Riverbend staff directory

Lead Pastors   |   Community Groups   |   Involvement/Outreach   |   Kids   |   Students   |   Care and Support   |  Creative Arts   |   Admin   |   Operations   |   Committees 

Lead Pastors

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DAVE HANEY
SENIOR PASTOR

Dave’s passion for leading a church for people who don’t like church has shaped his ministry. Dave and his wife, Diane, have three grown daughters; Cayah, Leah and Kaitlyn, all of whom have wound up in Austin, not simply to be near their family, but just because Austin is that awesome.

Favorite thing about Austin: The diversity and creativity... tacos.

Email: kross@riverbend.com

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PETER SLEEPER
EXECUTIVE PASTOR

Peter has a heart for teaching and a burden to figure out what the Church needs to become to help post-Christian people experience the caring love of Christ. Peter loves to spend time with his family, travel, play golf, surf, learn new things and have stimulating conversations with people.

Favorite thing about Austin: All the great quirky restaurants.

Email: pmears@riverbend.com

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NORM SCHOENFELD
CHURCH INVOLVEMENT PASTOR

Norm champions INVOLVEMENT, working with hundreds of Riverbenders helping them to find the place God is calling them to serve. He doubles as the Men’s Pastor for Riverbend as well, and most of the auxiliary entities of the church report up to him.  After running businesses for 30 years, he entered full-time ministry at Riverbend Church in 2006. Norm and his wife, Barbara, are former New Yorkers who have been married for 37 years and have a daughter in San Francisco and a son in Nashville.

Favorite thing about Austin: Its amazing people and its amazing “eats” - everything from Torchy’s Tacos to Perry’s Steakhouse!

Email: nschoenfeld@riverbend.com

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KEVIN HEDGES
CREATIVE ARTS PASTOR

Kevin, his wife Mindy, and daughter Grace, are transplants from the San Francisco Bay Area by way of the foothills of Denver. Experiencing and embracing Austin with the love of Jesus, they hope to live out the blessing that everyday we are all waking up to what God is already doing.

Favorite thing about Austin: It used to be Rainey street… Now it's gotta be its well-deserved rep as a foodie town. Yum. Oh, and pretty much all-around the friendliest people anywhere in the country.

Email: khedges@riverbend.com

Community Groups

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SCOTT VERMILLION
ADULT MINISTRY PASTOR

Scott has a passion for helping people hear God’s message and find their purpose and place within it. Scott has been married to Samantha for 15 years (and they are easily the best 15 years of his life since she makes him better in every way).  They have two daughters, Lydia (11) and Claire (9).  Because of his girls love of animals, they have teamed up to lobby for their next residence to be an animal farm, but Scott was able to negotiate them down to two hamsters and a yellow lab.  Besides Jesus and his family, Scott loves the outdoors, sports, photography, making videos, and tending his garden.

Favorite thing about Austin: It’s a new place full of new people to meet!  What could be better than that! (for an extrovert at least)

Email: svermillion@riverbend.com

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DEAN BUSBOOM
SENIOR ADULTS PASTOR

Dean came to Riverbend in 2001 to do research for Dr. Gerald Mann and later became the Pastor to Senior Adults. He is married to Sally and has four children and 7 grandchildren. He enjoys teaching and working with senior adults. He also enjoys working in his yard and garden, working on his 1919 Indiana tractor, and attending all of his children and grandchildren’s sporting events.

Favorite thing about Austin: More info coming soon.

Email: dbusboom@riverbend.com

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MARK JOHNSON
BOOMER PASTOR

A Baby Boomer himself, Mark oversees the Boomer Ministries here at Riverbend.  After working in the hospitality industry for more than 15 years, Mark found his profession interfering with his passion for Jesus and serving others.  As a result, Mark left the public sector to pursue full-time ministry and has treasured each day he is allowed to share his faith with others and meet them where they are in their faith Journey.  Mark and his wife Tracy have been married for more than 30 years and have 5 children 2 of which are still living at home.  

Favorite thing about Austin: Sunset at the Lake, the search for the perfect burger and (moving from Michigan) nearly any Mexican Food restaurant.

Email: mjohnson@riverbend.com

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PAM MEARS
PASTORAL ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Pam, her husband Todd and two children Ryan and MaKayla moved to Austin in 2010 to serve the families of Riverbend. Pam has volunteered along side her husband, our Children's Pastor since that time. After working in the dental field for 18 years, Pam decided she was ready for a life change and jumped at the chance to join us here at Riverbend in 2016. She feels so blessed to be a part of what Riverbend is doing.  

