Interests: I love music, all types. I listen to classic rock, contemporary Christian, classical, just about anything. I can’t say I’m a fan of Country Music—sorry. I love to read novels and am a big fan of war history from most of the conflicts of the last 100 years. If we don’t understand history, we’re doomed to repeat it. I love to find fun places to eat. I like local places that have a hometown feel. Savarino’s sandwich shop is my new favorite. I like to watch sports, hang out with other families, and although I’m a little ashamed to say it, I like to go the beach. I didn’t used to, but Kristin, my lovely wife, has conned me into going enough times that I like it. I love learning and one of my favorite things is being able to integrate new things that I’m learning about God’s incredible creation into my sermons.
Bio: Scott has been married to Kristin since the mid-90s and they are still deeply in love. They have 3 children; Katie, Kamryn and Troy who enrich their lives greatly. Scott has served churches in Visalia and Hayward, CA and came to The River in 2010. He loves watching youth sports, reading, and recently he got back into wood-working on his days off. He is passionate about preaching God’s Word and desires people to not only come to know Jesus as their Savior, but also growing in their understanding of what it means to serve them in their own unique context.
Interests: Music plays a major role in my life. I like to sing and play drums and percussion. I enjoy listening to smooth jazz, rhythm and blues, Latin salsa and classic rock. I like the outdoors, hiking, fishing, swimming, and camping. I like sports, baseball, boxing, football, basketball and ice jockey.
Bio: John has been a church planter, a pastor, and an evangelist, and has worked with different ministries and organizations such as The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Promise Keepers, Race Track Chaplaincy of America, Racetrack Chaplaincy of California, and The Parent Institute for Quality Education. Prior to coming to the River Church, John was the pastor of La Puerta es Cristo Church (Spanish ministry) in Santa Ana, California, and High Power Ministries in Tustin, California. He has also spent some time in the mission field working with La Vina de Colombia in the country of Colombia. John has been married to Priscilla for 38 years and they have three children—Joshua John, Jennifer Grace, and Jeanette Valery—and eight grandchildren.
Interests: Variety of music: Classic Rock, Country. Biographical books/movies about leaders & adventurers; current read is Ulysses Grant. Golden State Warriors. Fresh fruit, In-n-Out burger, Chocolate. Home improvement projects. Weekends to the beach or mountains with my wife, Nancy. Spending time with my six children and eight grandchildren. Sharing the excitement of a person beginning their walk with Christ; seeing a believer revitalized by exercising their gifts to serve others.
Bio: Greg has served as pastor in three California churches, mostly recently San Bernardino. He, Nancy, and their family began attending The River in 2011. As the Administrator of Ministries since 2013, Greg enjoys providing support and resources for the staff and people of The River.
Interests: Besides being a full-time wife and mother I love to read, scrapbook, walk with friends and do Zumba several times a week, go on trips as a family, go boating and occasionally even hike. While there never seems to be enough time in the day, there is nothing better than sitting down with my husband and just talking over the little things in life. My girls keep me hopping with their schedule, rehearsals, practices and homework. Just when I think it’s overwhelming I just have to take one look at them worshipping on a Sunday morning and everything quickly gets back into focus.
Bio: Beth has been the Worship Director at The River for 13+ years. She was involved in music since the first Sunday she came to The River; however, she took on the role of worship director after teaching at Redlands Christian School for 19 years. Beth is very passionate about worshipping the Lord and loves the role that she is able to play here. Her current position involves creating the worship services alongside the pastors, Creative Arts Team and musicians. The River is so blessed to have so many gifted musicians and technicians who want to use their gifts for the glory of the Lord. Beth has a BA degree in Music as well as Education with a Master’s Degree in Special Education. While piano is her main instrument, she also plays the organ, flute and a little guitar. She has been married to her wonderfully supportive husband, John, for almost 14 years. "He is my greatest encourager and spiritual mentor," she says. "I have an adult stepson, as well as a set of teenaged identical twin daughters." On the side, Beth currently teaches about 20 private students as well as a music class for toddlers and preschoolers once a week. "My life is saturated with music and praising God," exclaims Beth, "and I wouldn’t have it any other way!"
Interests: Spending time with my friends and family, going on trips, the beach, National Parks, crafting, cooking, DIY projects, being able to go to sports games with my family, Legos, finding new TV shows, board games, playing with my son, and shopping for baby clothes.
Bio: Rachel has been a member of The River for her whole life. She has been involved since a young age with Children's Ministry and Youth Ministry. She has also been apart of working with SERVE, Hands of Mercy, and Lugonia Elementary outreaches. Rachel graduated from California Baptist University with her Bachelors in Communication Arts, and soon after married Nathan. She and Nathan recently welcomed Bryant into their family and love each day watching him develop and grow.
Interests: When he isn’t studying for his Masters Program, Mario enjoys fishing, eating good food, hanging out with family and friends, and being outside.
About: A native to Southern California, Mario was born and raised in the Chino/Ontario. An alumni of California Baptist University, Mario has served at the River Church since 2012 starting as an intern and stepping into the role as the full time youth director in September of 2015. Mario has a passion for student ministries and spends much of his time meeting with and investing into the lives of students. He is currently studying at Calvin Theological Seminary for his Masters of Divinity through the distance program, with the hopes to be ordained in the near future.
Interests: First, I love reading God’s word. I want my life to have purpose and I get such joy and receive such wisdom through my quiet time with Him. Another interests is beading. I love all things related to beading; shopping for the beads, creating unique items from the beads and the therapeutic benefits of sitting in my beading room for hours and coming out with a completed piece. Many people don’t know that I enjoy shopping at thrift stores, especially looking for that one great find. When possible, I also like spending time with my adult children and my good friends.
