Staff

Senior Pastor

  • Pastor Tom Lundeen - Senior Pastor

Riverside Staff Team

  • Lisa Abbott - Executive Assistant
  • Pastor Bill Arant - Pastor of Care Ministries
  • Val Battis - Creative Arts Assistant
  • Don Bellach - Interim Care Ministries Associate
  • Ryan Carrington - Student Ministries Intern
  • Wendy Clark - Small Groups Assistant
  • Alan Coon - Student Ministries Intern
  • Theresa Dormanen - Connections Assistant
  • Josh Euerle - Facilities Director
  • Farah Everswick - Student Ministries Operations
  • Tom Haley - Operations & Tech Director
  • Betty Hawkins - Receptionist
  • Tanya Johnson - Nursery Director
  • Bill Kaufmann - Facilities and Maintenance
  • Pastor Skipp Machmer - Exec Pastor of Programming & Strategic Development
  • Pastor Glen McKinney - Connections Pastor
  • Amy Montgomery - Interim Early Childhood Director
  • Pastor Ben Montgomery - Creative Arts Associate Pastor
  • Cain Murray - Connections Intern
  • Pastor Tony Myles - Student Ministries Pastor
  • Charles Pechonick - Facilities and Maintenance
  • Klara Porath - Communication Arts Assistant
  • Hailey Priola - Student Ministries Assistant
  • Joy Scherber - Kids Ministry Associate Director
  • Pastor Nate Sickler - Small Groups Pastor
  • Judy Slocum - Accounting and HR Director
  • Michael Summers - Elementary Pastor
  • Angela Taylor - Communication Arts Director
  • Pastor Clayton Taylor - Associate Student Ministries Pastor
  • Rhonda Wynegar - Kids Ministry Associate Director
Pastor Tom Lundeen - Senior Pastor

Pastor Tom Lundeen

Senior Pastor

I have been the Senior Pastor at Riverside Church since September 1st, 2003. It is a joy and a privilege for me to do what I do because I am able to use the gifts God has given me to proclaim His truth to people every week, and I am excited when I see people cross the line of faith and begin to be transformed by God’s grace, truth, and power.

I have been a Pastor and Missionary in the C&MA since May of 1979. My wife Gwen and I were missionaries in Sydney, Australia for six years. Our two children were born there during that time and so are dual citizens. We are the proud grandparents of 3 beautiful grandchildren. I also served as the Senior Pastor at Hope Community Church in Cottage Grove for 14 nonconsecutive years.

I started running just for exercise in 2008. I ran my first half marathon in April 2011. I have now run a total of 12 half marathons and other races of shorter distances. I find hiking and running to be times of exercise, quietness, and prayer for me. I also have played racquetball for many years and I follow a variety of sports. I’m a history nut (it was my major in college) and avidly follow contemporary news and issues, too. While I am a native Minnesotan, I am not a “winter person” by any stretch of the imagination. Warmth and sunlight give me a lot of joy and energy.

Gwen and I have been married since 1978 and we enjoy traveling whenever we can. We always consider it a privilege when we have been invited to speak to C&MA missionary teams in different parts of the world, as well as at camps and conferences.
Lisa Abbott - Executive Assistant

Lisa Abbott

Executive Assistant

Welcome to Riverside! My husband, Don, and I live in Big Lake with our dog, Sasha, and also have two adult children. Riverside has been home to us for over 30 years now; we are blessed by our relationships here and our entire family has enjoyed learning, engaging and serving.

God has used a college education in business & psychology, as well as diverse work and serving experiences, to equip me for my role here at Riverside. I often hear the phrase, "You look so familiar; where do I know you from?" It is a true joy to serve the staff and the body here, and I love using the gifts God has given me to bless others.

Feel free to email me with any questions you have about Riverside and I'll be glad to help you get connected!
Pastor Bill Arant - Pastor of Care Ministries

Pastor Bill Arant

Pastor of Care Ministries

I grew up in a Christian home in Omaha, Nebraska. I had the privilege going to church on my first Sunday out of the hospital. Yet it was not until 7th grade that I trusted Christ as my Savior and Lord. I was involved in youth group at the Benson Alliance Church through high school and at that time I sensed God’s direction to attend St. Paul Bible College after high school.