Favorite thing about Austin: The beautiful landscape and Hopdoddy of course.

Email: pmears@riverbend.com

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LEIGH CONGDON
YOUNG ADULTS DIRECTOR

Leigh joined the Riverbend staff in March of 2015 as the Director of Young Adult Ministry overseeing AveNEW. She moved to Austin from Minnesota in 2009 right after marrying Doug, Riverbend’s Student Pastor. They have one daughter and one son and all four Congdons thoroughly enjoy being involved in many different areas of the church community.  

Favorite thing about Austin: The abundance of hidden parks and trails that all happen to be by water of some sort. Also, the queso.

Email: lcongdon@riverbend.com

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DIANE HANEY
SPIRITUAL FORMATION COORDINATOR

Favorite thing about Austin: Family.

Email: dehaney@riverbend.com

 

Involvement and Outreach

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AARON FOOR
MISSIONS PASTOR

Email: afoor@riverbend.com

 

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KRISTA ROSS
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Krista is a native Austinite.  She and her husband, Mark, have four children and two granddaughters who have all been raised at Riverbend.  She has been on staff at Riverbend for 24 years working with children, events and now as Executive Assistant to Dr. Haney.  When she’s not at work, you can usually find Krista either behind a camera lens or with her awesome granddaughters... or both!

Favorite thing about Austin: Texas Longhorns, duh...

Email: kross@riverbend.com

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MIKE SCULLEY
DIRECTOR OF RIVERBEND OUTPOST AT COMMUNITY FIRST! VILLAGE

Mike's passion and mission is taking people beyond the walls of the church to reach the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Mike and Linda have five grown children and four grandchildren and they live our lives vicariously through them even though they are spread out all over this country. Thank God for FaceTime! 

Favorite thing about Austin: Diversity of cultures, spiritual openness and caring attitude of the community. 

Email: msculley@riverbend.com

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PRADEEP THORAT
DIRECTOR OF THE EAST AUSTIN NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Pradeep is from India, was a missionary to Columbia, Pastored Churches in Jacksonville, FL. Is married to Fabiola who is from Mexico, and they have two young children. They are fluent in Spanish and are excited to build Riverbend's newest ministry in the East Austin area of the city. 

Favorite thing about Austin: 

Email: pthorat@riverbend.com

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DAVID SUNDE
MISSION HILLS CHURCH PLANT PASTOR

Since arriving in 2006, David's leadership has grown to include young single adults, young couples and families – and now leading a church plant from Riverbend. Begun in 2016, Missions Hills is an exciting new approach reflecting the ancient roots and values of early Christianity. Previously at Riverbend, David was a regular part of the Sunday morning teaching rotation and Riverbend’s Leadership Team. David is passionate about spiritual formation, collaborative leadership, and building communities of faith and action. A primary focus is answering the question, what does it mean to BE the church not just GO to church? David and his wife, Laurel, have two kids, Bjorn and Annika.

Favorite thing about Austin: It's dynamic - it keeps you guessing, always something to explore, and friends to enjoy it with

Email: dsunde@riverbend.com

Kids

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TODD MEARS
CHILDREN’S PASTOR

In 2010, Todd moved to Austin from Arlington, Texas with his wife, Pamela, and their two children Ryan and MaKayla. In 2005 Todd answered the call on his life and became the Children's Pastor at a large church in Arlington. He has been involved in church for well over 25 years serving as a volunteer in worship, youth, adult and childrens ministry. Todd has a huge heart for God, children and families alike and he considers it a privilege to be able to speak into the lives of children. He loves sports, fishing, hunting and just spending time with family and friends.

Favorite thing about Austin: Food and hanging out with family and friends.

Email: tmears@riverbend.com

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JENNY KEENER
KINDER-2ND GRADE DIRECTOR

Jenny is a native Texan who made Austin her home in 2014. She and her husband, Jayson, visited Riverbend shortly after moving and immediately felt at home. She loves the opportunities that Riverbend offers to serve and grow in a community that accepts everyone just as they are, wherever they are. Jenny enjoys exploring Austin and discovering new things to do and places to go. She also loves hanging out with friends, with family, and with Jayson and their dog Emmett, the sweetest rescue ever!

Favorite thing about Austin: The people, the food, and never running out of new places to discover.

