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At Riverside, it is our desire to see campus and community worshiping together. We want to see people of all ages, ethnicities, and economic situations from our neighborhood become disciples of Jesus Christ who share the love of God and bring His transformative healing and justice to our Third Ward community between the University of Houston and Texas Southern University.


Riverside is a vibrant university community church sharing God’s love with people of all ages, ethnicities and economic situations.


Make disciples of Jesus Christ while transforming central Houston through dynamic ministries.


Pastor Lee Elder is a native of Belzoni, Mississippi, a small town in the Delta.  The Delta is “where the blues was born and the birthplace of American music!” He is an avid lover of music, history, sports, traveling, and reading. Lee has an undergraduate degree from Jackson State University, a Master in Management and Public Administration from Webster University; Master of Divinity at Saint Paul School of Theology.  Lee is also an Army Veteran. Prior to entering ministry, Lee worked as a corporate buyer for a major aircraft manufacturing company.  In addition, volunteering in the community has been an important part of Lee’s life since he was a youth and he considers serving others an essential to a well-rounded life. Lee loves preaching and teaching God’s word. Also, Lee firmly believes in the sacred worth of all human beings, because we are all made in God’s image. Lee is married to Chanda Mayers-Elder and they are the proud parents of Elizabeth Joy and Olivia Monroe. 

Associate Pastor Reverend Denise S. Caulfield was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She has resided in Houston, Texas since 1975.

She has both a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Masters of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at Southern University. She has been in ministry over 15 years and served for 13 years at Riverside United Methodist Church as the Appointed Associate Pastor.  At Riverside she is responsible for Christian education, children’s’ sermon, co-coordinator of multi-media, and Sunday morning message delivery. Among her most important duties are pastoral counseling, visiting the sick and elder and administering the Holy sacraments; Baptism and Communion. Above all, she lives by the motto “Stop complaining and get into the solution” allowing God to direct her path.


You are always welcome to worship here at Riverside! Please join us!

Finding the Service

We are currently worshiping in our Fellowship Hall due to storm damage from Hurricane Harvey. Park in the lot on the north side of the building and enter through the double doors near Cullen st.

What to Wear

People at Riverside dress in a variety of ways. Some grew up dressing formally for church and continue to do that every Sunday. Some grew up going to church in jeans. All variations are welcome, so please wear what makes you feel comfortable. We care more about your presence than your appearance.

What will happen on Sunday?

Our Sunday worship includes a blend of traditional and contemporary worship music that people sing together and a relevant messages that address real life issues and help us all understand God's love for everyone. You will receive a program from an usher, and you can also follow along with the information on the screen. 

Every Sunday during the service we pause for a "Riverside Shuffle" to take time to truly greet and welcome one another. People leave their seats and go all over the room shaking hands, exchanging hugs and checking in with one another. We encourage you to introduce yourself at this time, then hang out after the service for longer conversations. You can usually find a cup of coffee in the kitchen​ and we would love to get to know you. Riverside is a family, so make yourself right at home when you come!

What do you offer for Children?

During Sunday worship, there is a children's sermon. Kids of all ages are invited to meet at the front for a short lesson and prayer before they are dismissed for Sunday School. All the children participate in Sunday School together as a multi-age group led by our wonderful children's ministry staff.

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