Deep River Church has services out of the home of Pastors John and Amy Himmelberger. They have five children ages 14, 12, 11, 8 and 5 and they are expecting a sixth child. The Himmelbergers said they intend to keep services in the home while promoting a service-mindset through church attendees. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash
Sequim Gazette staff
Pastors John and Amy Himmelberger started Deep River Church in August out of their home at 560 W. Pine Court in Sequim.
The couple branched off from Sequim Vineyard Church with its support and now host an average of 25 adults and 15 children each Sunday at 11 a.m.
John Himmelberger said Deep River is a Christian church based on the platform of the Bethel Church out of Redding, Calif., with materials from a program called Global Legacy.
He describes the church as having an apostolic model.
“Rather than gathering around doctrine, the idea is based on the unity of fathers and mothers,” Himmelberger said.
“If you gather around doctrine and agree with it entirely, then great, but if you disagree, then you either agree or leave the church. We think everyone gets to play. If you have differences, it’s OK. We can still function even if we don’t believe the same as our parents.”
The Himmelbergers agree there are absolute core tenets that attendees believe.
• Jesus is the son of God.
Deep River Church attendees have the ideology that people should come as they are to church.
“It’s a very relaxed setting with a lot more chances to get to know one another and share and build relationships,” Amy Himmelberger said. “We support each other and love to celebrate people’s accomplishments and stand with them in trials.”
John Himmelberger said they’ll continue meeting in their home and don’t foresee going to a formal building anytime soon.
“We want to equip people to get out in a community and do what the Bible says to do,” he said. “We believe we’re to do the things Jesus did. It’s all for today.”
Church attendees volunteer at nonprofits across the city.
“Our focus is we’re trying to put things in action to get people out in the community and help,” Himmelberger said.
A few attendees went to Sequim Walmart on Black Friday and gathered carts for people just to help.
Himmelberger said it created a natural conversation rather than forcing beliefs upon people.
“We try to show God’s love in a practical way,” he said. “God’s love is extravagant and we all want to do the same.”
For example, when his family eats out, they tip larger than the bill.
Church attendees also formalize God-inspired treasure hunts.
People will take a few minutes to pray and think and gather clues, thoughts and words from God. Then they’ll write down those ideas, print them out and go seek out those characteristics through a person at a public place.
“Sometimes we find someone who matches the description and sometimes we don’t,” Himmelberger said. “If we do find someone, we’ll speak to them about the list and tell them they are the treasure. It’s a neat experience when God’s love is shown.”
Deep River Church is made up of people of all ages and backgrounds with some attendees never going to church before.
“We have those with a charismatic background and those with a fundamental background,” Himmelberger said.
“Everyone engages in their own way and they are free to do so.”
Sunday service music is contemporary ranging from a full band to a keyboardist to singing along with a CD.
Find more online at www.deepriverwa.org.
For a Spiritual Spotlight on your church, spiritual group and/or event contact Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.