Five years after marrying, Dino and DeLynn Rizzo, 28 and 23 at the time, started Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge with a single focus of being a “healing place for a hurting world.” From the beginning, the Rizzos’ hearts were toward helping people. The early catalyst was a garage sale initially meant to raise money for a sound system for the new church. Instead of selling the items, Dino realized the need.
“Take the price tags off,” he said. “Let’s give it all away.”
The garage “sale” started the Rizzos and their fledgling church down the path of generosity, birthing in them a passion for people and giving away resources.
“We didn’t know much,” Pastor Dino says. “I knew that we were supposed to reach the poor, and I knew that we were to be generous. I had seen that in Joel Osteen’s dad, John Osteen. I was very impressed with his generosity, and his heart for people.”
As the Rizzos began to talk with each other and others about their new church plant’s identity, and thus, name, DeLynn’s mom told the couple, “Well, everything you’re saying is a healing place for a hurting world.” Healing Place Church was born.
Starting with just twelve people, over the following nineteen years Healing Place grew to over 10,000 people gathering every week in nine locations from Baton Rouge to Maputo, Mozambique. Filled with a passion to serve the poor and hurting “wherever they are, whatever it takes,” every week hundreds of volunteers served in outreaches—cooking hot breakfasts for the homeless, helping ex-prisoners re-enter society, caring for AIDS orphans, giving roses to women working at local strip clubs, reaching the poor through free medical and dental clinics, and many other outreaches. His book, Servolution, exposes his passion to see believers join together in a revolution of serving others—Jesus style.
“Serving people is not just something we want to do; it’s something we need to do. People discover personal healing through helping others.”