that after 18 years is in need of improvements. Most of us remodel our homes every 15 years or so. By remodeling our Home for Hope, we would like to re-establish it as one of the premier arts venues in the city, enabling us to increase the number of people we attract from all across the city for concerts and other large events, as it provides a potential side-door entrance to our church to tens of thousands of people per year who wouldn’t otherwise step foot in a church. Also, as we continue to be effective at attracting new people to join Riverbend, as mentioned above we will be able to create a stronger home base that makes our outreach efforts more sustainable over the long run. Considerations include:


    • Update and replace audio/visual technology. We’re currently looking at a variety of options to create dramatically better presentations on stage based on latest technology, vs. the dated technology currently in place. This will allow us to better attract the newer generations for whom visual communication is so important. 


    • This will enable us to reach out to Austin musicians as well as create our own recordings in house, that can be used to more closely connect Riverbend with artists all over Austin and the world.

  • Other facility repairs and updates

    • Replacement carpeting throughout the facility, bathroom remodeling/refreshing, and repairing leaking towers, walls, and painting where needed. New people so often see things that we have stopped noticing.


    • Remodel of the current bookstore space to include a self-serve coffee bar and gathering space for newcomers where they can learn about Riverbend and our community. Some resources will still be offered, but updated.

Donate to the becauseGRACE campaign

If you’re ready to donate to the becauseGRACE campaign, you can do so using the Donate Now button.

If you have already filled out a Commitment Pledge card, or the form below, any amount you give using this button will be applied to your pledge.

Thank you for your generosity, and for your commitment to Riverbend Church.

2-Year Commitment Pledge

By filling out this commitment form you are not making actual payment towards the becauseGRACE fund, but is a record of what you feel generously compelled to give over the life of the becauseGRACE campaign. 

Reference Pledge Chart >

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