Bio: Debbie is a full-time wife to Don and mother to Mikal (age 12) and a part-time employee at The River. She has been working as the Director of Women’s Ministry and Adult Education since 2007 and has been an active member of The River since 1987. Recently, Debbie accepted the position of Director of Outreach and Support and enjoys meeting new people in the community and hearing about their passion for God and the ways they share Him through their ministries
Interests: Finding new places to enjoy with my family. Designing, building, and finishing furniture. Spending time with my friends. Taking mini vacations. Doing projects I find on Pinterest (I'm not ashamed to admit that I love it and my ). Sewing. Painting.
Bio: Becca is married to Nate, a High School English teacher at Arrowhead Christian Academy. They have 3 children, Jonas, Norah, and Miles. She was a youth director at another church before becoming the Director of Children's Ministries at The River in February of 2013. She has been blessed with being part of a ministry on a part time basis so that she can be home with their kids and enjoy watching them becoming the little people they are. It also allows her to support her husband Nate during basketball season when he's coaching the varsity girls' team at ACA.
Interests: I love the mountains, hiking, kayaking, camping, running. I like to read novels - historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. I love date nights and spending time with family and friends.
Bio: Patty is married to Alan, a physics professor at the University of Redlands and they have 2 boys, Jacob and Isaac. She is currently a GEMS counselor and also corrects Bible lessons for Crossroad Bible Institute prison ministry. She has served in children's ministry at The River for over 20 years and has seen it grow and change. Working with children and seeing them grow spiritually is something she is passionate about. She is looking forward to having a bigger role as the coordinator for the early childhood classes and Sonrise.
Interests: Time with the family is always #1! I enjoy our cross country road trips, cheering at my kids' football and volleyball games, a captiving book, and eating authentic Mexican food. I enjoy working with children and substitute teaching in the Redlands schools. Good days include coffee, making connections with new people, phone calls with my parents, and relaxing in the backyard, aka the "Verhoeven Pavilion."
Bio: Karen was born and raised a farm girl from Iowa. James and Karen met at Dordt College in NW Iowa and married in 1989. They moved to James' hometown of Redlands and Karen continued teaching in the area. They have been a part of The River since that move, active in all areas of ministry. Previously, Karen served on The River staff as the Children's Ministry Director for 7 years. Karen recognizes that her life is full and blessed with a supportive, yet crazy husband, two college sons, Alexander and Benjamin, a high school daughter Abby, and loyal dog Nala.
Interests: I love spending time with friends and family. I love that I am growing in Christ every day and love doing the things that bring me closer to Him and that help me with my journey (prayer, devotions, bible study). I love being on staff at this church, listening to music, and quiet time under the stars. I should also mention coffee; I enjoy a hot cup of coffee every morning, hazelnut is my favorite.
Bio: DeWanda has been the church custodian for about 2 years. She will tell you that there is hope for everyone that has a drinking or drug problem. Jesus can and will set you free like he did her. She fought the battle of the alcoholism for many years. She loves waking up each morning not at all concerned about her former addiction. Her life is definitely a miracle, and she testifies that she could not have done it without the help of her savior, and the special friends who helped her. She still faces other battles in life, but rests in knowing that she doesn’t face her battles alone. She loves and trusts God for every obstacle she now faces. Everyone on staff enjoys working with her, and loves the perspective she brings to meetings and discussion.
Interests: I'm a geek by choice; I got my first computer, a TRS-80, in 1978 and I am an unashamed Apple fanboy. I'm also a musician by training; I started with the clarinet in fourth grade and later added the saxophone and oboe. I am a father by God's grace and I love spending time with my boys.
Bio: Don studied Music (vocal emphasis) at Pacific Coast Baptist Bible College and has participated in worship ministry since 1980. For over 30 years, he was involved in IT support and consulting in his own business, and he currently works with business owners, entrepreneurs, and top salespeople to grow their networks and increase the lifetime value of their clients. Cara and Don have been married since 2006 and have two sons, Ethan and Finley.
Interests: Listening to music is a big part of me. I used to love reggae music but shifted to Christian music when I got converted. Any music that glorifies Jesus is fine with me whether classic or contemporary. I also love listening to sermons especially on faith because I had my genuine and life-transforming encounter with the Lord in a ministry called The Voice of Faith Ministries where every sermon is centered on faith.
I spend the first fourteen years of my life with my late grandmother who grilled me and my siblings to be good at cooking and domestic chores. She taught us to cook and keep our house clean and organized. So, I grew up loving to cook. My wife once told me that if she has the opportunity of coming back to life a second time, she would look for me to be her husband again so that I can continue cooking for the family and I jokingly told her that it will rather be better for to us to be neighbors in heaven because it is not possible to come back to the earth after we depart.
Bio: I was born into a Roman Catholic family because my great grandfather, grandfather, and father were all Catholics. However, life situations that made me doubted Catholic practices drove me into breaking off from my family’s Catholic tradition and aligned myself with African traditional Religion practices for a short time. My initiation into African Traditional Religion did not help me either because I was always using animal blood to make sacrifices and making payments to the so-called chief priests. So, when a friend advised me to go Pentecostal to get the answers I was looking for, I accepted his advice and by divine purpose, God connected me to Voice of Faith Ministries where I responded to alter call and became a new convert. Shortly after I became a new convert and experiencing a constant flow of God’s power, I wanted to grow in God’s word. Because of this burning desire, I registered to attend the bible college of the ministry. When I completed my studies at the Bible college, I was employed by the Church into a full-time position. I served for eight years in the Ministry. I headed tape department for four years and was a member coordinating team for services at the international headquarters of the Church before I relocated to the United States with my family in 2009. Since 2009, I have been serving as associate pastor, a position I am currently holding by God’s grace at Upper Room International Ministries in Moreno Valley.