I met Becky at SPBC (now Crown) and we were married in 1970. We have two sons, Nathan and Matthew, who are married and both have kids that we thoroughly enjoy! I started church ministry in 1973 as youth pastor here at Riverside. Becky and I have served at churches in Staples, Elk River, and Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. We also served in Ohio for four years. I joined the staff at Riverside for the second time in 1998 and currently serve part-time as the Pastor of Care Ministries.

On a more personal note, I enjoy finding a bargain at garage sales. One of my favorite finds is the matchbox VW van I found for $1 that is worth as much as $50.


Val Battis - Creative Arts Assistant

Val Battis

Creative Arts Assistant

Hello, and welcome to Riverside Church.

I am the oldest of eleven children in a blended family. I love to travel, read, and watch good movies. I’m learning to be a better cook! My husband, Jerry, and I have been married over 30 years. We have raised two sons, have an amazing daughter-in-law and a grandchild.

Jerry and I have been part of the Riverside family since 1992, and I joined the Riverside staff in 2009.

I am thrilled that God uses people to accomplish His work, and delighted to be available for His service. To tell His story through music, drama, dance and video is a joy. Every day I am aware that we are made in the Creator’s image, with an innate desire to be like Him and create something—not to impress Him, but to show how great He is. Whether I am writing, reading, scrap-booking or working, I enjoy living an abundant life each day!"
Don Bellach - Interim Care Ministries Associate

Don Bellach

Interim Care Ministries Associate

Ryan Carrington - Student Ministries Intern

Ryan Carrington

Student Ministries Intern

Hi! My name is Ryan. My family and I have been at Riverside since March 2015. We have found a home that we love! I joined the Student Ministries team because I love people and feel this is God's will for the gifts He has given me. I look forward to meeting, and welcoming more people to Riverside. God bless all!
Wendy Clark - Small Groups Assistant

Wendy Clark

Small Groups Assistant

I was first introduced to the people of Riverside my freshman year at Crown College. Like many of you, I was invited by a friend to check this place out. My life has never been the same! I met my husband, Tim, here and we were later married here. We now live in Becker and have three adult children - Tom, Jodi and Brent - who all have served here along with us.

I graduated from Crown College with a degree in Pastoral Ministries, and have always loved serving here as a volunteer. I joined the Riverside staff in the spring of 2007 and currently serve as the Small Groups Assistant. One of my passions is to see people grow in their faith and get connected to others here at Riverside, and I enjoy helping in that process in my current role.

I love to sing, play the flute, sew, cook and spend time with friends & family.
Alan Coon - Student Ministries Intern

Alan Coon

Student Ministries Intern

Theresa Dormanen - Connections Assistant

Theresa Dormanen

Connections Assistant

Hi welcome to Riverside Church, I am so glad you're here!

My husband Doug and I grew up in Brooklyn Park, MN & met while we worked at a local pizza place. We married the summer of 2002 with the next year being a whirl wind of change including moving to Big Lake and the birth of our daughter Willow in 2003. Then twelve years later in 2015 our son Hudson arrived! After the whirl wind in 2003 we figured why not attempt to replicate history & decided to move to Becker in 2016.

Back to 2005 we were checking out other churches in the area, our search was over when we walked through the doors at Riverside, we were home! We are proud to be members of a church that encourages our walk with Jesus. I started serving with our Guest Service Team not long after walking through the doors. Doug and I were baptized at the summer celebration in 2012 and after Willow completed the No Limits class was baptized in April of 2013.

