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Riverview Church Coming to Old Lacey J's Site

Pastor Todd Tolson: “Riverview is the kind of church that you can come into with zero church experience and feel like you belong."

The building on the corner of Magnolia Avenue and Woodside Avenue in Santee, known for most of its history as the Wagon Wheel dance hall and bar, and most recently as Lacey J's Roadhouse Saloon & Grille, will soon be occupied by an entirely new operation—a church.

Riverview Community Church, which began as a family prayer group in 2010 and currently meets at Cajon Park School, started a lease at the property at the beginning of January and plans to open for services Easter Sunday.

“Riverview is the kind of church that you can come into with zero church experience and feel like you belong,” said Pastor Todd Tolson in a previous article about the church. “And also if you’ve got a lot of church experience you can walk right in and feel fed."

“One of the things we’re looking to do is really make an impact on the community,” said Bob Surber, an elder at the church.

The property has changed hands and names several times in the past 70 years, acting originally as an Army ice cream parlor, dance hall and bar. The building and land are deeply rooted in Santee’s history and local nostalgia, according to an article written by the Santee Historical Society.

Riverview Church will join the more than 20 places of worship in Santee.

Visit the Riverview Church Facebook page or website

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Todd Tolson January 10, 2013 at 11:46 PM
Ahhh...thanks, Peter! I'm grateful for your kind words!
Todd Tolson January 10, 2013 at 11:51 PM
Kathy - you're right! It's going to cost us to fix up the building, and repair parts of it that were vandalized. :( I promise we'll take good care of it though. :)
Todd Tolson January 11, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Adam - I appreciate you for a couple of reasons: 1. As a SHS alumni, and former football player, I'm grateful for all the help you give Santana. Len Gallo has mentioned to me before how valuable you are to the team! 2. I appreciate your candidness here in the Patch forums! That said, I am curious: what's the metric for determining "too many Churches" in Santee? I can understand if we lived in Dallas, and there was at least one Church on every corner...and that's not even an exaggeration! But in Santee, with 58,000 people, there are only 26 places of worship (as best as I can tell via Google). That's only one place of worship for every 2200 people. Churches (and other religious groups) do a lot of good for the community, especially the ones in Santee. Our Church, for example, along with a few others, brought in and organized more than 14 tons of food for the Santee Food Bank within 12 months. In that same time period, our Church purchased 200 school-supply-filled backpacks for under-resourced elementary & middle school students. We've also saved the Santee School District thousands of dollars, and countless man/woman-hours with the "School Beautification Day" for the last 3 years. Even Santana benefitted from that. I think those are things we want MORE of in Santee, not less. Hey, I'd love to meet you sometime! Call me at 619.252.5278. Coffee's on me!
Jeffrey J Hamilton June 15, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Todd, I hope that you do have the occasional dance event. I found it a shame that the previous establishments always tried to mix a live band with dance - it never quite worked. I am sure that the dance community would be happy to make a "donation" of a few dollars and drink water to country dance to a good DJ. For those who don't live in Santee, how might you advertise such an event.
Joe Spencer July 23, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Todd... I would have loved to have met up for coffee....but for the last year I have lived in Henderson, Nevada.....obviously I still keep touch with Santee as I will always (despite having lived in Lakeside and not Santee) consider Santee home. Hoping one day to return. I love your responses on here to everyone and think you have a great passion. Certainly what it takes!

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