Pastor Sydnor and members worshiped in the school for more than three years. Meetings and rehearsals were held in the homes of some of the early members, and Bible Study was held in the school’s recreation center. As space became accessible in the school, all such activities were brought under one shelter. Riverside became the centerpiece of the Fort Foote community, where nightly activities were held in addition to the Sunday worship services.
Pastor Sydnor and his family walked the streets of the area, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ door-to-door in the early days. Many responded to the Word and the vision and became members of the church. During the growing years, God provided Riverside, through the kindness of Whitehall Baptist Church, a baptistry to accomplish the high percentage of baptisms.
Riverside’s membership started with one faithful member and continued to grow weekly. In January 1984, God blessed the church with the ability to purchase five acres of land located at 9111 Oxon Hill Road to build a new church building. On December 1, 1985, the Lord gave the church the use of the Williams Center to conduct worship services, rehearsals, and meetings. This rental space provided Riverside with adequate office and storage space. God blessed Pastor Sydnor and the church further to break ground for a new edifice on May 9, 1987. God gave Pastor Sydnor a vision for the new church building, and he and the congregation worked diligently through completion. Sunday, April 2, 1989, was the first worship service in the new edifice.