Email: jkeener@riverbend.com

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SUSAN KENNEDY
NURSERY/PRESCHOOL DIRECTOR

Susan has been actively involved in the development of children's faith for over 18 years, 10 of which have been on staff with Riverbend's Kids Department. Working with children provides Susan with the opportunity to fulfill her passion for bringing the amazing love of Jesus to God's youngest flock. She is the single mother of 3 grown daughters and a 9 -year-old son, and has 4 grandchildren. She enjoys reading, music, hiking, baking and the beach...and of course baseball "the greatest sport EVER!" 

Favorite thing about Austin: Family is here.

Email: skennedy@riverbend.com

 

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EMILY FOOR
PRESCHOOL COORDINATOR

Emily has been working with children for the past 10 years. During this time, she has served churches in various roles in their children’s ministries and been a preschool teacher. Emily has been married to her husband, Aaron, for 20 years and they have 4 wonderful children, ages 8-17, who keep them pretty busy. Some of Emily’s favorite things are spending time with her family, exploring new places, going to the gym, baking and reading. She loves Riverbend and is so excited to be serving the kids and families here.

Favorite thing about Austin: Everything... I love the unique culture of Austin, the food, music, people, water and green spaces! It’s a special place.

Email: efoor@riverbend.com

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BECKY HEINZEROTH
NURSERY COORDINATOR

Becky is the mother of 3 and grandmother of 6. She has been attending and serving Riverbend since 2014. She is very excited to work with young children and make the word of God come to life for them.

Favorite thing about Austin: Food, Friends and Family!

Email: bheinzeroth@riverbend.com

Students

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DOUG CONGDON
STUDENT MINISTRIES PASTOR

Doug and his wife, Leigh, have lived in Austin for the past 9 years and have two children. Doug has been involved in Student Ministry for over a decade and loves nothing more than seeing students plugging in to fellowship. When he’s not working, you will find him outside playing sports, especially basketball and golf – or during the oppressive heat, you will find him inside nerding out with friends around a board game.

Favorite thing about Austin: That you can eat mexican food every night and not be considered weird - and year-round golf weather!

Email: dcongdon@riverbend.com

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SAMANTHA COOPER
DIRECTOR OF MIDDLE SCHOOL MINISTRY

Samantha is a native Austinite and a native Riverbender. She grew up in Riverbend Student Ministry and has had a passion for working with students since she was a student herself. After attending college at Texas A&M (Whoop!), she began working as a Student Ministry volunteer leader and has been a full-time staffer since 2014. She loves spending time with friends and family and playing volleyball. Students and staff around Riverbend know her as “Scoops.” 

Favorite thing about Austin: The laid-back vibe. And Mozart’s Coffee Roasters. Coffee by the lake? Yes, please.

Email: scooper@riverbend.com

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DOUG PITTENGER
DIRECTOR OF HIGH SCHOOL MINISTRY

Doug (or “Dougie P” as he’s known at Riverbend) has a heart for serving people and having the most fun possible while showing people how much God loves them. And that translates to a passion for international missions, leading worship, and deep community - especially in the context of youth ministry. Dougie P has been in Austin since 2010, is a Texas Ex Class of 2014, and alongside ministry he also owns and operates a party bus company. Rarely alone due to his extreme extrovertedness, you can typically find him taking friends to the newest and weirdest food trucks around Austin. 

Favorite thing about Austin:  Tacos. And live music. Any combination of both. 

Email: dpittenger@riverbend.com

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SARA PITTENGER
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF HIGH SCHOOL MINISTRY

Sara was born and raised here in Austin and loved it so much that she couldn't resist coming back after graduating from Baylor. She has a strong passion for Student Ministry and she enjoys seeing the students growing closer to each other and to Jesus. Sara loves getting the opportunity to work on student ministry staff with her husband, Doug, who she met while working together at Riverbend. To most of the students and staff, she is also known as "Pledge."

Favorite thing about Austin: That there is a brand new restaurant almost every weekend!

Email: spittenger@riverbend.com

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MITCH KEARNEY
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF MIDDLE SCHOOL MINISTRY

Email: mkearney@riverbend.com

Care and Support

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PAULETTE SCHWARTZ
CARE & SUPPORT PASTOR

The Schwartz family have been part of Riverbend for thirty plus years and Paulette has been on staff for twenty years. She works with Stephen Ministry and support groups including 12-step recovery groups.  She provides pastoral care to those dealing with relationship issues, grief, illness and addiction, as well as benevolent needs. On Sunday mornings she teaches in the Grace Lab. Her ministry efforts focus on providing help and encouragement to people who are hurting physically, spiritually and emotionally.  

