Mark Helsel
Campus Pastor
Phone: 813-335-6718 (Text me or call)
Mark has 28 years of full-time ministry experience serving churches in Ohio, PA and Florida. He is a Beaver County native by birth and a graduate of Geneva college with degrees in Youth Ministry and Broadcast Communications. He is also a graduate of Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA with a Masters Degree in Leadership (M.A.). He loves playing back yard football, reading, soccer, movies, comics and hanging with his three kids Parker, Jaynie and Jacob. He’s had articles published in various publications and was a national speaker for Youth Specialties. Mark has preached in churches, camps and retreat centers all across the USA and internationally. Mark is also part of Post Christian Pastors, a podcast recorded by a group of Pastors seeking to live, think and act as Jesus would have us in a very complex POST CHRISTIAN culture. You can follow Post Christian Pastors here.
Dean Ward
Lead Pastor/ New Kensington Campus Pastor
Phone: 724-337-4837

What do I want people to say about me? “He loves God and loves people and is fulfilling his mission in life to help people on their journey back to God!”
Leslie and I started The River—A Community Church in 2004 with the dream of beginning a church for people who’ve given up on church, and a church that serves others and makes a difference in our community!
Leslie and I were married in April 1992! We lived where I grew up in Greensburg, PA for our first 5 years of our marriage, moved to Tupelo, Mississippi in 1997 for 5 years when I became a pastor. When we moved back home with our four children, we wanted to raise our family in New Kensington where Leslie grew up and we sensed God leading us to start a new church in our community!
I thank God for the opportunity to raise our family in New Kensington and am grateful for the opportunity to lead and serve God and others through The River!

Phillip Schmitt
NexGen Pastor
Phone: 973-294-8323

The River New Heights is excited to welcome Phillip Schmitt as the new NexGen Pastor for our campus. A recent Grove City College graduate and life-long resident of New Jersey, Phil and his wife Tess are thrilled to be making the move to The River. Tess graduated from Liberty University with a degree in childhood development. Phil felt God calling him to student ministry while attending Grove City as a history major. He recently completed his student ministry internship at Grace Community Church in Cranberry. He looks forward to building a thriving NexGen Ministry at The River and developing relationships with everyone at the church. “Tess and I are beyond grateful and excited for this new season of life and are looking forward to becoming a part of the River family. God has proven his faithfulness yet again and I look forward to learning, growing and serving together!” Phil said. Welcome to The River, Phil and Tess!

Nicky Fowler
Ministry Coordinator & Secretary for New Kensington and New Heights campuses
Phone: 724-337-4837
I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to serve our church family and make a difference at The River.  Being responsible for the office administration and online media has let me interact with so many of the people who call The River their home church, and I am thankful God has allowed me to serve alongside all of them.  The River has been my home for ten years, and I am honored to be a part of it.  In addition to running the office at both campuses, I lead the Kids Closet ministry with Lyndsey Stirland at The River New Ken. When I am not at The River, I am spending time with my family and friends, playing with my dachshund Abby, or working on one of my favorite crafts.  I love to crochet, sew and illustrate my faith through Bible journaling. Most recently, I began planning my wedding to my wonderful fiance, Antonio Magnelli. 
Ryan Slye
Worship Leader
Ryan leads The River New Heights worship team every Sunday morning.  When he’s not at the church he can be found enjoying the outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.