Riverside’s Leadership Team (LT) is the group of members that have been chosen by the congregation to lead Riverside. The LT is responsible for building, maintaining and overseeing the spiritual welfare of Riverside and for directing and overseeing all Riverside ministries and organizational duties. The LT includes our Senior Pastor and Riverside members of appropriate character, giftedness, and call. (1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9, Acts 6:1-4) Each LT member has particular ministries that they advocate for.
If you have questions for the LT, you can contact them collectively at [email protected] or individually via the email link in their names.
Lauren grew up in Sheridan, IN and studied Athletic Training (Sports Medicine) both in undergrad at Purdue University and graduate school at Indiana University (although she doesn’t broadcast this while living in Lafayette 😉 While in grad school, she worked as an athletic trainer at Bloomington North High School, then moved to Crawfordsville in 2014 and worked at Wabash College for eight years. She now works for Franciscan Health Sports Medicine in Lafayette, and gets to serve the Greater Lafayette community in various outreach programs. Helping people to navigate orthopedic injuries and teaching them how to take care of their bodies has always been a passion of hers.
Lauren met her husband Bobby Dorn in the fall of 2019 and married in April 2021. Getting engaged and wedding planning in the middle of a pandemic was an interesting experience and has always been a great conversation starter. They currently live in Lafayette with their mischievous cat.
Lauren grew up in the church and at the age of 13, she accepted the Lord as her Savior and then learned what it meant to follow Him as a freshman in college. Getting plugged into a church was never an issue for this extrovert and being involved in the community wherever she lived helped her to feel more grounded. After serving in a church in Crawfordsville for several years, she came to Riverside as she started dating Bobby.
When she’s not at work or church, you can find Lauren hiking through nature with her husband, spending time with family, grabbing coffee while catching up with friends, and trying to finish her crochet blanket.
Tom was born and raised in Newcastle, England to hippy parents. Much of his childhood was filled with church, travel, Newcastle United, and numerous other people living with the Elliott’s who needed a leg up in life. As a directionless young adult, Tom signed up to work as a camp counselor at Camp Tecumseh YMCA. Working and living in this supportive, accepting community had a profound impact on Tom, and thus he returned for several years. Tom met his wife (Hurricane) Katrina at camp, she fell for the accent (“it was the only thing I had going for me”) and married a year later. Tom and Katrina have three kids (two teenagers – Ouch!) Sophie 16, Ollie 14 and Tre 9. They live in West Lafayette September-June, then at Camp Tecumseh June-August where Tom works full time.
The Elliotts have been at Riverside since 2012, involved in a lot of aspects of the Church. Katrina worked on Staff from 2013-2020. Together they led a Pod and organized the annual Variety (formerly Talent) Show for several years. Tom has taught in the children’s ministry, helped in the welcome ministry and led the City Outreach Team (COT). Tom and Katrina value deep Christ centered community where people (including the kids) feel loved and connected. They also have a feeling that fun and creativity are a part of God’s DNA, so try to bring it into the Church setting whenever possible.
Melanie grew up in central Indiana going to church with her family and learning all the fun children’s church songs. Her father’s sudden death when she was nine changed the trajectory of her life, and taught her the importance of the church community in supporting each other. She attended Indiana University for her undergraduate education degree, and Purdue University for a masters in Educational Leadership and a certification in English Language Learner education. Occupationally, she is proud to be an elementary school administrator with 400 of the coolest kids she knows. Through college and the decade after she was blessed to share in the community of Camp Tecumseh, which kept the flame of her faith alive. Members of the Camp T community introduced her to Riverside in 2015. At Riverside, she has been involved in the women’s ministries, welcome ministries, worship team, and RiverKids.
In 2014, her life went from black and white to technicolor when her daughter Lilia was born. When going through hardship a few years ago, Melanie and Lilia were beyond blessed by the Riverside family who were – and continue to be – the hands and feet of Jesus. Melanie’s greatest hope is to keep leaning in to Jesus, and serve others well in accordance with His will (not her own :). In her spare time, Melanie loves spending time laughing with friends & family, finding new favorite worship songs, theatre shows, and solid historical fiction.
Richard grew up near Milwaukee, WI but has lived in many states since then. He studied chemical engineering at Northwestern University and Caltech. He met and married his wife (Nicole) in Southern California. Their first year of marriage was spent in Illinois before becoming a professor at the University of Minnesota. Their children (Sam and Evan) were born in Minnesota. Together, they moved to Indiana in 2006. He is employed by a pharmaceutical contract research company in the Purdue Research Park.
Richard grew up in the Presbyterian church. He attended and frequently sang in choirs in a series of Presbyterian churches prior to coming to Riverside in 2014.
Church youth groups, collegiate para-church organizations, mission trips in the US and Africa, Bible studies, and small groups have had significant roles in developing Richard’s faith. He enjoys participating in Riverside Men’s Ministry events. Richard likes spending time outside with his family and as a Boy Scout leader.
Yücel was born and raised in İzmir (Smyrna in the Bible), Turkey. He practiced Islam, and later accepted Jesus as his savior after a long journey of search for truth.
After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature, Yücel taught English as a Second Language, and met his wonderful wife Wendy in Ankara.
Married a year later, they both taught English as a Second Language in Turkey, until they moved to the United States.
Yücel and Wendy have two daughters Yasemin 19, and Yeliz 15, and their dog Java.
Yücel graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (Purdue University). He works for a Medical Company as a software engineer. For fun, he plays chess and soccer.
Rita’s family first connected with Riverside in 2010 when pastor Dan Teefey spoke at their kids’ middle school. Rita grew up in Goshen, Indiana with believing parents whose life centered around church. She was baptized in her early 20s, and later as an adult, God led her to an awakening and deepening of her faith. At that time the Bible became more alive and she more closely felt the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
Rita has a bachelor’s degree in social work and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in occupational therapy. She met her husband Kevin while singing in a community choir. After the birth of their quadruplets, she left the workforce to raise kids. Their adult children are now in their own careers scattered around the country.
As family responsibilities allowed, Rita has been active in Bible Study Fellowship over the last 20 years. At Riverside she has participated in welcome and children’s ministries, women’s Pod, couple’s Pod, and Stephen Ministry leadership. Among her sweetest fellowship moments are those with gals in women’s pod and with fellow sojourners in couple’s pod.
Rita and Kevin recently retired. Rita delights in cooking, daily walks, reviving old furniture, and digging in the dirt.