Favorite thing about Austin: More info coming soon.

Email: pschwartz@riverbend.com

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LINDA SMITH
CARE & SUPPORT COORDINATOR

Linda has been calling Riverbend her home since 1988 and in 2003 became a member of the staff in Care and Support. She has two grown children and five grandkids. Linda and her husband, Monte, have two furry children, Annie, the smartest black lab and Murphee, the sweetest golden retriever ever!

Favorite thing about Austin: Everything but the traffic! 

Email: lsmith@riverbend.com

Creative Arts

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CARLTON DILLARD
PASTOR OF MUSIC & WORSHIP

Carlton joined the Riverbend Church staff in 1989. He spent many years in music ministry serving churches in Texas and New Mexico. He is known for his contagious enthusiasm and creative use of various styles of music in the contemporary church. Besides being a gifted vocalist and worship leader, Carlton is a conductor, arranger, and record producer. He and his wife, Sharon, have four children and four grandchildren. Sharon also serves on staff as Manager of Riverbend Centre for the Arts. Carlton's other passions include home theater design and installation, and their two dogs, Maggie and Zoe.

Favorite thing about Austin: The live music scene and great restaurants.

Email: cdillard@riverbend.com

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CASEY MCPHERSON
RESONATE WORSHIP DIRECTOR

Casey is a Christian that never really fit in at your typical church, and that's why he's at Riverbend: He's known to be a little "rough around the edges" and Riverbend welcomes that! He loves connecting with God through music and seeing others be connected to Him by it as well. Casey loves hair-brained ideas, people who want to save the world, and recording music! On top of leading the Resonate worship band, he has two other groups called Alpha Rev and Flying Colors, of which he releases records with. He is hopelessly in love with his two daughters, Weston and Rose. 

Favorite thing about Austin: Breakfast tacos, Lake Austin on a Monday afternoon, and our awesome music community.

Email: cmcpherson@riverbend.com

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TYLYN TAYLOR
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

Tylyn is a Swiss Army knife of creative experiences. He has degrees in music composition and pastoral counseling, and over a decade of working as a graphic designer. He’s spent most of his life in and around churches and has a deep appreciation and love for the entire organism of “church”. When he’s not deep in thought, or allowing himself to be distracted, he’s usually spending time with his wife Bethany, and their three children.

Favorite thing about Austin: Living in a town that embraces the creatives, and weirdos, and beautiful people who would otherwise be considered “outsiders” … also crazy good bowls of pho.

Email: ttaylor@riverbend.com

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GABE KIEFFER
TECH DIRECTOR

Gabe joined Riverbend in 2016. He and his wife, Erin, and three kids, Jada, Gavin, and Logan moved from San Diego, CA in mid-October of 2016. Their eldest daughter, Rachel, is currently attending college in San Diego. Gabe has over 10 years of experience and passion in all things technical and has kept busy ever since he jumped in here at Riverbend! He enjoys breaking away and having time well spent with his family and friends. 

Favorite thing about Austin: The trees, artistic culture, and the music scene.

Email: gkieffer@riverbend.com

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SUSIE KECK
CREATIVE ARTS COORDINATOR & CO-PRODUCER 

Susie has lived in Austin since 1993 when she moved here from the flat lands of Lubbock, Texas.   Once she saw the hills, trees and lakes, she knew she was home.  Susie has been involved in the Creative Arts ministry here at Riverbend for 17 years beginning as a member of the Riverbend Choir and then quickly becoming a staff member.  When she is not working, you will find her hanging out with friends, watching chick flicks and crafting.  She also loves spoiling her niece, Jayci, and nephews, Kyler and Colton. 

Favorite thing about Austin:  It’s diversity…..in food, music and people.

Email: skeck@riverbend.com

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MICHELLE LAW
GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Favorite thing about Austin:  There’s always something to do. Whether it’s hiking/chilling at the Greenbelt or listening to live bands, I’m always finding new things to try out.

Email: mlaw@riverbend.com

Administrative

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LINDA BELL
COORDINATOR OF FINANCE & ACCOUNTING

Email: lbell@riverbend.com

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KIM FARR
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & HR

Kim and her husband John are native Texans. They have two adult children who also live in Austin. Kim has been the Finance/ Human Resources Director for over 18 years. When she’s not pinching pennies, you will find her running town lake and enjoying the great outdoors. 

