The new Pastor of Rivergate is Montaz Ali. He, his wife Naomi, and their two children Tiffany and Theo have flown all the way from the United Kingdom to live in Adelaide, Australia, so that he can serve as our Pastor! Montaz's first Sunday with Rivergate was 6th May 2018 and his induction service was held on Saturday 12th May 2018.
We are thrilled that our new Pastor and his family are finally here with us!
Pastor Montaz and his family
Hi there! Here's a brief synopsis of my life and faith: I came to faith in Christ at age 16. Arriving in the UK from Bangladesh at the age of 6, I was raised in foster care in Birmingham. After receiving a Gideons Bible at high school, I was drawn to reading it, but found that I didn't understand very much of it. However, after I was invited to a Bible-believing church where I heard the Bible preached clearly and saw it lived out in the lives of the congregation, my eyes were opened; I received faith. Subsequently, I found that I had a renewed love for the Bible and my eyes were beginning to be opened to understand the brilliance of it – the Bible came alive to me!
Within a short time of becoming a Christian, I felt a call to vocational ministry as a preacher. That led me to first take work as an engineer (to gain life experience) and then to study theology at Union Theological College in South Wales. My time at Bible college unlocked the Bible to me in a new way and defined my sense of call to preaching the gospel. This led me into pastoral ministry. My pastoral ministry began with a call to a church in Kent, South East England, and then to a church in Flintshire, North Wales, before I was called to Australia to serve Rivergate as their Pastor.
Theologically, I've had a diverse background: I was converted in a Pentecostal church, I have attended Brethren churches, I have worked for a short time in a Presbyterian church, and I have spent the major part of my Christian life attending Reformed Baptist churches. I studied theology at an independent evangelical Bible college that had a focus on expository preaching, and in ministry I regularly attended Evangelical Anglican conferences (Proc Trust), as well as New Frontiers and FIEC conferences. Some of the theologians that have helped shape my theology are Don A. Carson, R. C. Sproul, Tim Keller, Wayne Grudem and John Piper. I believe my theological diversity helps me to relate to people of diverse beliefs and backgrounds without prejudice, and helps me to keep the primary doctrines primary and the secondary doctrines secondary. My passion is Christ: to preach the wonder of His cross and glory, to point men and women to Him, to see His kingdom advance and to follow His life and teaching. My great longing is for His return and the establishment of His kingdom on earth.
More information about my life and evangelistic work can be found on my personal website: www.montazali.com.
Rivergate's previous Pastor, Nick Hawkes, founded the church in 2005. Nick and his wife, Mary, are now retired and serve the wider church through various ministries, including preaching, writing, training, mentoring and radio broadcasts.
Nick and Mary worship in other local churches at present but remain friends of Rivergate and of the present Pastor. The church is indebted to them for the foundational role they played in establishing Rivergate as an evangelical church that is passionate about the gospel and making disciples for Christ.
Nick's personal website has more details about his present ministries: www.nickhawkes.net.
Founding Pastor of Rivergate 2005 - 2018