Our Team

  • Ryan & Tara Elie - Lead Pastor

    Before starting this church in 2011, Ryan and Tara spent their lives pastoring teenagers for over 12 years! Can you believe they survived?! Ryan and Tara met in college, were married in 2004 and have four kids that keep their life moving at a face pace. They love to watch their kids play sports, have an unusual obsession with the MN State Fair, and love the people of Riverway! Tara is also a marriage and family therapist and loves to help families and couples thrive in relationships.

  • Jeremiah & Betsy Stark - Executive Pastor

    Jeremiah & Betsy have known each other since their teenage years. They were married in 2008 and we all know that Jeremiah married way, way, up. A couple years and a few kids later (Caleb, Jackson, & Ruby), they are loving life being involved in the local community and Riverway Church. Betsy loves being with her family and baking delicious goodies. Jeremiah is a sports nut and plays the bass guitar pretty decent too. Jeremiah studied ministry at North Central University.

  • Chris & Kayla Depoian - Team Pastor: Music & Tech

    Chris came from the great state of Michigan to the Land of 10,000 Lakes in 2003 to study music at North Central University. Since graduation, he has come to love Minnesota, especially since he found his wife here. Chris has been a part of Riverway since the beginning and married Kayla in 2015, who is an elementary teacher in Dayton.  During their free time, Chris and Kayla enjoy exploring Minnesota, biking, and making sushi!


  • Tony & Gina Taylor - Team Pastor: youth

    Tony and Gina love youth ministry...after all, they met at a middle school retreat! Tony has a big city personality and Gina is a small town woman, but both are passionate about equipping teenagers with authentic relationships both with Jesus and others! In March 2016 they added a beautiful daughter Noella to their family and in September of 2018 their son Winston. When not hanging with teenagers, you can find them eating at Chick-Fil-A or shopping at Hobby Lobby.

  • Connor grew up in Rochester, MN and went to high school in Willmar where he was a stud track star! He felt the Lord leading him to be a pastor during his high school years and that solidified itself throughout his college years. Connor graduated from Bethel in 2017 and was hired at Riverway shortly after. He loves kids ministry and has a strong vision for the kids and families at Riverway! In his free time, Connor loves spending time with his girlfriend Anna, running (we think that is weird too!), exercising, and playing board games!

  • Doyne Parsons - Team Pastor: Mid-Lifers & Above

    Doyne joined the Navy in December 1974 and retired as a Senior Chief Petty Officer in 1995. After a 20 year career with the military, he went to work for Minnesota Teen Challenge where he served as the Associate Executive Director in charge of all ministry operations.  When not at work, Doyne spends his time in ministry or hanging out and cooking for his four daughters, two son-in-laws, and seven grandchildren. He is a licensed minister who loves to share those expeiences with others and help them discover the faithfulness of God in their own spiritual journey.

  • Joelle and Scott got married in 2013 and started attending Riverway right away. They quickly realized this church was their home and have developed community and deep friendships over the years. The Dwyers live in Andover with their daughter, Ellanor. In their free time, they enjoy camping (or any outdoor activity) photography, traveling, and spending time with their amazing family and friends. 


  • Don & Beth Adair - Staff Care & Guidance

    Don & Beth have known each other since they were kids. They grew up at the same church, got married & have 3 amazing kids ~ Amanda, Weston & Logan.  Don works as an electrician, but come Sunday he is one of the sound & tech "whisperers". Beth works by day as a Special Ed Para & by night as a server at a local restaurant in Rogers, where they have made their home for 11 years. Beth is also in charge of Team Yummy at Riverway, which is fitting since donuts & coffee are 2 of her most favorite things!

  • Scott & Dani Draheim - Next Steps Coordinators

    Scott and Dani were set up by a mutual friend. Although it took a little nudging (and some very competitive Mario Kart), Scott finally worked up the bravery to ask for Dani’s phone number, and it all goes up from there!  They enjoy an embarrassing number of movies and shows, traveling, joking around, and being parents to a beautiful little girl...and of course, being involved in and serving with Riverway!


  • Bruce & Patty Franz - Staff Care & Guidance

    Bruce and Patty have been a part of Riverway since the very beginning and bring an awesome spirit of adventure and faith! They have been married a long time (we can just leave it at that) and have 3 wonderful grown kids. By day, they run a successful printing business and by night they are spending time with their kids, hanging at the cabin, hosting parties, or taking motorcycle trips. Their life is 'pedal to the metal'! They believe in the local church & that we can make a difference in our community!

  • Dan & Melissa Lanctot - Sound Engineer & Video Director

    Dan & Melissa are both experts in their fields and and it shows as they keep Riverway sounding and looking great!  Dan is our sound engineer who makes our music come to life, while Melissa is over all our video production making stories come to life They are quite the combination! They live in Coon Rapids with their 3 kids; Madeline, Lydia, & Dominic who keep them on the edge of life constantly!


  • Brent & Dana nelson - community coordinators

    Brent and Dana met in 2005 at Hamline University where they were both student athletes. They got married in 2011 and after moving to Coon Rapids in 2014 they made Riverway their home. Brent works as a Manager at Twin Cities Siding Professionals and Dana is the Events Manager in the University of Minnesota's Athletics Department. They both enjoy sports, being outdoors, country music and spending time with their daughter, son, family, and friends.

  • Ryan and Alisa met on a mission trip to Zimbabwe as teens. They decided early on to live for Jesus and be in relationship with each other. They’ve faced many trials; controlling parents, chronically ill children, military separation, marriage struggles, financial insecurity, relational pain and being hurt by the church. Because of their own share of struggles, have a desire to see people grow in Jesus in the middle of life’s messiness. They have 2 awesome kids and in their free time enjoy swing dancing, kayaking and good blues.

  • Mark & Ashley therrien - Young Adults

    Mark and Ashley met during their sophomore year at Bethel University. Mark played baseball, Ashley played softball- it was meant to be! The Therriens live in Blaine with their 3 kids and golden retreiver Radke. In their spare time, they enjoy playing sports, hanging with their nieces and nephews, and ordering Applebee's Honey BBQ Boneless Wings. Mark and Ashley came to Riverway in 2011 and have enjoyed the deep friendships that they’ve formed over the years with other young adults. 

  • Russell & jill westbrook - Riverway global

    Jill and Russell met at Montana Wilderness Bible College. Jill was there to deepen her walk with God and Russell was there to find a wife. They quickly decided they would spend the rest of their lives together! Jill is a travel nurse and Russell is a maintenance tech. Together they run Border Crossers for Christ, a non-profit that ministers to people in Honduras who are physically and spiritually in need. They have 2 adult children and 3 awesome grandlkids. Jill loves scrapbooking, Russell loves motorcycling and they both LOVE coffee. Although they have been involved in various areas of ministry, missions is their passion!