Meet Our Ministry Staff

Rev. Erin Dickey, Senior Pastor

 

She/Her/Hers

 

Began serving RACC in November of 2016

 

Erin is a proud graduate of Texas Christian University (2011 + 2015) with a BA in Religion, BSSW in Social Work, and a Masters in Social Work as well as a Master of Divinity from Brite Divinity School. Erin was ordained by the Great River Region in May of 2015. Erin previously served as as the Youth Minister at First Christian Church in Gainesville, TX and Director of Recovery Ministries at First Christian Church in Wichita Falls, TX. Erin is a 4th generation Disciple of Christ and has a passion for children, youth, camp, and outreach ministries. 

 

What is your favorite thing about RACC?

I was drawn to RACC for two main reasons - RACC’s emphasis on children (specifically through it’s involvement in our regional church camp and the Riverside Children’s Art’s Center) and RACC’s Open & Affirming status. What has KEPT me at RACC is the spirit of welcome, compassion, and desire for justice that is evident in all of RACC’s ministries. I love that RACC welcomes all people exactly as God has created them and affirms their identity as a beloved child of God.

 

What are three things that are important to know about you?

1. I. LOVE. DOGS. We have four dogs: Sport (Golden Retriever), Barney (Cocker Spaniel), Maggie (Australian Shepherd), & Maple (Golden Retriever). I love them so incredibly much and could talk about them for hours. I also love other people’s dogs and want to play with every dog I meet. Did I mention that I love dogs?

2. I love to bake, however, my baking projects tend to look more like ‘Nailed It!’ than ‘The Great British Bake Off.’ 

3. I met my husband, Justin, counseling church camp at Disciples Crossing in Athens, TX. We bonded over dogs and church camp cinnamon rolls. One of my favorite things about ministry is getting to share in it with him and I am grateful that RACC allows us to share in ministry together.

Aimee Ortiz Low, Arts Director for Riverside Children's Arts Center + Interim Office Manager

 

She/Her/Hers

Began serving RACC in August of 2018

 

Working for Riverside Children's Arts Center appealed to me because of my love for the arts.  I have always been interested in everything art, from performing on stage to cooking, and I was very excited to be able to share my experience with children.  

 

What is your favorite thing about RACC? I love how accepting and loving RACC is, that it is open and affirming, and I love the strong female leaders. It makes me proud to say I work here. 

 

What are three things that are important to know about you?

1. I love to cook for other people, but when I'm by myself I will eat cereal for breakfast lunch and dinner. 

2. I keep a journal of weird or funny thoughts that I have throughout the day. 

3. I love cats. 

Justin Dickey, Director of Youth Ministries

 

He/Him/His

Began serving RACC in July of 2018

 

I grew up in the Disciples of Christ denomination and couldn’t image being a part of any other group that is so       accepting, loving, and faithful individuals. I serve because growing up the church served me, especially in the       DOC Camping Ministry. That Ministry means so much to me and I love sharing my love of camp with others. 

 

What is your favorite thing about RACC? 

 My favorite thing about RACC is the diverse group of people who come up to take communion every Sunday. As the Pastor's husband I usually sit in the front and often get a great view of everyone who comes up to take communion. I love seeing diverse age groups, economic backgrounds, personal walks of faith, and our LGBTQ+ brothers, sisters, and siblings often not given a seat at the table. At RACC, ALL means ALL and that’s reflected in our commitment to inclusion, diversity, and love. 

 

What are three things that are important to know about you?

1. I’m an avid runner. With marathons, 50k’s, 50 milers, and 100 milers under my belt.

2. I love tacos. Taco Tuesday at El Jefe in Murray Hill is the place to be. 3. I’m also a Behavior Therapist working with children with Autism and I am in my graduate program to progress in that field. 

Janet Novick, Director of Children's Ministries 

 

She/ Her/ Hers

Began Serving at RACC September 2019

 

Janet was born and raised here in Jacksonville and has three children of her own. She teaches outside the church in an inclusive classroom with a homeschool cooperative in Avondale. Janet encourages children in their knowledge and walk with Jesus through planned lessons and fun hands on learning activities. 

What is your favorite about RACC? 

