Here are a few familiar names and faces you will see around The River during your visit. We can't wait to meet you!
Originally from the Bay Area, Ryan has lived in Oakdale, CA for about 15 years. After graduating college and becoming a teacher for 10+ years, God called Ryan into full-time ministry at The River. He has a heart for families to know and embrace the Truth about Jesus Christ and to see lives radically changed through the power of the Holy Spirit. Making and growing disciples is his passion as we open up God's Word together and seek to become more like Christ.
Ryan is married to his beautiful wife, Charissa, and they have four children - Caleb, Logan, Maile, and Dylan. He loves to play sports, coach his kid's teams, spend quality time with his wife, go for a run, and study God's Word.
Education: B.A. in Kinesiology / M.A. in Ministry and Leadership
EXECUTIVE AND FOUNDING PASTOR
Kent (a.k.a. "pk") is passionate about his relationship with Jesus and being "all-in" as he pursues this exciting journey of following his Savior. He is first-and-foremost a fully devoted follower of Jesus; engaged in making and growing disciples through sharing his faith with people he meets, teaching God's Word, and using his gifts in pastoral leadership. Kent is the founding pastor of The River and is excited to now serve as The River's Executive Pastor as our journey continues through a progression of leadership. He absolutely has a blast being a part of The River community.
Kent loves doing life with his wife Rouze', their two amazing daughters and sons-in-laws, their seven phenomenal grandchildren, and the incredibly gifted brothers and sisters in Christ at The River and around the world. You may cross paths with Kent on a walking or jogging trail, grabbing a cup of coffee, shouting encouragement to a grandchild from the sideline, or along a stream casting a fly rod.
Education: B.A. in Bible and Pastoral Ministries / M.A. in Theology and Leadership
Jeff and his wife, Melissa, grew up in sunny Tucson, AZ. Throughout his teenage years and into adulthood he has served in various church ministries, but worship ministry always held a special place in his heart. Playing in both youth and adult worship teams, he discovered a serious passion to serve God with the gifts God had graciously given him.
Jeff and Melissa were married in the summer of 2005 and made the move to Surprise, AZ. They have two children, Addison and Easton, who keep them plenty busy with school, sports, music lessons and all the other things kids like to do.
Jeff and Melissa love to tackle house DIY projects on the weekends, and when there are no projects to be done they love spending time together as a family heading down to the river, going on walks with their two dogs or just having a family movie day on the couch where everyone sees who can stay in their pajamas the longest. If you can't find Jeff at church or at home, there's a good chance you will find him on the golf course.
Chris loves God, his family, coffee and adventure. He believes that the local church is the light of the world. Chris has been in ministry his whole life as a pastor's kid and in vocational ministry for the last 10 years. He uses his energy (and lots of it) and passion to invite people to be more like Jesus. You can find Chris in flip flops with a cup of coffee in his hands, connecting with students and parents about what God is doing in their lives.
Chris is married to his amazing wife, Melody and has two crazy and awesome boys, Tyrone and Torrin. They love going to the beach and adventuring together as a family.
If Chris was not a pastor he would be a hippo trainer or a coffee shop owner somewhere near the beach.
CHILDREN'S MINISTRY CO-DIRECTOR
"I am a mess-maker freed from my pile of rubbish by Jesus and living the dream of walking through life with Him. There's no one I'd rather spend my days with than my husband, Ryan. I love to hang out with my 4 rad kids, read, drink coffee, and watch God write awesome stories of redemptive love into people's lives. It's nice to meet you."
Education: B.S. in Psychology
CHILDREN'S MINISTRY CO-DIRECTOR
Lisa grew up in Oakdale, CA and continues to live there with her husband of 17 years, Lonnie, and their 3 children. Before becoming co-direct of children's ministries, Lisa worked as a Registered Dietitian within the community sector.
Lisa's passion for children and Jesus make for a great combination. Seeing Jesus through a child's eyes is both exciting and humbling. Lisa is excited to be a part of what Jesus is doing with children's ministries here at The River.
Education: B.S. in Dietetics and Food Administration