Our leaders

At New River we adhere to a "servant leader" model of leadership.  By this we mean that our leaders are servants first and leaders second.  Each one of our elders and governing board members also serve in a variety of ways throughout our church family.  In fact, this is why we actually call our governing board a "Servant Team".  We believe this is the example that Jesus set for us as He said, "The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)

  • Doug & Karis Rowse, lead pastor

    We have been married for 31 years and have three wonderful young adult children who are serving Jesus in Florida, Ohio and right here in Connecticut.  We enjoy serving God together, looking at houses and dreaming about how to fix them up. (Doug reminds Karis often that he is not Chip Gaines!)  


    Robin was previously a pastor in Chicagoland for 13 years. He and Jenny have two daughters, Abigail and Annabelle and a Shih-Tzu, Nala. Jenny is a Nurse Practitioner. Together, they love serving and caring for people. In his free time, Robin is an old soul who enjoys music (especially 50s doowop), watching musicals, reading all types of literature, baseball (NY Mets...sigh), taking long walks, eating a variety of foods from every culture and spending time with his family. 

  • Bud Duplin, elder

    I have served as an elder in our church for approximately 8 years.  My passion is to see people encouraged and discovering how great God truly is.  I especially enjoy helping men get free from addictions and begin to walk in total freedom.  My wife Linda and I love our kids, grandkids (and even their pets!) very much.  In addition to my ministry within New River, I also enjoy encouraging other churches and their pastors.  God is up to something good!   

  • Glenn Gerhard, elder

    On top of his busy family and career, Glenn and his wife Tammy began a coffee shop that has been used mightily by God to bless this town. Glenn has served as an elder for approximately 5 years.  He combines his God-given business acumen with his love for people and has raised up numerous young people to reach their God given potential.  

  • Jarles Florez, elder

    Jarles and his wife Lori are two of the founding members of New River Church.  He has a genuine pastor's heart and is known for the way he cares for people.  He is fluent in Spanish and has also been a key leader in helping New River to develop a school and ministry in Managua, Nicaragua.  

  • Josie robertson, office administrator

    I have been serving as our office administrator since October 2016.  My husband Scott and I have two daughters, 16 & 18.  I enjoy welcoming people to the church office Tuesday-Friday from 9am-3pm.  Come on over!

Servant Leadership

As a church we intentionally work with a "servant model" of leadership.  By this we mean that while leadership is essential to a healthy church, our leaders are primarily servants first.  Each person in the leadership of our church is a man or woman who consistently demonstrates the humility of serving others in any way that is needed.  We believe this is the example which Jesus set for us to follow.