I serve with a fantastic group of volunteers, which you may have noticed as soon as you pull your car into the parking lot, to the genuine welcome when you walk through the door, getting a hot cup of coffee and donut and you can be sure we are saving the best seat in the house for you!
I have had the privilege to be the Connections Assistant since 2012 and am humbled at the opportunity to be on staff at this great church. I’m excited to help others make vital steps in their own walk of faith. It’s a privilege to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and I look forward to helping you take your next step!
Please feel free to connect with me, I am happy to help!
Josh Euerle - Facilities Director

Josh Euerle

Facilities Director

Hi, I’m Josh. I grew up in rural Wisconsin. In 1991, my family moved to Dallas TX where I lived for 9 years before moving back up north to Minnesota. While in Dallas I attended, graduated from and met my wife at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, TX. After getting married, my wife and I served for 3 years as Youth Pastors in a small church in Duncanville, TX, while youth pastoring I served as a high school teacher at Christ for the Nations Academy in Dallas, TX. In June of 2000 my wife and I moved back “up north” to Monticello, MN. In February of 2013, God blessed us with two beautiful adopted daughters.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my wife and kids, hanging out with friends, hunting, fishing, hiking, gardening, woodworking, watching movies, and sports; and pretty much anything having to do with the outdoors.
In December of 2004 I began working for Riverside Church. It has truly been a pleasure to serve at a church where God is moving and growing His kingdom!
Farah Everswick - Student Ministries Operations

Farah Everswick

Student Ministries Operations

Hello! I am Farah Everswick and I handle Student Ministry operations at Riverside. My family and I have been coming to Riverside since January of 2012. I live in Monticello with my husband, Mark, and our three children; Jake, Dani, and Katie. When I am not serving on Worship team, and my husband isn't serving in Kid's ministry, you can find us up front at the 12:05! As a family we enjoy music and traveling, especially road trips! In my spare time I like to sing, read, learn, cross-stitch, and hang out with my extended family.

I began my work here at Riverside as an intern in 2016 for Guest Services, and will be using much of what I learned during that time as I work on the Student Ministry team.

I am super excited to work with our youth, as well as those that volunteer in Student Ministry. I have a heart for building a strong spiritual foundation in students, as I believe this will strengthen and encourage them into adulthood and help ensure a continued walk with Jesus.

Also, I am honored to be part of a staff in which reaching the lost for Christ is so important.

I look forward to growing relationships with our middle school and high school students, and with the parents and adults serving them.
Tom Haley - Operations & Tech Director

Tom Haley

Operations & Tech Director

Betty Hawkins - Receptionist

Betty Hawkins

Receptionist

Hi. I’m Betty Hawkins. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, bike riding and watching sports -- especially the Minnesota Vikings football team!

I have celebrated 40 years of service here at Riverside and have seen many changes and a lot of growth during that time. I count it a privilege to be a part of Riverside Church and look forward to seeing how God will work in our future.
Tanya Johnson - Nursery Director

Tanya Johnson

Nursery Director

Hello and welcome!
First, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Tanya Johnson.

My family and I have had the privilege of attending Riverside Church since 2008.

My husband, Kirk and I have been married for almost 19 years! We met when we were just kids, grew up as friends, and were high school sweethearts. We have two beautiful children, Samantha (17), and Alexander (13). They are the true joys of our lives! We are a very outdoors family. We love hiking, fishing, camping and boating. I also have a love for sewing, reading and baking.

Secondly, I would like to say just how excited I am to be expanding my role at Riverside Church. As a family, we have been volunteering in the nursery since 2013.

I have a deep passion for working with our youngest of guests. I love caring, nurturing and guiding our youngsters. I strive to create and maintain an environment where your child can grow and thrive, allowing us to witness the spiritual growth within each child.

Together with a team of amazing volunteers, I am committed to providing your children a sound foundation in their budding faith.

Thank you for sharing your precious children with us.
Bill Kaufmann - Facilities and Maintenance

Bill Kaufmann

Facilities and Maintenance

Hello and welcome.

I am the Night Custodian and Host during the week. I take care of preparing the rooms and equipment for the numerous bible studies and meetings here at Riverside. It is very enjoyable setting up for and assisting the various groups with their needs in the evenings as they meet and interact around God’s word. Riverside gets a good amount of usage and keeping it ready for the next use keeps me moving.

I grew up in Buffalo, NY and decided I would never be in a cold climate when I left Buffalo to join the Air Force. Little did I know that after my tour in the Air Force in Texas, during which I met and married my wife Wanda, and having two fine sons, Christopher and Daniel and then living in North Carolina for 10 years, that I would be back in the cold here in Minnesota. I don’t relish the winters but I love our spring and fall and enjoy the summers.

