Thirty-five years of ministry experience, including twenty years planting and pastoring a megachurch and several years leading a national church-planting network, brings considerable opportunity to share with others what you’ve learned over the years about living, loving and leading.
For Dino Rizzo, these years of ministry have allowed him to pursue his passions for his Savior, his family and the Church.
How did Dino and DeLynn meet?
Born in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in 1964, Dino was the youngest of three. After giving his life to Christ, he moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to attend Bible college, where he met DeLynn Austin, a native Louisianan. When the two met, DeLynn was leading worship in churches. Dino tells the story of the first time his dad saw DeLynn.
“I came home and said, ‘Daddy, this is the girl I’m dating,’ and showed him her picture. Immediately, he got up and said, ‘C’mon son, we’re gonna go get a ring to make sure this girl doesn’t get away.’”
Not long after, Dino and DeLynn married in 1988. Together, they began serving as student pastors.
When did Dino discover his heart for serving and outreach?
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.
What does Dino do with ARC?
In 2000, Dino co-founded the Association of Related Churches (ARC), a growing group of churches devoted to launching, connecting, and equipping churches and pastors—with the ultimate vision of seeing a life-giving church in every community in the world. Dino serves as the Executive Director for ARC, which has now launched almost 800 life-giving local churches, and is poised to train, equip, and resource another hundred or more couples to launch churches in the coming year.
In his ARC role, Dino leads the National Serve Day initiative, enlisting ARC churches to serve their communities on a specific, designated day—hoping and praying that serving will become part of every church’s DNA. He is also highly visible as host and emcee at ARC’s conferences that in 2017 saw 3,000-plus pastors and leaders at the Birmingham gathering. Additionally, he serves as a keynote speaker and is involved in planning the conference App workshops.
What does Dino do with Church of the Highlands?
Dino also serves on the Executive Team and is Outreach and Missions Pastor for Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama, one of the largest and most influential churches in the United States, led by planter and Senior Pastor Chris Hodges. In these roles, Dino teaches in weekend worship services throughout the year and leads the church to recognize the needs and serve the community.
What is the Servolution movement?
For years, Dino has talked and walked out God’s call to His people to serve others. In 2009, he released the best-selling book Servolution: Starting a Church Revolution Through Serving, which to date has sold thousands of copies. The book’s success launched a movement of more than 700 churches throughout the world that participate in Servolution in their own communities, including Lakewood Church (Houston, Texas), Lifechurch.tv, Camina De Vida (Lima, Peru), Life Church (Manurew, New Zealand) and Assembly of God (Gdansk, Poland). With Servolution, Dino sounded a mass call to churches that serving is not about an event but rather, infusing a “serving” culture into their DNA.
To this day, Dino continues to hear from leaders who tell him about the transformational impact that Servolution (first published in 2009 and printed in Spanish) has made in their church and city.
What other books has Dino written?
In 2006, Dino released Turning Points: Embracing Life’s Defining Moments, sharing the insight that God can use hardships, tragedy, personal loss and disappointment as turning points in our lives.
In addition to ARC and Servolution, what other organizations/initiatives has Dino founded or help lead?
Dino is a strong believer in the irreplaceable value of the local church—both in America and across the globe. He also contends that as believers in Christ we can do more when we are together than when we are apart, leveraging each other’s strengths to build the Kingdom.
Below are a few other organizations and movements that he has founded or helped lead:
In 2011, Dino co-founded and is president of the international organization that brings together more than 50 churches and ministries, including Joyce Meyer Ministries, Assemblies of God, Convoy of Hope, and other ministries. The Compassion Coalition partners with like-minded churches and ministries across denominations for vision and training to extend compassion in Jesus’ name globally.
Dino is the co-founder of this inter-denominational cooperative network created in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. PRC Compassion is made up of more than 500 collaborating churches and ministries that bring together their relationships, efforts and resources to make a difference in the lives of those affected by natural disasters.
What is Dino’s family life like?
No relationships matter more to Dino than the ones he shares with DeLynn and their three children, McCall, Dylan, and Isabella.
“My wife is the best Christian I know,” he says. “It’s incredible to live with a woman who is really trying to live out Jesus in how she mothers our children, how she cares for our home, how leads. She has a gift for leading worship and a heart for the Church, especially wives of church planters.”
Dino and DeLynn’s daughter, McCall, now works at Church of the Highlands while their son, Dylan, works for Hillsong New York and lives in Manhattan. Their youngest, Isabella, is a junior in high school.
“We’re at a good place in our life where we get to spend more time together,” Dino says, adding that he and DeLynn often travel together and speak together. Our kids are at a fun place, too, with how how we’re approaching ministry together now in this season of our lives.”
What are Dino’s noteworthy accomplishments?
- TheBaton Rouge Business Report recognized Dino for community service in the Baton Rouge Capital Region’s “40 under 40” list in its 2001 report.
- State of the Union Address: President George W. Bush singled out Healing Place Church’s recovery programs during a 2003 State of the Union address.
- House of Representatives: The House of Representatives commended Dino, in partnership with PRC compassion, for extensive contributions in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Rita in 2006.
- Outreach magazine: Healing Place Church was listed as one of America’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Churches in 2006, 2010, and 2011, and one of America’s Top 25 Most Innovative Churches in 2006 and 2007.
- Outreach magazine published an interview with Dino Rizzo (September/October 2010).
- 2008 Governor’s Inaugural Prayer Service: Governor Bobby Jindal selected Dino to pray at the Inaugural Prayer Service.
- The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office presented Dino with a Certificate of Appreciation for hurricane relief efforts in 2008.
- Charisma magazine published an interview with Dino as its cover story (July 2012).
Where is pastor dino rizzo speaking?
- August 13, 2017 – Church of the Highlands – Birmingham, AL
- August 20, 2017 – Metro Church – Washington, DC
- August 27, 2017 – The Church International – Baton Rouge, LA
- September 10, 2017 – Life Church – Memphis, TN
- September 17, 2017 – Grace Church – Houston, TX
- September 24, 2017 – Life Church – Allentown, PA
- October 1, 2017 – Fellowship Church – Antioch, CA
- October 15, 2017 – Grace Church – Houston, TX
- October 22, 2017 – The Cause Church – Kansas City, MO
- October 29, 2017 – Vous Church – Miami, FL
- November 5, 2017 – Journey Church – Kingwood, TX
- November 29, 2017 – Vertical Church – West Haven, CT
- December 3, 2017 – Zoe Church – Los Angeles, CA
- December 17 – 2017 – Church of the Highlands – Birmingham, AL