The River Conference of the Free Methodist Church

Appointed Leaders

Appointed Leaders

Assistant Superintendent

The Assistant Superintendent serves as an executive superintendent who focuses on conference operations, property related issues, legal issues, financial advancement for local churches, and serves on the conference administrative team.

Rev. Mark W Douglas

Rev. Mark W Douglas

Assistant Superintendent // Colorado District Leader

Mark currently serves as Assistant Superintendent and the Colorado District Leader.  He has been active in pastoral leadership for 27 plus years – pastor, church planter, denominational regional & national board of directors member, and numerous other roles.  Mark was owner and CEO of Mark W Douglas LLC – a leadership development & consulting, live production, and construction company.   He has a passion for education and teaching in the college and university environment.  To that end, Mark is currently an Adjunct Faculty member at a state University in Pueblo Colorado teaching in the areas of religious studies and philosophy with a particular focus on moral reasoning (ethics).  He also taught at three  community colleges in OH and CO.  Prior to graduating from Northern Seminary with a MDiv in 1999, he worked as a District Executive, Camp Director, Professional Fund Raiser and Director of Support Services (responsibilities included accounting and finance) for the Boy Scouts of America in WV and OH.  Mark has been accepted into and will begin a DMin in Contextual Theology at Northern Seminary in June 2024.

Mark and Judy have been married for 39 years.  They are the parents of two daughters, one son-in-law, soon to be second son-in-law, and two grandsons.   Mark and Judy reside in Pueblo CO.  Prior to arriving in Pueblo in 2019, they made their home in OH and WV (land of Mark’s birth).

Appointed Leaders

District Leaders

District Leaders work in concert with the Superintendent to implement the missional objectives of the conference. They lead the Life-Giving Leadership learning communities and assist local churches, leaders, and BOA’s with administrative and organizational structures. District Leaders regularly encourage and counsel pastors, planters, and lay leaders in their districts.

Rev. Julie Gray

Rev. Julie Gray

Arizona District

Julie Gray has a life-long love for the Church, and a passion for the Bride of Christ to be a healthy instrument of transformation in the world.  Her 30+ years of ministry in diverse and multi-cultural churches have expanded that passion to include people of every language, nation, tribe and race that will be gathered around the throne of God. Her education includes time at Central Christian College of Kansas, Seattle Pacific University, Fuller Theological Seminary, Free Methodist Ordination coursework, and a Certificate in Spiritual Transformation from the Transforming Center, in Wheaton, IL.  Julie is currently Sr. Pastor at Phoenix Life Church, married to Marvin for 32 years, and loves to spend time visiting her kids and grandkids scattered across the country.

Rev. James Leman

Rev. James Leman

Spokane District

James grew up a missionary kid on an Indian Reservation in eastern Montana. This childhood helped shape his worldview and his desire to see people come to a life-changing knowledge of Jesus. He felt called into full-time pastoral ministry as a freshman in college, but it took another eight years for him to end up in a church setting. He is excited about pushing and challenging people to order their entire lives around Jesus Christ. His heartbeat is connecting those who currently know and passionately worship Christ, and those who are willing to live in authentic community, with those who have not yet had their lives transformed by Jesus. James is also passionate about his family. He’s been married to Abby since 1999. They are blessed with two sons, Sam and JJ.
Rev. Rick Snodgrass

Rev. Rick Snodgrass

North Texas District

Rick has planted, pastored, and mentored pastors for over 35 years. He mentored Conference Superintendents, and as Assistant Superintendent, mentored 71 pastors in the PNW Conference as well as many others outside the denomination. He and his wife Patti planted churches in Vallejo CA, Redmond WA, Mt. Vernon WA, and Nampa, DI. They live Granbury Texas where Rick serves as North Texas District Leader and as Director of Church Planting and Multiplication for The River Conference. Rick serves on the board of Impact, a multiplication movement where he has coached and mentored several micro churches and impact community leaders. Rick also coaches business owners and CEOs in organizational health as a way staying connected to the secular market place where the voice of Jesus needs to be heard. He works hard every day to walk out his life purpose to, “be living proof of a loving God to a watching world”. Ricks primary educational influences were Northwest Nazarene, Seattle Pacific, Western Evangelical Seminary, Regent and Fuller. Rick and Patti have been married for 43 years, have three sons who are married and serving Jesus and have been blessed with 9 grandchildren.

 
Rev. Ryan Stoops

Rev. Ryan Stoops

Boise District

Ryan Stoops is the Lead Pastor at Deer Flat Church in Caldwell, Idaho. Ryan is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and studied at Missouri Baptist University, from which he earned his undergraduate degree and Master of Business Administration. Ryan previously served as the Student Ministries Pastor at Crosspoint Church in St. Louis for 10 years where he oversaw children’s ministry, youth ministry and C3MI Leadership College. He and his wife, Katy, have been married since 2001. They are the proud parents of two children, Eli and Lilly-Pearl.
Rev. Heather Baker Utley

Rev. Heather Baker Utley

South Texas District

Born and raised in east Ohio, Heather relocated to Washington in 2004 to minister with Youth Dynamics, a parachurch non-profit ministry. In 2012, Heather responded to God’s call to pastoral ministry, serving seven years in FM churches in Washington, first at Arlington FMC and then at Seattle’s First FMC. She holds a BA from Taylor University and an MDiv from Seattle Pacific Seminary. In 2019, she and her husband/co-pastor, Clay, and their two sons relocated to San Antonio, TX to plant Tapestry Church, where she also works co-vocationally as a communications freelancer for FMCUSA, The River Conference, and Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy.

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