I came to know Jesus Christ as my personal savior a little over 15 years ago and it has been a wonderful experience since then. Seldom does a day go by that I don’t see something in His creation that makes me stop and say thank you. Along with Wanda, we have been attending Riverside for about 10 years and I look forward to Sunday services, volunteering and participating in the many events that are held here.

I hope to see you at one of the events here soon. Be sure to find me and say hello.
Pastor Skipp Machmer - Exec Pastor of Programming & Strategic Development

Pastor Skipp Machmer

Exec Pastor of Programming & Strategic Development

My wife Cherise and I moved to a new country, with our family to join the Riverside staff team in 2000 as the Creative Arts Pastor. I currently serve in the Exec role on the staff team and enjoy working with our great team. One of the things that I love most about Riverside are the people. We have such a great team of volunteers and staff committed to doing whatever it takes to help accomplish the mission of the local church. If you are new to Riverside or have been coming for years, I want to encourage you to get connected by being a part of one of the many teams that we have. This will help you get to know people and help you feel connected.

Riverside is an amazing place to be part of and it has been a fruitful journey that has both challenged me and blessed my family.
Pastor Glen McKinney - Connections Pastor

Pastor Glen McKinney

Connections Pastor

My name is Glen McKinney and I have the most humbling job on the planet...the privilege of walking along side others as they take their Next Steps in a growing and thriving relationship with Jesus Christ. What an honor.

Our team also leads an amazing group of Guest Services volunteers. From the "Street to the Seat", this enthusiastic group of individuals is striving to make sure you know how much You matter to us and how much You matter to God. This position also conveniently supports my “need” for coffee on a regular basis. Go caffeine!

My wife Shelley and I are thrilled to be a part of the Riverside family and I look forward to meeting you some day.
Amy Montgomery - Interim Early Childhood Director

Amy Montgomery

Interim Early Childhood Director

I am excited to be at Riverside Church. I love working with kids and watching them learn about Jesus; serving with kids is definitely what God has called me to do.

My husband and I have been a part of Riverside since 2012 and are both originally from Missouri. We have four kids Gideon, Melody, Harmony and Reuben. I started serving with the kid’s ministry soon after we arrived here in Minnesota. I love working with the kids and love when they come running down the hall excited to see me, Ms. Amy. Early in 2017 I became the Interim Director of Early Childhood. I really thrive here and I’m so excited for where God is taking Riverside.
Pastor Ben Montgomery - Creative Arts Associate Pastor

Pastor Ben Montgomery

Creative Arts Associate Pastor

Hi, I’m Ben, and I’ve been the Creative Arts Associate Pastor at Riverside Church since the fall of 2012. I live and breathe creative evangelism and culturally-relevant, media-driven approaches to ministry. I’m probably a musician more than anything else, but I also love graphic and web design, videography, stage design, drama and social media.

Of course, I’m a husband and father even more than a pastor. My wife Amy and I are from northwest Missouri, and were married in the summer of 2004. We have four awesome children: Gideon, Melody, Harmony and Reuben.

Like I said, I love music, and leading corporate worship is one of my favorite things in the world. It’s a thrill for me to see people come into relationship with Christ and connect on a deeper level with God through worship!
Cain Murray - Connections Intern

Cain Murray

Connections Intern

Pastor Tony Myles - Student Ministries Pastor

Pastor Tony Myles

Student Ministries Pastor

Hi, my name is Tony and I'm a real guy on a real journey with a real God who really loves you! He's put a passion in me for the future of the Church, and that's a huge reason I'm at Riverside. This is clearly a church that wants to make an investment into every generation, especially students, kids and the adults who care for them.

That's been especially good news for my wife Katie and I as we're raising two teenage boys and a younger girl ourselves. We moved here from Ohio where I served as a Lead Pastor for ten years, and prior to that I was an associate pastor in Michigan where I invested into other churches to strengthen their student ministries. I originally grew up in the Chicago area, though - so all that time in the Midwest made me quite the fan of deep dish pizza, Italian beef sandwiches and fruit smoothies. Good thing I signed up for a local community center membership to try to work it all off!

