Mitchell and Roma Payne have been pastoring and working in Tellico Plains, Tennessee for over 25 years. They began their ministry at the Tellico Church of God. Their early years were spent in evangelism. During this time, they began the Lighthouse Street Ministry. After several years, they were called upon to pastor at Bible Baptist Church and served in that capacity for seven years. Then, together they began River of Life Ministries, a non-denominational church, in 1995 where they continue their service today.
Today, River of Life Ministries is a thriving church that is very much involved in local community outreach. The church provides different venues to youth and adults alike. They minister hope through missions, benevolence, and sharing the gospel in local jails and state prisons. Although based in Monroe County, this ministry goes far beyond their own community, reaching outlying counties and states, as well as other nations.