Pastor Bart Whitman
Take a look at the people who make our church go. These people are willing to take on many responsibilities and go above and beyond. Please keep them in prayer!
An asterisk* denotes a current Elder Board member.
Pastor Bart is originally from the East Chain, MN, area and is a graduate of the University of Northwestern-St Paul, and is ordained through the Baptist General Conference, which is now Converge. He spent time as a youth pastor in the Twin Cities and in Fairmont/East Chain, and has been in multiple leadership roles, both political and religious, as well as helping head up District Blitz, a yearly youth conference. He has been serving as our head pastor since 2016, and has become an fixture in our community and has helped guide our Board into bringing to reality our Board's visions, including introducing us to Converge. He is married to Charmaine, and they have two children: Keely and Arabella. Charmaine works in graphic design and can be seen regularly in our worship teams. Pastor Bart also is very involved in our music department, both as our drummer and as a co-worship leader with Aleythia. He has a huge passion for quality music and worship and has worked hard to guide our music department. His favorite part about church is getting to serve alongside a great church family. Outside of church, he loves to spend time with his family. He also loves sports, traveling, science fiction, and cooking.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Galatians 6:9-10 ESV
Ministry Heads & Other Staff
-Chairman of the Board
Jeff lives in Amboy, MN, with his wife Deb. They have four daughters and 8 grandkids; He is also one of our founding families, being involved in the leadership for 12 years. They both enjoy E-biking, pickleball, and traveling locally with friends and to see family. Jeff is a talented hobby carpenter and enjoys yard work & gardening, Deb is an active part of our worship team, and Jeff can be seen doing announcements at the beginning of our worship service. He is graciously serving as our Elder Board Chairman, a seat he has held for many years, and has guided our vision as a church.
Elizabeth has moved back to Mankato, MN, after a stint in California, and is an Associate Professor of Finance at a Bethany Lutheran College. She is the daughter of Gregg and Gwen Olson. She has graciously stepped right into being our Treasurer.
Aleythia grew up in Fairmont, MN, and in fact, used to be a youth group student of Bart's! She now lives and works in Winnebago, MN, with her husband, Luke, and is expecting their first kid in January. She teaches Spanish at Genesis Classical Academy in Winnebago, and teaches piano and violin. Outside of church, she enjoys reading, riding horses, and going out for Caribou Coffee with a friend. She has been involved in our music for over a year, and has just stepped up to be our first administrative assistant/office administrator.
Luke grew up in Estherville, IA, and lives and works in Winnebago, MN with his wife, Aleythia. He has spent time working audio & tech in theatre productions, churches, and schools, including Genesis Classical Academy. He currently works as a diesel mechanic and truck driver. He enjoys music, teaching self-defense and firearms training, and riding motorcycle in his free time. He currently also serves on our Elder Board, and as our church's Technology Director and is usually found behind the sound board in the tech booth.
Mary lives in Good Thunder, MN, with her husband, Tom. They are both a friendly face you will see as soon as you enter our worship center. Tom has diligently been our go-to greeter and Mary heads up our Hospitality Team. She is on our Elder Board, serving as an Elder for the past 10 years, and they are another one of our founding families. For the Hospitality-Fellowship Committee, Mary likes that food brings everyone together: creating a community in the church that cares for one another. Mary also enjoys serving food for our IMPACT Ministries. Mary and Tom have been married for 48 years, and have two daughters and 8 grandchildren and they try to do as many activities as they can with them. Mary enjoys doing crossword puzzles, cryptographs, and sudoku in her free time.
Gregg lives outside Amboy, MN, with his wife Gwen. After 49 years, Gregg retired from farming and is able to spend a lot of his time volunteering and doing mission work all over the world. Gregg heads up our Missions and Facilities Teams. Gwen helps lead our worship service in prayer during the service. Gregg is currently a member of our Elder Board, a position he has held for 8 years and counting, as he and his wife is one of our founding families. He has enjoyed being part of the decision-making process in developing goals and facilitating them. Gregg loves interacting with his Christian family and is often one of the first people to greet newcomers.
-Youth Ministry Director
Heath lives in Amboy, MN, with his wife, Steph, and his two remaining at-home kids. They have two more kids at college. Heath has served in many areas within River's Edge, especially leading IMPACT, our youth group, with the help of some wonderful volunteers, and he used to sit on our Elder Board. He’s been a youth leader for over 25 years for three different churches! He enjoys his role because he gets to know the kids better and gets to guide them through their current life challenges. Besides IMPACT, Heath also teaches the adult Sunday school and plays bass on the worship team. He and his wife are also one of our founding families.
-Children's Ministry Co-Director
Mandy lives outside of Amboy, MN, with her husband. They have three kids, one of which helps out in the tech booth. She helps LaLainya head up our Children's Ministry, as well as helps head up our outreach programs, helps Heath head up our IMPACT Ministries.
-Discipleship Ministry Director
Becky lives outside of Winnebago, MN, with her husband, Steve. Both Becky & Steve have a huge heart for the Lord. Becky is the head of our Discipleship Ministry and has joyfully served in this role for 2-3 years. She enjoys knowing that people have opportunities to learn about our Lord. Becky also keeps herself busy by serving God at Genesis Classical Academy, visiting her 3 children and 6 grandchildren, quilting, traveling, and reading. She also loves the springtime "-when the earth is renewed- like our hearts when we accept Christ's gift of love and forgiveness."
-Children's Ministry Co-Director
LaLainya lives outside of Amboy, MN, with her husband Dave. They have 3 daughters and she runs a daycare. She has a huge heart for kids and works hard to head up our Kid's Programs. They are one of our founding families.
Dave lives outside Amboy, MN, with his wife LaLainya. They have 3 daughters and farms on his family farm with his dad. He was instrumental in the original technology of our church, and has continued in helping with the Technology Team. Dave has served on our Elder Board since 2011, and his family is one of our founding families. Dave spends his free time with his family and friends, riding side-by-side, and training and trading on the foreign exchange market with his students.