I've found life needs tension like that for us to grow. For example, God has blessed me with some truly undeserved opportunities to invest into others through leadership, teaching, training and writing. In contrast, none of the blessings in my life would be possible without His grace. Back in high school a Christian friend invited me to his church and that changed everything... not just because it was exciting and fun, but because it was there that I began a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In fact, the Lord used my own journey with God as a teenager to later reach my parents.

That means that whether you'd consider yourself a "seeker," "skeptic" or "sign-me-on-the-dotted-line-Christian" God has an amazing purpose for you and everyone in your household. What if you didn't have to feel alone or stuck in taking the next step to become the person He made you and them to be?

I hope you get a sense of why I'm excited to be here at Riverside Church. Count this not just as an introduction, but also an invitation. As the Pastor of Student Ministries, I can tell you firsthand that the team of people I get to work with is amazing. Together we'd love to help you and the next generation see how something real and whole can happen (and keep happening) in our lives and families through Jesus Christ. How can we serve you?
Charles Pechonick - Facilities and Maintenance

Charles Pechonick

Facilities and Maintenance

I am the Weekend Custodian and Host for Riverside Church. My family has been coming to Riverside since 2012. We were initially drawn in by the wonderful kids programs on Sunday morning, but just as fast fell in love with the whole church.

I am a Minnesota Native. Originally living in North East Minneapolis before finding my way out to Anoka and then finally Big Lake where we have lived for the past 15 years. My wife Jennifer and I have been blessed with three wonderful children, Abigail, Gwendolyn and William.
Klara Porath - Communication Arts Assistant

Klara Porath

Communication Arts Assistant

Hi, my name is Klara Porath and I'm the Communications Assistant here at Riverside. I'm currently working on my Associates in Fine Arts at Anoka Ramsey Community College, and I love art in all it's mediums! I live with my parents, two sisters, and my two adorable cats. When I'm not at Riverside or painting murals on the lower level I enjoy learning to cook for my family and to square foot garden in my backyard!
Hailey Priola - Student Ministries Assistant

Hailey Priola

Student Ministries Assistant

Hello and welcome to Riverside Church! My name is Hailey Priola and I am the Student Ministries Admin here at Riverside. I joined the staff in the fall of 2015, and feel so blessed to work with such a wonderful and talented crew of people!

I am a Minnesota native! I grew up a little northwest of here in Fergus Falls. I attended college at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, MN and pursued degrees in Youth Ministry and Biblical Studies.

I am married to Ryan and we have three children: Ella, Wyatt and Cullen. We moved to Big Lake in early 2011 and attended Riverside the first Sunday we were here! We loved it and Riverside quickly became like family to us! I look forward to getting to know you, so stop in and say hello. I love photography, sewing, reading, baking and spending time with my family and friends!
Joy Scherber - Kids Ministry Associate Director

Joy Scherber

Kids Ministry Associate Director

Hi! My name is Joy Scherber and I began serving as the Elementary Director at Riverside in August, 2009. When I was in 5th grade my family and I moved to Big Lake. We had moved from New Brighton and I always thought, “When I’m 18, I’m outta this hick town.” Big Lake has grown a lot since then, and who would have imagined that after graduating from college and getting married, my husband and I would decide to settle in Big Lake?

Scott and I found Riverside when our kids, Matt and Katie, were three and four years old. We’ve been coming to Riverside regularly since 1997 and have thoroughly enjoyed our time here. We are so glad God brought to Riverside and truly feel we’re with family here.

It’s been a great privilege to serve in the children’s ministry area since we’ve been attending Riverside. It is such an exciting thing to be able to share God’s love with kids, and see their excitement as they learn and grow. I can’t imagine my life without them!
Pastor Nate Sickler - Small Groups Pastor

Pastor Nate Sickler

Small Groups Pastor

Hi, I’m Nate Sickler, and I have been the Small Groups Pastor with Riverside since July of 2013. My story is a unique one (and so is yours) that includes some wonderful people and places. One of the most important of those people is my wife, Megan. She is amazing! We have two boys, Elliott & Duncan; they're fun little guys! As far as places go, I say I’m from all over (I’ve had 16 addresses in 6 states) but western Pennsylvania is home. Go Steelers! Currently, I am loving life in Big Lake! It is exciting to be a part of the Riverside Church family because it's where God is at work. Megan and I are thrilled to call Riverside home!

