Our Story

Year 1976 - Retired and ready for leisure and travel in motorhome. But, something was missing: PURPOSE!

shaeffer-foundersThe year was 1976: Henry and Margaret Schaeffer retired and their dreams of leisure and travel, in their motorhome, were taking shape, but something was missing: Purpose! Trips to visit Henry's brother, a physician at Redbird Mission in Kentucky, had made them aware of the tremendous need for volunteer workers with the skills to provide repair and maintenance of facilities in a host of Christian ministries throughout the country. Henry knew the Lord was speaking to his heart.

And so, with God's Word as their guide, a new retirement dream was born: Roving Volunteers in Christ's Service (RVICS), with scripture as its mission statement: "...be doers of the Word, and not hearers only..." - James 1:22.

The ministry that began in February, 1977, with Henry and Margaret Schaeffer and two other couples, serving at Phoenix Gospel Mission in Phoenix, Arizona, has grown to an organization many times larger. Separate teams serve needy Christian missions all over the United States and Canada. Since 1976 RVICS has completed well over 2,400 projects. Praise the Lord!

In the early years, Henry handled all the business aspects of the organization himself. He coordinated projects, arranged itineraries, carried on all oral and written communications, and designed promotion and publicity. By 1981, he realized that the organization had outgrown his 5th-wheel office. "But my God will supply all your needs..." - Philippians 4:19

By 1995, RVICS Village was well under way, and the RVICS National Headquarters moved to its new building at the Village in Smithville, Texas.

This brief history cannot possibly "tell it all". The prayer that was, and is, the backbone of RVICS; the obstacles overcome; the sacrificial time and money contributed by the Schaeffers, headquarters staff, team leaders, team members, and faithful supporters outside of the organization; lives transformed within the ministry and as a result of the missions we serve. Whatever has been given, whatever has been accomplished, whatever is of lasting value in the Kingdom is lovingly dedicated to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

RVICS Presidents

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Tracey & Marie Owen
Current President
2020 - Present
John & Barb Grieve
6th President
2018 - 2019
Paul & Sandy Swetland
5th President
2010 - 2017
Gale & Linda Hickman
4th President
2005 - 2009
Eldon & Gwen Toy
3rd President
1995 - 2004
George & Elva Parcher
2nd President
1993 - 1995
Henry & Margaret Schaeffer
Founders & 1st President
1976 - 1992

RVICS Vice Presidents

Stan Bialorucki
Jan 2019 - Present

Tracey Owen
Jan 2013 - Dec 2018

Fred Ogrinc
Jan 2011 - Dec 2012

Glenn Ginder
Jan 2010 - Dec 2010

Paul Swetland
Jan 2007 - Dec 2009

Wayne Thomas
Jan 2001 - Dec 2006

Ellis Lavrack
Jan 1999 - Dec 2000

Bob Midkiff
Jan 1996 - Dec 1998

Ellis Lavrack
Apr 1995 - Dec 1995

Eldon Toy
Jan 1993 - Mar 1995

George Parcher
Jan 1987 - Dec 1992

Larry Weaver
Jan 1984 - Dec 1986

Raymond Jackson
Jan - Dec 1983