The mission of Riverside Avenue Christian Church is to be and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, witnessing, loving, and serving from our doorsteps " to the ends of the Earth." (Acts 1:8)

Riverside Avenue Christian Church

2841 Riverside Ave | Jacksonville, FL 32205
(904) 389 1751 | www.jaxdisciples.com

 

Meet Our Church 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 three dogs: Sport (Golden Retriever), Barney (Cocker Spaniel), and Maggie (Australian Shepherd). 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.

Justin Dickey,

Director OF Youth Ministries

Justin Dickey began serving as the Director of Youth Ministries on July 1st, 2018. Justin currently works full time as a Behavioral Therapist for the Florida Autism Center. He previously served at his home church, First Christian Church in Wichita Falls, TX as Youth Director and is excited to utilize his gifts and passion for ministry at RACC. Justin has a deep love for mission work, camp ministries, and music. In his spare time, Justin plays guitar, is an avid runner, and spends time with his wife, Erin, and three dogs, Maggie, Sport, and Barney.

Aimee Ortiz Low, Arts Director

for Riverside Children's Arts Center

 

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. 

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.

Jas Abramowitz, Office Manager

 

                                       He/Him/His  

                                       Began serving RACC in April of 2019

 

                                       Jas spent 13 years in the corporate sector                                        his last position, a Vice President of                                                Business Strategy for a logistics firm.                                                After the company dissolved his division                                          in mid 2018, Jas went on a sabbatical                                          with the intent of letting his non-compete                                          ride out.  However, when God puts a                                            crossroads in front of you, it is wise to consider the choices.  After much discussion, budgeting and praying, Jas and his wife Dolly decided it was time for Jas to pursue his passions of acting and writing.   He published a book and has appeared in many productions and short films.   However, Jas still wanted to put his business experience to good use and saw the opportunity with RACC to use his business skills, while maintaining a flexible schedule to continue feeding his creating spirit.  Plus he loves having something to do each day.  It keeps him sane.

 

What is your favorite thing about RACC?

 

I knew very little about RACC when I applied, but was drawn to the Church because of their open and affirming status and the many women in leadership positions, which was very different from my prior work-life.  I have not been disappointed- the people here- from the leadership to the congregation have been wonderful and have made working here an absolute joy.

 

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

  1. I am an actor but I am not fake.  What you see is what you get.   

  2. I often get told I look younger than my natural age.   Anyone who knows me well, will tell you that I am actually 75 years old on the inside.

  3. I love dogs and I love to cook and eat.  I do not, however, like to cook or eat dogs.

Casey Berney, Choir Director 

 

He/Him/His 

 

Began serving Fall of 2015

 

A degree in Merchandising from the University of

Tennessee (a Volunteer in a hostile football swamp)

belies Casey’s musical roots. Son of a choir director,

he attended his alma mater on a vocal scholarship.

He was Special Music Director at Fairview Free Will

Baptist Church, founding director of the First Coast Chorus and ensemble One AcChord. Besides his choir duties he is also the music director for the men’s ensemble Vocal Theory Project.

 

I was invited to attend RACC by a friend I consider family. Her enthusiasm for this church and its congregation was a pleasant departure from other experiences I had while trying to find a new place to call my “home”. I was present on the Sunday that the church voted to become Open and Affirming. I was in tears by the time the vote was taken and ratified. I officially joined two weeks later. 

 

What is your favorite about RACC? 

 

My ability to be who I am and share my love of music is why I am at RACC.

 

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

 

 

I love to dance. Somebody drop the beat and I will be there!

 

Key West is my relaxation, Sedona my sanctuary, Patsy’s Meadow my soul, Provincetown my free to be, my fur kids my balm and Michael my heart. 

 

I will never say “no” to Mexican food or barbecue.

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!

Deborah Bryant, Accompanist

Deborah Bryant has been a part of the Riverside Avenue Christian Church family in some form or fashion for all of her life but has officially been a member since 2012! Before taking on the role of Accompanist, Deborah served in many roles such as a choir member, Worship Committee Chair, Deacon, Deacon Chair, leading Worship & Wonder, Emmaus Retreats, and many other valuable roles in the life of RACC.  She has a passion for contemporary worship music. We are thankful that Deborah officially joined the staff of RACC in October of 2017 and are even more thankful for her kind heart and musical gifts. 

 

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.