Small groups are a passion of mine because I believe that they are one of the best ways out there for people to develop in their walk with Christ. The Christian life is a life centered on relationships, a relationship with Jesus Christ and relationships with others. Small groups create a place for us to develop relationships with others and together pursue a growing relationship with Christ. Come talk with me sometime. I would love to tell you more about it!
Judy Slocum - Accounting and HR Director

Judy Slocum

Accounting and HR Director

Hello and welcome to Riverside Church. My name is Judy Slocum. I have attended Riverside for 18 years and have worked here since July of 2000. I absolutely love it here! The people are wonderful and the work is very fulfilling. I consider it an honor to be part of the Riverside team.

I am the second youngest of ten children in a family where our parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. As I look back on being raised with that many siblings I have to say it was a real blessing to be part of so many “adventures” with my family. I have lots of great memories and we are constantly making new ones as our families continue to grow (39 nieces & nephews and 21 great nieces and nephews so far).

My husband, Gary, and I were married in 1998. We are a blended family with six kids between us (all but one are married). So far we have two grandchildren and, God willing, we’re hoping for many more!

I hope you find Riverside as warm and welcoming as I did when I first started attending here. I feel truly blessed to be able to call Riverside Church my church home. God is so good!!
Michael Summers - Elementary Pastor

Michael Summers

Elementary Pastor

Angela Taylor - Communication Arts Director

Angela Taylor

Communication Arts Director

Hello! I joined the Riverside staff team on August 2nd, 2009, and I have loved being a part of the Riverside Church family! I grew up in Maple Grove, MN and have been driving past Riverside my entire life; who knew I would be working here someday!

My husband Clayton Taylor (also the Associate Student Ministries Pastor here at Riverside) and my adorable daughters Millicent & Mabel all reside in Big Lake, MN. We love living life together, camping & finding new adventures every day!

God has been faithful in the path He has brought me on; I would have never guessed I would be serving at a church but here I am! He has shown me that His plans are far greater for my life than I could have ever imagined!
Pastor Clayton Taylor - Associate Student Ministries Pastor

Pastor Clayton Taylor

Associate Student Ministries Pastor

Hello, I’m Clayton and am the Associate Student Ministries Pastor here at Riverside Church. I hail from a small town in Iowa (Go Hawkeyes!), and now reside in Big Lake, MN with my wife Angela and 2 beautiful daughters, Millie & Mabel. I love sports, the outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. I have two degrees, a Bachelors in Graphic Arts, and a degree in Youth Ministry from Crown College. Throughout the years, God has blessed me with many opportunities to serve in youth ministry through camping ministry, churches, and para-church ministry. As a result God developed in me a passion and desire to see students own their faith by having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and living it out in their lives.

Since coming on staff in July of 2008, I have been blessed by the people and students I have met here at Riverside. I am excited to continue to serve this church as God leads and guides me on this journey. Please feel free to stop by or call; I would love to meet you.
Rhonda Wynegar - Kids Ministry Associate Director

Rhonda Wynegar

Kids Ministry Associate Director

Hi! I’m Rhonda. I grew up attending Riverside. After I graduated college I served at CMA churches in Oregon and Alaska. I met my husband, Scott while in Alaska and we had our son, Xander, there. We moved back to MN to be closer to family and we found our way back to Riverside. We’ve added two more kids to the mix, Anneliese and Joshua, since coming back. We love to travel and adventure as a family. Scott and the kids love to go fishing (I am learning), we love to do anything in the snow, go camping, take the back roads and find quirky coffee shops, garden, build things and dream of owning a piece of land and living off of it.

We love being a part of a church family where lives are being changed. Sharing God’s message of love and mercy is what it is all about!