About Us

Riviera Presbyterian Church

Welcome! – Riviera Presbyterian Church is a Gay-friendly, progressive-thinking congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Miami, FL.

 We are a family church where families come in all compositions.

We are a thinking church that wrestles with faith issues confronting our society today and strives to make our faith personally relevant and meaningful. Wherever you are on your faith journey, we will walk with you.

We are a mission-driven church that, since the civil rights movement, has worked for justice and peace for all God’s children.

In our worship, education, and mission, we strive that all will know they are loved unconditionally.

Mission Statement

Riviera's World Communion Sunday Table

Riviera Presbyterian Church is a spiritual community that accepts and embraces all God’s children.

  • We engage with each other in joyful worship and thoughtful education;
  • We dedicate our resources and talents to Gods work;
  • And we open our hearts in active missions to others.


The first meeting of the “Presbyterian Service” was held on July 2, 1944 at the Coco Plum Woman’s Club with 51 people present. Presbyterian Service became known as Riviera Presbyterian Church on Jan. 11, 1945 at a meeting with 74 people present. At this time four Elders and four Deacons were elected and the annual budget was set at $1,200.

Rev. Bruce A. Cumming was the first pastor, and organized the church. He formerly was the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Homestead. Rev. Dr. Daniel Iverson preached the opening sermon.

Oct. 14, 1945: A lot 200 ft. x 200 ft. on Sunset Drive was purchased for $4,000, and between 1945 and 1949 more land was purchased, a manse was built and an organ was purchased.

On May 8, 1949 ground was broken for the first phase of Riviera Presbyterian Church. This first building was the Sanctuary which is now Fellowship Hall.

a Director of Education was hired, the Library was begun, the newsletter was started and plans were made for our present Sanctuary. The first worship service in the new Sanctuary was July 10, 1955.

More land was purchased, the second pastor hired and Dial-a-prayer was started.

Henry Barrow marries Sandy Scherer at RPC. Rev. J.D. Henderson officiates. Best man Hollis Barrow and father of the bride was Earl Scherer.

Rev. Sam Houck called to serve.  In controversy over civil rights many church members leave in schism of Presbyterian denomination.

RPC became an activist church. Invited Cesar Chavez to the pulpit. Flash Gordon was pastor.

Child care is offered through the nascent Head Start program.

The Child Care Center at RPC is incorporated.

Rev. Laurie Kraus and Rev. Rick Neale join Riviera Church as co-pastors.

Pastor Rev. Laurie Kraus is called to administer the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance team in Louisville, Ky.

Rev. Monica Styron called to serve as interim pastor.

Pastoral Nominating Committee presents Candidate Martha Shiverick to the congregation. By unanimous proclamation, she is elected Riviera’s incoming Pastor Elect. She is expected to be installed in early 2015.

1945: First building.

July 9, 1955 clipping

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