Dr. Earl Gilchrist is a living testimony to the miraculous transforming and deliverance power of the Lord Jesus Christ! Earl had been in prison 5 times in three different states; he spent over 18 ½ years of his life behind bars. He was addicted to multiple substances including: Heroin, Cocaine and Crack. In January of 1986, Apostle Arnold P. Williams visited him in the Ramsey County jail in St. Paul Minnesota. Earl was facing 4 aggravated robbery charges and a possible 1st degree murder. Pastor Williams’ first visit made a huge impact on Earl. His concepts of life began to change after several visits and conversations with Pastor Williams.
May 14th, 1986 in his prison cell, in Stillwater Prison, he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord.
Earl has been “Radically” Saved ever since.
During his 136 months in prison Earl desired to obtain more knowledge about the things of God. He inquired and was given permission to receive extended study courses from “Christian Life College” Stockton California. Then Chaplain Don Hargate, was his proctor and overseen his studies. Earl maintained a 3.92 GPA throughout the next 4 years and received June 1st 1990 his AA degree with enough credits to receive his BA degree.
Earl felt led by God to write his life story which he had published. His book is entitled “How I Got Over” and details his criminal past as well as the miraculous transformation that occurred in his life after his encounter with God. He was released from prison January 14th, 1993 and became a member of the River of Life Christian Church. God has since used him to touch the lives of thousands. In February 1995, he was employed by Minnesota Teen Challenge where he taught Bible classes and counseled for over 17 ½ years. He became a Deacon in the church and later an Elder.
One of Apostle Arnold P. Williams’ last wishes was that then Elder Earl be ordained a Pastor. On December 24th 1998 Apostle Arnold P. Williams went to be with the Lord, and on December 28th 1998 in order with his wish Elder Earl was ordained a Pastor.
Earl began to take courses from Minnesota Graduate School of Theology. He received his BA in Biblical Studies and Theology May 23rd, 1992. Earl received his MA in Pastoral Care and Ministry June 9th 1996. He continued his studies and received his Doctorate of Ministry and Clinical Pastoral Counseling October 11th 2002.
Earl received special recognition with a 4.0 GPA and awarded Summa Cum Laude October 11th 2002
On June 27th of 2003, he and his wife were commissioned to establish “Waters of Life Outreach Ministry.” Earl has been happily married to his gift from God, Pastor Pamela J. Gilchrist for over 18 years.
After the passing of Apostle Bettie Jean Williams on November 7th 2009, River of Life Christian Church was left without a Senior Pastor
Being a son of the ministry Pastor Earl felt compelled to apply for the position. On March 31st, 2012 Pastors Earl and Pamela Gilchrist accepted the assignment of Senior Pastors of River of Life Christian Church. God gave vision for “ONE CHURCH TWO CAMPUSES.”