Our Team

  • Ryan & Tara Elie - Lead Pastor

    Before starting this church in 2011, Ryan and Tara spent their lives pastoring teenagers for nearly 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 & 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.

  • Nate & Maryn Carpenter - Music Pastor

    Nate grew up in Southern California and Maryn grew up in MN. They met in Los Angeles and have been married for 7 years. After enduring L.A. traffic for far too long, they decided to head east to the calmer freeways and slower pace of MN life. Nate & Maryn have been involved in music at church since they were both kids, growing up in musical families. They both individually are passionate about leading their community in worship and love the fact that they get to do it together!  They are proud “pawrents” to Oshie, their Golden Retriever, and in their free time they enjoy dinners with friends, watching sports (especially hockey - go Ducks!), traveling, anything with Oshie, and playing games. 

  • Kevin & brenda Hercula - staff pastor

    The Herculas have been married since 1989 and in active ministry loving on God's people for more than 33 years. They have served their call from God in many different ministries but primarily within the local church in the areas of youth, worship, lead pastor, and interim pastor. Kevin & Brenda have two adult sons, a daughter-in-law, and a grandson who they can't get enough of! They enjoy traveling, spending time with their family, and relaxing in the dry desert heat of Arizona.

  • Charles & ruth amoh - team pastor: community outreach

    Charles & Ruth have been joyfully married for 7 years and have been blessed with

    2 amazing children! Charles has served in multiple capacities including being a Youth Pastor, Family Pastor, Inner-City Missions Coordinator, and Outreach Pastor. Ruth works at the University of Northwestern as the Residential Front Desk Coordinator. Charles and Ruth have a passion to see people move closer to Jesus through discipleship & missions. When they are not doing ministry, they spend quality time with family, watch soccer games, and cook yummy food!

  • 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 wife 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.

  • 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!

  • Jon Canfield - creative & Online Director

    Jon grew up always surrounded by church life. He moved to the Twin Cities in 2006 to study Music at North Central University. In 2011, he became connected with Riverway and started serving on the music team. Beyond playing multiple musical instruments (including a guitar previously owned by Switchfoot!), Jon helps with creative and technical oversight on our team. Jon loves learning about and experiencing other cultures, history, art, movies, and all things creative. Other than music, one of his biggest passions is road cycling!

  • 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!


  • 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. 


  • 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

    The Westbrooks 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 grandkids. 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!