Favorite thing about Austin: There is always old/new and interesting events/places to discover.

Email: kfarr@riverbend.com

Operations

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SCOTT MATTESON
DIRECTOR OF IT

Scott was looking to do something different with his life. So when a position opened up at Riverbend Church, he jumped at the chance to work in a faith-based organization and has been blessed to be part of the Riverbend staff for over 15 years. Scott and his wife, Cyndie, have no children but see their dogs, Lilly Belle and Piper, as their children. 

Favorite thing about Austin: Scenic hills, lakes and weather.

Email: smatteson@riverbend.com

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JOE MCKENZIE
DIRECTOR OF FACILITIES

Joe's passion for the facility management here is in the opportunity to design and create things. Joe also likes all variety of projects and people that he gets to meet. He is a single parent to a very beautiful daughter, Maddie, now 11 years old. They love to go horseback riding. 

Favorite thing about Austin: The mild winters and the Mexican food.

Email: jmckenzie@riverbend.com

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TERI RICHARDS
ASSISTANT FACILITIES MANAGER

Teri has been in Austin since 1984 and has two kids: son, Devin and daughter, Charlee, who recently graduated from Cedar Park High.  

Favorite thing about Austin: The people, Matt’s El Rancho, and Steiner Ranch Steakhouse.

Email: trichards@riverbend.com

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CHUY GOMEZ
FACILITIES TECHNICIAN

Email: cgomez@riverbend.com

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PABLO GOMEZ
FACILITIES TECHNICIAN

Email: pgomez@riverbend.com

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ROY GALINDO
FACILITIES TECHNICIAN

Email: rgalindo@riverbend.com

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SERGIO DOVANLINA
FACILITIES TECHNICIAN

Email: sdovanlina@riverbend.com

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KEARY BAILEY
DIRECTOR OF REMEMBRANCE GARDENS

Email: kbailey@riverbend.com

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SHARON DILLARD
MANAGER FOR RIVERBEND CENTRE, INC
AND RIVERBEND CENTRE FOR THE ARTS

Email: sdillard@riverbend.com

 

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DEDE KELLICKER
COORDINATOR FOR RIVERBEND CENTRE, INC AND RIVERBEND CENTRE FOR THE ARTS

DeDe found Riverbend Church in 2003 and has enjoyed being a part of this community ever since.  She loves the idea of a community where everyone is accepted regardless of their past and current situations, as well as where they are along their spiritual journey.  She has volunteered in a variety of areas over the years and officially joined the staff in April 2014.  Her husband, Steve, daughter, Danae, and twin boys, Brenden & Patrick, keep her busy at home. 

Favorite thing about Austin: The diversity and acceptance of odd and unusual – and of course… Riverbend Church!

Email: dkellicker@riverbend.com

Riverbend Church Committees

Below is a list of the Committee Members who represent the congregation in guiding the church. 

STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE

  • Mac Holder (Chair)

  • Jim Piper

  • Jacqui Daves

  • John Harrell

  • Jordan Liles

  • Roger Leick

  • John Bloss

MISSIONS COMMITTEE

  • Kelly Jolet (Chair)

  • McAlister Southern

  • Scott Reeves

  • John Jonez

  • Justin Garrett

  • Brian Rawson

  • Tracy Barr

PERSONNEL COMMITTEE

  • Bill Coletti (Chair)

  • Rick Whitley

  • Jennifer Watson

  • Beverly Williams

  • Jon Metzler

  • Harry Barnes

  • Steve Schaefer

COORDINATING COMMITTEE

  • Tom Fornshell (Chair)

  • Ed Lane

  • Julie Brown

  • Connie Johns

  • Chris Hanson

  • Will Foster

  • Alfred Soyemi

CHURCH COUNCIL

  • Dave Haney: Senior Pastor

  • Peter Sleeper: Executive Pastor

  • Gary Teich: Moderator

  • Jim Ford: Chairperson board of Trustees

  • Mac Holder: Chairman Stewardship Committee

  • Bill Coletti: Chairman Personnel Committee

  • Kelly Jolet: Chairman Mission Committee

  • Tom Fornshell: Chairman Coordinating Committee

  • Norm Schoenfeld: Member Ex-Officio