Pastor Howie and his wife Melanie have been in ministry for more than 30 years, serving on four continents. Their experiences range from mowing grass, prayer room, children’s church and nursery, to leading Bible studies and small groups, and serving as worship pastors. Wherever there was a need, they jumped in and served.
Howie served in the Army as a Military Police Officer from 1977-2009, when he retired here in Waynesville. He and Melanie served as the worship pastors at Grace Covenant Christian Center from 2007 to 2013, when Howie was asked to step in as the interim pastor. As Howie jokes, “Here I am almost 9 years later, and they still haven’t found my replacement”. Easter Sunday, 2014, Grace Covenant became The River, under their leadership.
Howie’s first pastoral role was at a small weekly service held on an Army base in Seoul, South Korea from 1993-95. Since then, both Howie and Melanie have served in primary leadership roles at their church wherever the Army took them. Their life has been one amazing God thing after another, whether it was God opening the door for Howie to preach in the Army chapel in Germany during Operation Iraqi Freedom, or leading a weekly Bible study while deployed to Afghanistan, or placing them in the roles of lead pastors, God has truly blessed them.