Our Team

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  • Ryan & Tara Elie - Lead Pastor

    Before starting Riverway in 2011, Ryan and Tara spent their lives pastoring teenagers for nearly 11 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 enjoy watching 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 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.

  • Levi Kinney - Youth pastor

    From an early age, Levi had a passion for reaching people for Jesus. That led him to pursue ministry straight out of high school. Levi (from the Twin Cities) and Jess (from Dallas, Texas) met while serving inner city youth in Los Angeles in 2012. Levi & Jess are dedicated to helping this next generation build authentic faith in Jesus. The Kinneys love their growing family, and spend their free time watching movies, having adventures outdoors, and debating about whether their kids will be Vikings or Cowboys fans!

  • mandy woods - kids Pastor

    Mandy grew up in a pastor's home and started working with the children's church as soon as she could. She studied Children's Ministry at North Central University and then went on to work as a Children's Pastor in Michigan. Mandy met her husband Cale in college, and they've been married since 2005. They have four daughters who keep their house very busy and very loud! Mandy fills her days with driving girls to sports and activities while enjoying the journey and the little moments along the way.

  • Faith kappel - kids upstream coordinator

    Faith grew up in the church and volunteered in children's ministry as a teen into adulthood. She and her husband David both attended North Central University; they got married in 2007. After college, she went on to work with preschool and elementary-age students in both private childcare and public school settings. She now stays home to care for their three children. Faith is excited to be a part of Riverway Kids, helping teach the next generation to know and love Jesus.

  • valerie blanco - kids volunteer coordinator

    Valerie has attended Riverway since 2013. She loves helping Riverway Kids to grow in their faith and tuck Biblical truths in their minds and hearts! Valerie enjoys learning with her daughters through homeschool, sharing her inner ninja while teaching taekwondo, and every single moment she spends with her husband Mark and their two amazing girls!

  • Alyssa ross - administrator

    Alyssa has attended Riverway since 2011 when she was just a junior in high school. During college, she would invite friends home on Sundays for church and home-cooked meals. After her time at Bethel, she started dating Ryan and they got married in 2019. The Ross' love all things sports & family and they stay busy by chasing around their two active kiddos!

  • Joelle Dwyer - Operations Coordinator

    Joelle and her husband Scott got married in 2013 and started attending Riverway soon after. They quickly realized this church was their home and have developed community and deep friendships over the years. The Dwyers have 3 little kids and in their free time, they enjoy camping (or any outdoor activity) photography, traveling, and spending time with their amazing family and friends.

  • 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, being parents to their two girls...and of course, serving with Riverway!

  • Mark & Ashley therrien - Guest services

    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 retriever 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.

  • Jon Canfield - creative & Online Director

    Jon grew up 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. Jon brings support to creative projects & production at Riverway. Jon and his wife Kelsey both love traveling, learning about other cultures, trying new foods, watching good movies, and spending time outdoors.

  • 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 three amazing adult kids. Don works as an electrician, but come Sunday he is one of our audio & 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 two of her most favorite things.

  • 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 adult kids. By day, they run a successful printing business and by night they are spending time with their grandkids, 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!

  • 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 nonprofit that ministers to communities in Honduras. 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!