Our Team

  • Ryan & Tara Elie - Lead Pastor

    Before starting Riverway 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.

  • Levi & Jess 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. They were in L.A. for several years before accepting a youth pastor position in Minnesota in 2017. That eventually led them to Riverway! Levi & Jess are dedicated to helping this next generation build authentic faith in Jesus. The Kinney's love their growing family, and spend their free time watching movies, having adventures outdoors, and debating about whether their boys Judah & Hudson will be Vikings or Cowboys fans!

  • 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, 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 & Scott Dwyer - Operations Coordinator

    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 daughters, Ellanor & Finley. In their free time, they enjoy camping (or any outdoor activity) photography, traveling, and spending time with their amazing family and friends. 

  • Alyssa ross - admin

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  • 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!

  • Ryan & Allie Palmer - sTarting Point Coordinators

    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 - 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 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.

  • daniel collins - audio engineer

    Daniel leads our sound team, and is committed to making sure our services sound the best! Originally from the Chicago area, he has done ministry as a music pastor & audio professional for many years. Daniel & his wife Kelsey live in St. Paul, with their dog & cat. They have a passion for travel, camping, and outdoor adventures.

  • Michelle griffith - kids ministry coordinator

    At age 9, Michelle started walking by herself to the Lutheran church down the street. Through the dedicated guidance of her Sunday School teacher, she came to know Jesus! - Michelle and her husband Rick have served at Riverway for years; Michelle in Riverway Kids, and Rick on our setup team. Michelle is a semi-retired hospital Chaplain and pulpit-fill specialist. Rick and Michelle have two sons, Matt (Jenna) and Tim (Betsy), and two grandchildren, Sadie and Theo. When not working, or playing with her grandkids, Michelle enjoys watercolor painting, long walks, theater, and writing fiction.

  • mandy woods - kids ministry coordinator

    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've got four daughters (Madee, Aly, Brie, & Brinley) 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.

  • 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!