- Family – Married to Pastor Arlene Del Rio since 1973
- Children – Sons: Jeremy, Jonathan and Jamie. Daughter: Mei-Ling. Grandfather of 7.
- Education – Zion Bible Institute (73).
- Ordination – Assemblies of God
Rev. Richard Del Rio founded Abounding Grace Ministries in 1982 and Abounding Grace Church in 1992, where he is senior pastor and based as an evangelist. On September 11, 2001, Rev. Del Rio was one of the first clergy responders to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center – arriving ten minutes after the second tower collapsed – and is widely believed to be one of the only identifiable clergymen onsite after FDNY Chaplain Father Mychal Judge perished. The next day, Rev. Del Rio co-convened the Northeast Clergy Group / Ground Zero Clergy Task Force (NEC) as an interdenominational coalition of regional ministers committed to long-term relief and recovery, which grew to over 200. Immediately following 9/11, the NEC initiated onsite clergy counseling at Ground Zero and disaster relief locations throughout the City; bilingual clergy counseling trainings; clergy support networks; faith-based political advocacy with President Bush, Governor George Pataki, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Secretary Tommy Thompson, US Senators, and others; the Ground Zero Relief Fund; and various collaborative efforts such as http://www.NetworkNYC.org, the Immigrants’ Assistance Program at World Vision, and more. NEC also co-produced the Tribute to Grace and Hope on the anniversary of 9/11 at Madison Square Garden, for which Rev. Del Rio served as pastoral co-chair.
Abounding Grace Church has grown from Pastor Rick’s immediate family and five friends in 1992 to over 350 members today. Built from the streets through street evangelism, AGM has sponsored the annual Jesus Loves You New York outreach for eighteen years, the weekly Apple’s Core Coffee House homeless outreach, the Victorious Overcomers’ Support Group, YW8? (Why Wait?) Youth, Kidz Rock Children’s Ministry, a 45 voice gospel choir, and much more. In addition, AGM regularly hosts short-term missions teams in its church building.
In 1994, Rev. Del Rio co-founded Community Solutions, Inc., a holistic, faith-based organization providing youth and advocacy services, with his son Jeremy. In October 2000, the Fund for the City of New York awarded them the Union Square Award for these efforts. Rev. Del Rio also serves as an NYPD Police-Clergy Liaison, Executive VP of C.H.I.P.S. (Chaplains Helping In Police Situations) and is a member of the NYC Clergy for Justice, and a featured conference speaker. He and his wife have provided a home to as many as seven neighborhood children at a time, and his three sons and their families work alongside him in ministry.
Rev. Del Rio has been featured in numerous media reports, including Christianity Today, Charisma, Christian Times, Tri-State Voice, Love Express, Citizen, Decision Magazine, World Vision Today, CBN, CBS, NY1, TBN and others. The United States Senate commended his heroic response to 9/11 in the Congressional Record in October 2001, and his story was profiled in the book, The Power of a City at Prayer (InterVarsity Press: 2002) in fall 2002.
Featured in the April 2004 issue of Charisma Magazine.
NOT YOUR GRANDMOTHER’S PASTOR
CHARISMA MAGAZINE APRIL 2004
With his tattoos and earring, New York City preacher Rick Del Rio has redefined what it means to be Pentecostal.
Navigating his classic Harley Davidson motorcycle along congested streets in the East Village of Lower Manhattan, Rick Del Rio, senior pastor of Abounding Grace Ministries, doesn’t look like your grandmother’s pastor. At 51, he sports a gold earring, goatee, black leather vest, and tattoos on each arm and doesn’t apologize for any of them. The tattoos are a living sermon, proclaiming “Jesus Christ Is Lord” and “The Lion of Judah Has Conquered.”
“We deal with people nobody wants, so we kind of look like them,” Del Rio says. “Like Paul, I am all things to all men so that by all means I might save some.” [read more]