RACC is comprised of real people who hold no discrimination to any individual that wanders through its doors seeking a place to worship our Holy Father. No soul is turned away based on their past, color, sexual orientation, age, gender or any other factor. All are welcomed to worship and learn about Our Savior. 

What are three things that are important to know about you?

1.    I am a homeschooling mom and it’s amazing. I get to go on field trips, learn and grow with my daughter and it has been such a blessing. 

2.    I LOVE books and crafts…way too much! 

3.    I met my husband through a co worker and I proposed to him. We have been married for over 20 years and I am still delighted he said YES! 

Joyce Miller 

Director of Preschool & Nursery Ministries

My name is Joyce Miller. I am currently the Director of the Preschool Department at Riverside Avenue Christian Church. I've been at RACC for seven years. I love teaching and working with preschool children. I believe they are the future church and precious gifts from God.

Deborah Bryant, Accompanist                                   

She/her/hers

Began serving RACC in 2017  

 

Deborah came to Riverside with her twins to join her parents who are also very active in the church. Deborah’s father is a retired pastor and her mother also plays the piano and organ so you can see where she gets her love of music! Deborah has been active in the church and music her entire life!

What is your favorite thing about RACC?

I love that our church is an open and affirming church and welcomes all who walk through the doors no matter what!  We are all Children of God and there are some wonderful people that are very involved in our church and have so many different talents that help us in so many different areas of our daily church activities!

I also enjoy working with so many talented choir members who play piano and sing.  It really helps when you want to take a day off to have other talented piano players to fill in for you which includes my mom who taught me how to play piano from a very young age! 

What are three things that are important to know about you?

1. I am a mother of 21-year-old twins I am very proud of both of them!

2. I have a passion for Contemporary Music but still love the traditional hymns too. 

3. Other things I enjoy besides music are cooking and baking especially for the holidays. When I have the time, I really enjoy being crafty and making things such as wreaths, ornaments, cross stitching and scrapbooking. I also enjoy decorating my home for the holidays, and spending time with family as well as traveling.

Melanie Bryant, Nursery Attendant 

 

She/ Her/ Hers

 

Began serving RACC in 2017

 

Melanie is a graduate of FSCJ with her A.A., and is currently a student at Keiser University pursuing a degree in Radiologic Technology. Melanie has been a member of RACC for several years now and became affiliated with the nursery while she was in high school and helping out almost every Sunday. 

 

What is your favorite thing about RACC?

I was drawn to RACC because my family was here. I had a few friends in the youth group and always came on Wednesdays and Sundays because of the youth activities. What has kept me at RACC is all of the wonderful kids that we have had in the nursery and enjoying the time that they spend in the nursery with Joyce and I. 

 

What are three things that are important to know about you?

  1. I like to help people, which is why I am going into the medical field. I am almost done with my A.S. In Radiologic Technology. However, my dream job is to be an Ultrasound Tech. 

  2. I love cats. I foster kittens for the humane society when I can make it work around school and my work schedule.

  3. I am getting married in March 2020 and my fiancé and I are very excited!

Karen Adams, Wedding Coordinator

 

She/Her/Hers

 

Began serving RACC in 2018

 

Karen is a lifelong member of RACC. As part of the congregation Karen has attended small and large weddings over the years. In 2019 Karen planned her own wedding. She is personal familiar with the excitement, joy and stress of wedding planning. 

 

What is your favorite thing about RACC?

Riverside is a open and affirming congregation that welcomes all people as a beloved children of God. From my childhood to adulthood, I have see the congregation grow into the open and affirming congregation it is today. I have also see Riverside put our mission into action. As a loving, serving and witnessing congregation, Riverside participants in Youth mission trips, the Children's Art Center, iCare, marching in the Riverside Pride Parade, presenting a Live Nativity during Luminara. These are only a few examples of how Riverside is living its mission.

*Please note that Karen works on an "as needed basis." To learn more about our wedding ministry and how to get in touch with her, please visit our Weddings Section*

 

The MISSION of Riverside Avenue Christian Church is to be and to share the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ, WITNESSING, LOVING, & SERVING from our doorsteps "to the ends of the Earth." (Acts 1:8)