Meet the Staff
John C. Crowe, Pastor – In January of 2000, I began the most exciting time of my life; coming to Fulshear to start a new church that would become River Bend. It has been an amazing journey filled with changed lives, miracles, and the close presence of God’s Spirit. We have had mountaintop experiences as well as going through dark valleys, but God has continued to call His people and form His church. I came with my wife, Diane, and our two sons, Justin and Michael. Both Justin and Michael have grown up here and graduated from Foster High School. Currently, they are continuing their education in different colleges in Texas. Diane and I met and fell in love while attending the youth group at Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy. We both attended Howard Payne University where I earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies, and Diane a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. We were married one week after graduation and quickly moved to New Orleans so I could attend New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. I earned my Masters of Divinity there and served area churches for 11 years before moving to Fulshear. I often feel like Jeremiah when God told him, He knew the plans he had for him. I may be contacted through my email at JCrowe@RiverBendBC.org
Todd Melton, Minister of Education and Worship – I grew up in the home of a pastor and accepted Christ at a young age. I attended Howard Payne University where I met my wife, Kayla. During my time at HPU, God called me into the music ministry. Upon graduating college, Kayla and I moved to Ft. Worth so I could attend Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. After receiving my Masters in Church Music, we served for several years in northeast Texas where my oldest daughter, Katy, was born. In 2003 God called us to River Bend Baptist Church. While living in the Katy area God blessed us with a second daughter, Kourtney. God has faithfully provided for our family and His church. It is exciting to see what He is going to do next. I enjoy spending time with my family and love all kinds of music. I also like to run, bike, play ultimate Frisbee, and just about anything else. If you would like to contact Todd you may do so at 281-797-0185 or TMelton@RiverBendBC.org.
Russell Walje, Minister of Youth – In June of 2008, God led Kirsten, myself, and our two children to Texas. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t stand amazed at how God took a Missouri dirt farmer’s son and brought him to where he is today. The challenges I faced from having Tourette Syndrome to finding God’s will for my life took me in many directions. At age 25, I found peace and direction as God called me into student ministry. I left the work force and embarked on a long and challenging journey that took me to Southwest Baptist University. I earned my Bachelors degree in Religious Education/Youth Ministry, with a minor in Counseling. It was here that I met my future wife, Kirsten. God took Kirsten and me to North Kansas City, where we attended Midwest Baptist University. I earned a Masters degree in Religious Education while there. After graduation, the Lord led us to Camden, Arkansas, where I served as Youth Pastor at Cullendale First Baptist Church. The next leg in our journey took us back to Missouri where I served as Student Minister for ten years at First Baptist Church of Farmington. It was from here that God brought us to Texas. I praise God for all He has done in my life and the life of my family. I look at each day with excitement and joy as I strive to serve Him faithfully in this wonderful church of River Bend Baptist. Please feel free to contact me at 832-363-7974 or RWalje@RiverBendBC.org.
Lawsona Gandy, Children’s Director – Avocados are a food that I loathed until 2016. The texture seemed more like Play-Doh than a food. Teaching children in church for over 20 years, I have frequently spent my time discouraging the consumption of Play-Doh. So, to eat a food that was a similar texture seemed wrong. I got over it, and now I love avocados on everything…but I still don’t eat Play-Doh. My favorite Bible lesson is the one that I am currently teaching. My husband Jarrett, who has shared in the joy of ministry with me since we got married in 2000, laughs that every time I start to teach, I begin with, “THIS is my FAVORITE Bible story!” Our two kids, Olen and Ellie, have always eaten avocados and love serving God. My second favorite marsupial is the platypus. Please feel free to contact me at LGandy@RiverBendBC.org
Gail Blair, Treasurer – Gail joined the church in 2003 as a retired oil-industry CPA. Gail is a vital part of the church staff. Although she is a volunteer, her duties are essential. Serving as Treasurer of RBBC, she oversees all the finances of the church and budgeting process. Since 1998, Gail has been a volunteer with three different therapy dog organizations. Gail and her current dobermans, Angie and Donie, visit three hospitals and special events throughout the year, bringing smiles and comfort to many. Other interests include gardening in her raised beds so she can share the bounty. Gail is a Master Gardener. Gail is also on the Fulbrook HOA board, serving as Treasurer; using her accounting knowledge to assist here neighborhood. Gail can be reached at GBlair@RiverBendBC.org.
Christy Miller, Administrative Assistant – I joined the River Bend staff in September 2018 and have been blown away by the warmth and welcome of the church staff and members. When I began my career, I worked as an administrative assistant in various fields, including the Oil and Gas industry, Texarkana College, and GTE in Texarkana, Texas. After having children and moving back to Houston, my husband Corey and I began the most important job God has ever given us…raising our two awesome children, Meghan and Blake. When Meghan was preschool age, I accepted a two-day teaching position at a small church here in Katy, and we attended preschool together. I continued to teach for 13 years, loving every minute of getting to know the kids and teaching them about God and His good news. The decision to leave the preschool world was hard, but with each change in life a new adventure begins. My three year olds always asked why I never made it to the four year old class like they did, LOL. After I finally made it out of that three year old class, I was led to finish what I had started 27 years ago, go back to school, and finish my degree. I graduated from University of Houston – Victoria in December 2016. Now, Meghan and Blake have both gone off to university, and Corey and I have become “empty nesters.” God knew it was time to direct me on to the next path leading to a new adventure – “Administrative Assistant needed.” Isn’t that a great word! I am so excited to be a part of the River Bend staff and look forward to seeing what God has in store for us. Please feel free to contact me at CMiller@RiverBendBC.org.
Genie Oldenburg, Financial Administrator – I joined the River Bend staff in June, 2017, as the Financial Administrator. I have always loved being actively involved and serving in ministry and feel so blessed to be serving with the staff at RBBC. After working in the corporate world for several years, I was blessed with the opportunity to stay at home and raise my family but continued to stay actively involved in serving in children, youth and women’s ministries and attending Ladies Bible Study. I have been especially blessed to serve in Awana for 17 years which is still my passion. I also enjoy volunteering and have served as Treasurer and Secretary for various PTA and volunteer boards. Although I am a newcomer, I am so excited about serving at RBBC and look forward to all that God has in store as we serve Him together.
My husband, Charlie, and I have 3 grown children who we love doing life with. My spare time is spent enjoying my family, scrap-booking, card making an watching sports. Feel free to contact me at GOldenburg@RiverBendBC.org.
Debbie McCaghren, Extended Session Coordinator I am a charter member of River Bend Baptist Church. My husband, Marty, and I have been teachers in the Babies’ class since that time. We have three grown children, two of which are married, and wonderful grandchildren. I have been a preschool teacher since 1989. I enjoy photography and reading. As the extended Sessions Coordinator, my primary responsibility is scheduling volunteers for the extended session on Sunday mornings. If you would like to volunteer with our preschoolers on Sunday morning, please contact me at DMcCaghren@RiverBendBC.org.
Donna Ross, Administrative Assistant – I joined the River Bend Staff in December of 2017.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve alongside a staff of wonderfully dedicated people. I have alternately worked and been a stay at home mom throughout my adult life. Prior to coming to RBBC I worked in the insurance/brokerage industry and most recently was on staff at another church in the Katy area where I served as an administrative assistant and director of women’s ministry. I have had the honor of serving as a Bible study teacher since 1984 – I consider teaching one of my greatest joys. My husband, Carey, and I are blessed to be the parents of 3 daughters, 3 “sons”, and 8 granddaughters. I enjoy reading, working in my yard, and spending time with friends and family. Please feel free to email me at DRoss@RiverBendBC.org