Nate & Angela Allen
God brought Nate and Angie together when they met at Cornerstone Open Bible Church in 2001, and they were married there in 2001 by Pastor Jim Banke. Nate and Angie faithfully served there until 2014. After Pastor Lew (then Evangelist Lew) led Nate to the Lord in 2001, he served as an usher/head usher while also being named to the church board.
Angie served alongside Children’s Pastor Shannon Banke as a Sunday School Teacher and became Children’s Director. In 2015, a year after Cornerstone became The River Church, Nate and Angie were appointed as Youth Leaders at The River. In 2018, Nate and Angie were installed as Deacons.
Nate and Angie are very family-oriented. They have three amazing boys – Nathan, Joshua and Lucas. They all stay very busy with sports, music, camping, and church activities. They love Jesus and seeing young people and their families live in the fullness of Christ, and enjoy the freedom in Him.
Kevin was born by a 15-year-old, the third daughter in the family to have a baby out of wedlock. She was told to put him up for adoption. When Kevin was born, she ran with him for two weeks. Then he was pulled from her arms. She told Kevin this story when he met her at the age of 21. His adopted parents told him very early on that he was adopted and was picked special for them. They were older and couldn’t have kids. They all loved each other, but it was never said. They were close, but not touchy. He was raised as a Catholic because it was expected. Kevin never understood why at different times of the year they would do different things with Jesus on the cross. It was never explained.
Sports were a big thing – mostly baseball and gymnastics. Only his dad would watch him. One of Kevin’s friends started going to a church at the University of Minnesota campus. Kevin asked his friend a lot if he could go to his church with him, but his friend kept saying no. But God was building his hunger. He eventually told his friend, “I’m going – get in the car” for Easter 1976. The pastor talked about the crucifixion and Jesus rising from the dead, but asked a strange question – if you were going to steal a body, would you unwrap him first? Kevin couldn’t get it out of his mind. They gave him a gospel tract that he read probably a 100 times. It included a verse: Psalm 7:11 – God judges the righteous and is angry with the wicked every day. Every time he read it, it felt like another brick was put on his chest. He was afraid if he read it one more time, he would be crushed. He had to do something, so he asked Jesus to save him from himself. The weight was gone! Later on, he went to YWAM and while on staff there, he met his wife, Lisa. They have been married since 1987. Some of the promises He gave Kevin in 1981 are coming true now. God is faithful to His word. Kevin is self-employed and has a very cool teenage daughter who is growing up way too fast for his liking. Their family helps the homeless and works with Family Foundations and are coordinators for Ancient Paths. The more he walks with Jesus, the more he realizes he’s absolutely hopelessly lost without Him, and if left on his own, his life would be a disaster.
Jethro & Christina Matson
Jethro has been in church his whole life, except a stretch of time from the mid-90s to the mid-2000s. He said the sinner’s prayer at around six years old, but had always hit a wall in his Christian walk that he couldn’t get past, and then with seemingly no options left, he would quit. During his time away from church, he learned to really talk to God. Jethro knew he needed to be serving God, but he just couldn’t fail again. If he tried again, he would fail again, and then then he thought he would never come back. So Jethro made an impossible deal with God: he would only come back if God could guarantee he would never walk away again. He didn’t know how, what, or why he darkened the door of a church again, but he and his family did. He served some in various positions, youth ministries being the biggest. Then he went through HeartChange, and was on a desperate search for intimacy with God. With the help of a prophetess, he found that what he was looking for he already had. He would experience the active and spontaneous moving of Holy Spirit at HeartChange, but nowhere else until he came to The River. In 2018, he got past that wall he always ran into and is continuing to grow in his spiritual walk.
Jethro’s wife Christina has been attending The River Church since 2016. She started working in the sound booth as a media tech in 2017 and just finished university in December 2019 to obtain her teaching license. She and Jethro have been married since 1994, and have 6 children together -- 3 are now adults, 2 teenagers, and one little one. Their work, children, and ministries keep them busy.
Kevin & Beverly Homann
Kevin and Beverly met by the leading of the Holy Spirit. They were tired of searching for the right partner and prayed to the Lord to lead them to the right person, not of their own choosing, but God’s choice. They dated for six months and got married on September 25, 1982. Kevin was a Lutheran and Beverly a Pentecostal. They grew together as Pentecostals, letting the Holy Spirit lead. They grew under the five-fold ministry, praying together in making decisions.
