Riverwood Staff:

As a staff, we recognize the authority of God and realize that we are shepherds who serve under the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. We desire to devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word. Our passion and goal is to equip the believers for the work of the ministry until we all attain maturity in the fullness of Christ.

 

Pastor Keith

 

Pastor Keith Robinson, Senior Pastor

Pastor Keith is a graduate of University of Northwestern, St. Paul (formerly Northwestern College) with a B.A. in Christian Ministries, and he received his Master of Divinity Degree from North Park Seminary College in Chicago, IL. Before coming to Riverwood to be Senior Pastor in 2004, he served as a Pastor in Youth Ministries for 25 years at Covenant Churches in Brooklyn Park, Forest Lake and Maple Grove, Minnesota as well as in Grand Rapids, Michigan and in the Kansas City area. He resides in Rockford with his wife Amy and they have four children and five grandchildren. He loves riding his motorcycle (often with the “Fossil Apostles”), smoking ribs and other meats, and following most/all of the Minnesota sports teams. He is working on writing a book about the “Squares” – a concept he teaches often in messages at Riverwood. It is a way of considering how God uses circumstances in our lives and how that impacts our walk with God. Pastor Keith also moonlights as an adjunct professor in Christian Ministries at the University of Northwestern, St. Paul and as the Cornerstone instructor at Solid Rock School of Discipleship at Lake Beauty Bible Camp. His life verse is 3 John:4 which says “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” This being closely followed by Galatians 5:6, Riverwood’s key verse, which says “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love.”

 

 

 

Denise

 

Denise Kesanen, Associate Pastor

Denise comes to Riverwood with 25 years of ministry and nonprofit leadership experience. Currently, Denise is the Executive Director of RiverWorks Community Development in Rockford, MN. She and her husband Brian live in Rockford and have a fur-kid, Molly who is a spoiled chocolate lab. Denise has earned a BA in Psychology from Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas and a MA degree in Higher Ed Admin/Counseling from Emporia State University, Kansas. She also holds an MA in Biblical Studies from University of Northwestern, St. Paul. Denise is currently working toward a 2016 ordination with the Evangelical Covenant Church. Her life verse is Luke 2:52 which says, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”  

 

 

 

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Andrea Canniff, Worship Director

Andrea has been active in the Worship Ministry since 1998. She held several Worship Ministry positions at Plymouth Covenant Church including an Internship in Worship Arts, Apprenticeship in Worship Arts and finally as the Interim Worship Director. She came to Riverwood and has been serving on the Worship Team since August of 2013. She and her husband Rory reside in Delano with their two children. Andrea loves Music (singing/writing/attending concerts) and spending her time with family and friends. Andrea’s life verse is Galatians 2:20 which says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

 

 

                
Lynn Sommerstad
Lynn Sommerstad, Director of Next Generation Ministries
Lynn has dedicated over 25 years to working with children, both in public schools and in children’s ministry. She spent 15 years at Maple Grove Covenant Church as Children’s Director and began at Riverwood in 2014. She is a graduate of Northwestern College in Roseville, MN. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband Jeff and three sons: Jason, Nate, and Josh. Her life verse is John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life in him.”
 
 
 
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Brad Friedlein, Teaching Pastor
Brad has spent 30 years ministering to people of all ages and in many different settings. He received a degree in Youth Ministry from the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, and is presently finishing up his Masters in Transformational Leadership at Bethel Seminary. Brad spent the first 20 years primarily working with teenagers–at Youth for Christ (with at-risk teens) and then as a Youth Pastor in Willmar, MN. Brad also planted a church and served as Groups Pastor at a large, suburban church in Maple Grove, MN.
 
Through his years of ministry, Brad has experienced incredible joys and heartbreaks, making him very real and approachable. He gets the “life is hard” part of life, as well as the part that assures us that “God is good!” That backdrop enables Brad to captivate the interest of listeners as he takes God’s Word and helps the listener apply it to their life today. One of the best compliments he could have ever received was when his daughter told him, “Dad, I don’t fall asleep when you preach!”
 
Brad lives in Rockford, MN with his wife Terry and has 3 children, Jordan, Nicole, and Grant. His passion is to inspire others to discover who God is and who they are in Christ. One of his favorite verses is Ephesians 2:10–“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”
 
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Rachel Kleinschmidt, Office Administrator

Rachel has spent much of her life as a student, but she is now excited to start something new and to be able to serve the Lord in her capacity as Office Administrator at Riverwood. She       received her Ph.D. in Agricultural History and Rural Studies from Iowa State University in 2013 and spent her graduate school years as a college history instructor. She lives in Greenfield, Minnesota and enjoys reading, writing, cooking, spending time with her husband Micah, and singing with the Worship Team. Her favorite Bible verse is Psalm 150:6, which reads, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”

 
 
Picture coming soon!
Geo Linna, Director of Elevate Student Ministries
Geo has been active in student ministries since 2001. When committing her life to the Lord in her early 20’s, she sought His direction in where to serve. He made it very clear that she belonged with the youth! Geo served as a volunteer in student ministries at Wayzata Evangelical Free Church and has been a part of Elevate Student Ministries here at Riverwood for the past 3 years. She understands the importance of coming alongside students during these middle and high school years and is excited to share Jesus with the kids in her own community!
 
Geo lives in Rockford with her husband Kevin and children Bailey, Faith, and Micah. Now that the two oldest are in the youth group, it has become a family affair and they are enjoying this adventure together. When not hanging out with the youth, she enjoys running, traveling, and quality time with her family and friends. Her favorite verse for ministry is 1 Timothy 4:12: “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”
 
 
 
Bobby Walerius, Director of Youth Outreach
Picture and bio coming soon!
 
 
Jim Chamberlain, Assistant Worship Director
Picture and bio coming soon!