River of Life Christian Center celebrates Peñas


By Julie Knopp - Administrative Assistant - River of Life Christian Center



Pastor Tony Peña has been the Youth Pastor at River of Life Christian Center since 2002. Tony has been offered, and has accepted a position at Faith Family Church in Baytown, Texas. While River of Life Christian Center is sad to see the Peña family leave Urbana, we are excited about this new endeavor awaiting them in Texas.

Tony graduated from Urbana High School as did his 2 daughters, Kaci and Kayla. Tony has been very involved in the community, serving on Urbana City Council since 2013, as well as serving on the Board of Directors at the Champaign Family YMCA. Many will know Pastor Tony from his days of coaching softball at Urbana High School. Still others will know him by his service to the community in conducting funerals and marriages.

Sheila graduated from Graham High School and Community Hospital Nursing School. Among her various nursing positions, Sheila served Champaign County as the Director of Nursing of the Champaign County Health District. Sheila has served alongside Tony as Youth Pastor at River of Life.

The impact the Peñas have had on the community, especially with the youth, is far reaching. Many young people have graced the doors of the Youth Activity Center at River of Life. Most are now young adults, some with families of their own. Pastor Tony and Sheila are blessed to see the fruit of the harvest of the seed they have sown into the lives of youth. Dan Leiker, Sr. Pastor of River of Life, noted that “Pastor Tony and Sheila will be greatly missed by the church family at The River and by our community. We are so happy for them and excited to see them step through this door of opportunity. They will be a great asset to the community of Faith Family Church.”

If you would like to send a brief, 15 second video, of how the Peñas impacted your life, in any area, please email it to support@theriveronline.org. Please note, videos longer than 15 seconds may not be able to be used. Videos need to be sent no later than March 6. We will give a compilation of those videos to Pastor Tony and Sheila.

The Peñas’ last service at River of Life will be March 10, 2019. We invite any who wish to give their regards to the Peñas to come this service, which starts at 10:30 a.m. We will have a reception for the Peñas after the morning church service, approximately around noon. Light refreshments will be served. River of Life Christian Center is located at 775 Washington Ave., Urbana. For questions, please call the church office at 937-653-6754.

By Julie Knopp

Administrative Assistant

River of Life Christian Center