Pastor Dededrick O. Rivers
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The Reverend Dededrick O. Rivers is a native of the Pringletown Community in Ridgeville, South Carolina. He currently resides in Laurel, Maryland. He earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Mortuary Science from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta, Georgia, a Bachelor of Arts Degree, with honors, in Political Science from Benedict College and a Master of Divinity Degree from Howard University. He was recently accepted into the Doctor of Ministry Program at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC and will be a member of the inaugural Public Engagement Track beginning in January of 2017 in honor of the life and service of the late Reverend Senator Clementa Pinckney. While at Benedict College, he served as the chaplain of the International School of Honors. He also worked as a mortician at the Historic Leevy’s Funeral Home in Columbia, South Carolina under the ownership of Attorney I.S. Leevy Johnson. While at Benedict, he also worked in the South Carolina State Legislature in the Office of Representative J. Todd Rutherford.
Pastor Rivers was ordained during the South Carolina Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church by the Rt. Reverend Preston Warren Williams, II at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina. He was a member of the ministerial staff at Turner Memorial A.M.E. Church in Hyattsville, Maryland. While at Turner, he founded a Narcotics Anonymous support group to minister to the needs of persons struggling with substance abuse. In June 2012, he was assigned to Pastor St. Jude A.M.E. Church in Germantown, Maryland. While at St. Jude, the membership tripled and Pastor Rivers led the congregation in a debt reduction plan that reduced the monthly mortgage payment on their property by over $1,100.00 per month. Also at St. Jude, a Community Development Corporation (CDC) was revived and their first event benefited the Wilkens Avenue Shelter for Women and Children. The St. Jude CDC made a commitment that for every $1 raised, 50% would be donated to the shelter. The St. Jude CDC was able to donate over $4,000.00 to the shelter, which assists women transitioning from an environment of domestic violence to independence. St. Jude made a significant impact in the Montgomery County area. The church was known to donate food on a monthly basis to the Manner House Food Pantry, donate school supplies, provide roundtable discussions for young mothers and engage in other community initiatives to strengthen the parish-community relationships.
On July 3, 2015, during the 2015 Planning Meeting of the Second Episcopal District in Hampton, Virginia, Bishop William Phillips DeVeaux, Sr. appointed Reverend Dededrick Rivers, to the St. Stephens A.M.E. Church in Elkridge, Maryland. His mission at St. Stephens is to Reimage, Reinvigorate and Revitalize the reputation and the ministries at St. Stephens. Since arriving at St. Stephens he has started an “I AM” Youth Ministry, the Young Mature Christians (YMC) Young Adult Ministry, started a monthly Church-CHRST-Community Symposium where members of the community and church meet monthly to discuss pertinent issues. On September 1, 2016, Pastor Rivers led the St. Stephens A.M.E. Church to secure a loan to purchase all properties that were previously in foreclosure and in October 2016, St. Stephens entered into partnership with a daycare facility and will soon have a fully functional daycare facility on its property.
In April 2018, The Rt. Reverend James L. Davis, appointed Pastor Rivers to the Ward Memorial A.M.E. Church. At Ward, he has instituted the Ward Restoration Plan which focuses on Spiritual Restoration, Temporal Restoration and Community Restoration. He believes the best is yet to come for Ward.