Pastor Joel Hitchcock's River City Church growing in Sussex

Life-sized cross to be led from Georgetown to Rehoboth Good Friday
April 16, 2014

Local pastor Joel Hitchcock leads something he calls the River City Church, based on the Bible passage, Psalm 46, Verses 4 and 5: “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.” His ministry is now in Seaford, Georgetown, Rehoboth Beach, and growing.

Hitchcock taught his first spiritual message when he was 12 years old. “It was at a holiday resort in South Africa [where the family lived],” he said. “My Dad was a manager there.” When he was 13 years old, Hitchcock fasted. “I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me,” he said.

A full-time pastor and evangelist for 24 years, he previously studied at the Berea Theological College in Irene, South Africa, among other places, and received an honorary doctorate from the School of Bible Theology Seminary and University in California.

In August, 1991, Hitchcock came to the United States. He met a pastor who introduced Hitchcock to his future wife, native Delawarean, Heidi Souder. They married in 1995 and have four children.

Heidi has ministered alongside Joel for almost 19 years, and she co-pastors River City Church with Joel. She is a graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. and the Christian World College of Theology in Salisbury, Md.

Part of Hitchcock’s work takes place overseas. Once or twice a year, he preaches to large audiences in places like India, Pakistan, Brazil and others. He also has written five books which are listed on his website. He can also be found through Facebook.

Weekly, Hitchcock conducts a Saturday 6 p.m. service at the Comfort Suites motel in Seaford. Sunday morning, he has a 10:30 a.m. service at the CHEER Center in Georgetown. And, that evening, there is a service at the Rehoboth Beach Hampton Inn at 6 p.m.

Plans are in place for Easter:

• Good Friday, April 18, at 9 a.m., pastor Joel, aided by a team, will carry a life-size cross from the CHEER Center in Georgetown to the Hampton Inn in Rehoboth Beach. A service will be held at 7 p.m. at the Hampton Inn.

• Saturday, April 19, there is a 6 p.m. service at the River City Comfort Suites Hotel in Seaford.

• Easter Sunday, April 20, there is a 10:30 a.m. resurrection service at the CHEER Center in Georgetown. And, that night, there will be a 6 p.m. service at the Rehoboth Beach Hampton Inn.

For more information, go to or contact Hitchcock at 302-858-0887 or