They were married in Salem, Oregon, traveled by God’s leading to the State of Washington, working in the Church of the Vineyard and Morning Star Ministries, wanting to please God as they went. Kevin worked for the State of Oregon for 21 years with Children in Corrections. Then as a Social Service Director in two healthcare facilities where Beverly worked in food services with her schooling in Dietary Management. Kevin attended Chemeketa Community College, graduating with an AA in Human Resources Technology, then on to PSU with a BA in Sociology and a Minor in Social Work. Kevin went on to work at the State Hospital for 18 years as a Mental Health Therapist. Their focus in life is to always help God’s people and to encourage them to follow God’s word, supporting our community by pleasing Jesus Christ, and being led by the Holy Spirit!
David & Kendra Gibby
David and Kendra Gibby have been attending The River Church since the fall of 2016. After only a short time sitting under the anointing and hearing the word of God, they both decided to answer the call of God in their lives. In July 2017, they were married by Pastor Lew in front of the church congregation. Since then, they have been serving the Lord with all their hearts. Kendra is the Children's Ministry Director and David serves as the Sound Technician. God has done amazing things in their lives, and it has effected their entire family. They count it an honor to serve at The River Church and are committed to the vision of The River to see the City of Salem saved.
Corey & Abby Winslow
Corey and Abby Winslow met in 2002 and were married in 2003. They have two sons Zao (2007) and Logan (2010). The family greatly enjoys music, board games, and being involved at The River Church. When Corey is not at work, he enjoys playing music, finding new and interesting social events, and is always doing something artistic and creative. Abby is a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. She also owns and runs Machlao Studio, their family's vinyl decal business. She loves praying for others and watching Father do His thing. Corey and Abby are both on the worship team and love ushering people into the throne room through song and praise. Corey also leads Adult Sunday School and Abby is involved with the Women's Ministry.
Laura began attending The River Church in 2018 during their Fall Camp Meeting. The anointed preaching, teaching, prayer, and worship reignited her hunger for God and pursuit of Jesus. She is involved with The River Outreach Ministry and is currently a part of the children’s ministry team.
Laura has worked at Costco for 18 years. She has four adult children and loves spending time with her grandchildren.
Kimo & Carmelita Grace
Kimo and Carmelita, being led by the Holy Spirit, met in 2012 and were married in 2013. Both had been previously married, and they each have 3 children with their previous spouses, all of whom are young adults now. Carmelita's children: Zacheriah (1995), Jacob (1999), and Breana (2001); Kimo's children: Shalia (1997), Brittany (1999), and Kobe (2002).
Kimo's parents were a part of EE (Evangelism Explosion) when he was a child. The focus was on two questions: 1) If you were to die today, do you know that you would go to heaven? 2) What would you say if you were standing at Heaven’s gates and God asks you, "Why should I let you into My Heaven?" And so, at the age of 10, during their weekly family Bible study, his parents asked him and his sisters these same two questions and led them all in the sinner's prayer. Over the course of the next 36 years, Kimo has served as a leader in security ministry, co-led marriage Bible studies, and has been a head usher.
Carmelita grew up experiencing Catholic and Mormon churches until she was 13. When she was a freshman in high school, her mom gave her a gospel tract and encouraged her to ask Jesus into her heart; she then prayed the sinner's prayer. It would be years before Carmelita would come to be able to give Jesus her self-made masks and walls; the very ones she learned to hide behind. First, she would need to stop thinking of the Lord as The Puppet Master or The Chess Grand Master; waiting for him to make all changes and needed-moves in her and her life. Instead, she needed to learn to trust and believe Jesus and the unadulterated Word of God. This process would begin while our Lord was helping her through painful and dark experiences (Isaiah 41:10; Hebrews 11:6; Isaiah 55:11; Psalm 112:7-8; John 1-4). At age 19 she began attending non-denominational churches, until at 23 she solely started attending Cornerstone Fellowship in Livermore, California. During the 12 years she was there, Carmelita served in different ministries which included: connections ministry, outreach ministry, as well as serving as a greeter for their greeter/usher/security ministry. Carmelita believes her experiences were and are used by our Lord to prepare her for such a time as this as she serves Him with her husband Kimo here at The River Church.
Kimo and Carmelita are excited for where God is leading them in ministry and are currently head ushers and Deacons at The River Church.