When you visit our church, you will immediately discover three things:
We worship God | We preach the Word | We love one another
What Makes Us Unique?
Ashley River is known for cultivating life-long relationships through our Sunday School and Wednesday night ministries, our connections to the West Ashley community, and our commitment to making disciples (fully-devoted followers of Jesus Christ).
"Gospel" means Good News. Our focus is Living and Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Who We Are
At Ashley River we strive for an intentional culture of grace, vibrant worship, and discipleship.
A Culture of Grace
Ashley River seeks to be a community characterized by grace. We pray for and actively strive for grace to permeate every aspect of our church culture. Because we recognize our deep gospel neediness, we are quick to extend grace to those in our church family, to other local churches, and to the people of our community.
A Culture of Vibrant Corporate Worship
Ashley River seeks to be a community characterized by vibrant, full-hearted, participatory, unified, Christ-centered corporate worship. Because we believe that the worship of the gathered church should be corporate, not individual, we see every aspect of worship as an act the entire congregation joins in, rather than observes. We strive to sing, pray, and preach the Word in a way that encourages the participation of the entire congregation in our worship.
A Culture of Discipleship
Ashley River seeks to be a community characterized by disciple-making followers of Jesus. Because we believe that the mission of the church is making disciples of Jesus Christ, we develop intentional relationships for the purpose of encouraging each other to pursue Christ, and we actively pray for and seek out relationships for the purpose of calling others to follow Christ.
What to Expect
Walking into a church for the first time can be intimidating, so we want to help you know what to expect when you visit Ashley River.
We promise not to embarrass you or point you out. If you wish, you can fill out a connection card, and we’ll follow up with you later. You can come knowing you are in the midst of a group of broken people who all need God’s grace.
What to Wear
We have a diversity of people attend our services and are thankful for a congregation with a variety of dress. You'll find anything from very casual jeans and t-shirts to polos and slacks to suits. We encourage you to come as you are.
On Sunday morning at 9:15 am, we come together for Sunday School for all ages, where we learn about God’s Word and its application to all areas of life. Sunday School classes are a great way to build relationships and dig in deep to the life of Ashley River.
We sing a blend of lyrically rich songs both recent and historic. Those of us who are comfortable with music from one particular era have discovered that we come to enjoy other songs we had not previously encountered.
We strongly prefer congregational singing, which emphasizes the gathered body enthusiastically singing praise to God with one voice. Some Sundays we sing with piano, guitar, and drums, while other Sundays find us singing with a choir and orchestra, and other services may use just piano accompaniment.
We are thankful to have a congregation with many children. We encourage all parents to train their children to worship as part of the church. We provide childcare for children up to 2nd grade during our worship services. Some children remain in the service the entire time, and we welcome their presence.
Format of Service
Our service is intentional in trying to incorporate the Word of God in all that we do. We sing several songs, offer congregational and pastoral prayers to God, hear Scripture read, and give our offerings and tithes. We close each morning worship service with a benediction. After services end, you'll find folks talking over the sermon and events of the past week.
Preaching at Ashley River is generally expositional, meaning that it seeks to systematically work through passages of Scripture, declaring the point of a particular Biblical passage, with practical application rooted in the redemptive story of Scripture. Our sermon series regularly alternate between the Old and New Testaments. All preaching is driven by the Gospel, the Bible’s main message of God saving sinners through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Meet Our Team
Randy moved to Charleston in 1988, after graduating from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in NY, and soon joined Ashley River Church where he met his wife, Susan, in the singles ministry. Randy and Susan have 3 grown children. Randy is a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has a passion for teaching God's Word and for developing leaders to impact the next generation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He continues to learn more every day about our Great God and Savior. Randy is passionate, persistent, and people-loving. His varied former jobs include maintenance boy, limousine driver, nuclear engineer, operations director, and sales director. Randy loves sports, history, travel, and crosswords.
Dillon moved to the Charleston area from Jacksonville, FL where he met his wife Evelyn. Dillon and Evelyn have a little baby girl with another one on the way. They also have a golden retriever that they love as well! Dillon is currently working on his Master of Divinity degree in Theology at Liberty University's Rawlings School of Divinity and is looking forward to graduating in December. Dillon is passionate about teaching sound doctrine and studies the Word in a way that extracts the timeless truths from Scripture so that they can be applied to our lives today. Dillon loves equipping students with the Word of God so that they can share the Good News of Jesus Christ with their peers. In his personal and free time, he loves playing sports, going to the beach, and spending time with his family! Ashley River is blessed to have Dillon as Student/Youth Director!
Ann Marie Fairchild
Worship Leader/Choir Director
Ann Marie is a native of Charleston; her family joined Ashley River Baptist when she was in 7th grade. She attended Clemson and College of Charleston, completing degrees in Mathematics and Vocal Performance. She finished her Masters in Math Education at the Citadel. Ann Marie and her husband, Philip, who she met at ARBC in the singles department, have 2 grown sons, Joshua and Jacob. She has taught public school in Charleston County for over 30 years. Serving at Ashley River allows her to pursue her love for Jesus and her passion for music. It also helps her to give back to the church family that has given her so much throughout the years.
Lynn has been a member of Ashley River since 1959. She served as part of the Ashley River staff for many year and we are blessed to have her back in the office!
Volunteer Coordinator/Office Assistant
Theresa moved to Charleston when she was eight years old. She accepted Jesus at 12, and was baptized and became a member of Ashley River Baptist Church. She met her husband Bill at ARBC. They have been married for 40 years. Theresa and Bill have two grown married sons. They are expecting their first grandchild in the spring. Theresa taught kindergarten at ARBC CDC for 24 years. She loves serving her church and many capacities. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family.
Lori, Shelley, Kristie & Stephanie
Children’s Ministry Team
Our Children's Ministry Team has more than 40 years of combined experience serving Ashley River familes. Kristie, Shelley, Stephanie, and Lori provide a safe, Christian atmosphere for the youngest members of our church family. Ashley River offers many programs and opportunities for children to learn about the love of Jesus and how to apply Christian principles in their lives. We strive to provide ministries that help our children grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. We believe in the value of age-appropriate teaching to best equip our children to live a Godly life and lead others to Jesus Christ. Come and meet us any Sunday at the children's check-in desk and children's church area in the Children's Development Center building on our campus.
Mike is a graduate of Clemson University and spent many years as a homebuilder. He and his wife Vicky love the Charleston area, and Mike enjoys serving the Lord as part of the team at Ashley River.
Annalee R. DeMerell
Director of Operations
Annalee has been a member of Ashley River Church since 2010. After retiring with more than 30 years in Operations, Marketing and IT in the business world, she first joined the staff to audit systems and accounts and to secure the church's intellectual property. She's able to serve God and her church family with business management, operations, communications, and technology experience. Some of her corporate and non-profit experience includes: public classical radio, higher education, construction, Govt. contracting, dog rescue, fashion, and theatre. She loves old buildings and was the project manager of her own Victorian home renovation. She has a passion for anything creative, learning more about her Savior Jesus Christ and helping others with Biblical counseling.