Our Team

Brad Ferris

Lead pastor

I am passionate about preaching the Word of God in a way that is practical and applicable for changed lives.  I enjoy being with people and celebrating with them in the good times, and walking with them in the difficult times.”

Brad graduated from Lincoln Christian University with a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministries. After twelve years of faithful ministry, Brad answered the call to join RCC as Lead Pastor in June 2012. His spiritual gifts are LeadershipTeaching, and Administration.

He and his wife, Mary Ann, have six children: Neil, Madeline, Sarah, Samuel, Andrew, and Abigail. Brad loves to spend time with his family and bass fish.

Ethan Tapscott

Worship & Creative Arts Pastor

My passion is for each individual to encounter the Lord in such a way that their lives become testimonies to Christ’s love throughout the week.”

Ethan graduated from Lincoln Christian University with a Bachelor’s degree in Worship Studies. Ethan oversees all music and creative arts elements that go into a Sunday Morning, as well as helping other ministries with lighting, sound, visuals, and graphic design. Since graduating college, Ethan has served in a variety of worship ministries and has been faithfully serving at RCC since January 2016. His spiritual gifts are Leadership, Serving, and Knowledge.

He and his wife, Emilie, enjoy swing dancing, water & snow skiing, rollerblading, and going on adventures. Ethan also loves all things music.

Andy Conklin

Adult Discipleship Pastor

“I am excited to work with everyone who comes through the doors of this building to help us all go out from these walls to be the church as God intended us to be. Studying the Bible together on Sundays or in small group and helping one another grow in Christ and be more like Jesus is absolutely the best!”

Andy graduated from St Louis Christian College and Kentucky Christian University with a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry and Master’s degree in Religion (respectively). We are excited to have Andy use his Spiritual Gifts of apostleship, teaching, and leadership as our Discipleship Pastor here at Rochester Christian Church since July 2021. Before serving at RCC, Andy has worked or volunteered in every capacity except singing. According to him, no one needs that.
 
He and his wife, Amy, have 3 children: Abigail, Paige, and Crawford; as well as one poodle and two cats. Andy enjoys working with his hands doing yard work, or going out camping, or cycling.

Paul Swanson

Children's Pastor

“I am passionate about seeing kids enjoy attending church, having fun while learning God’s word, and pointing kids to Jesus.”

Paul graduated from Lincoln Christian University with a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry. After serving in Long Island, NY for 16 years, Paul is excited to be back in Illinois! Joining RCC as the Children’s Pastor in August of 2020, Paul demonstrates his spiritual gifts of encouragement, shepherding, and teaching throughout his ministry.
 
He and his wife, Vicki, have 3 children: Zach, Katie, Jakob, and one granddaughter, Brinley. Outside of the church, you can find Paul enjoying a walk, riding bikes, beating the Student Pastor in ping pong, or hanging out with his family.

Matt Gibbs

Student Pastor

“My passion as it pertains to Student Ministry is seeing students form a deeper relationship with Christ- a relationship of their own where they see God working in their lives.”

Matt Gibbs graduated from Johnson University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Bible, Theology, and Youth Ministry. Before joining the staff of RCC in January 2021, Matt served in a variety of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. His top spiritual gifts are teaching, exhortation, and knowledge.

Matt will marry Emily Blankenship, his favorite person in the entire world, this fall (October 2021). He loves to be outside, whether it be enjoying the nice day or doing something adventurous. He also enjoys reading, watching any sport, playing video games, and hanging out with friends.

Heidi Wareham

Missions Director

“My passion is to equip the body at RCC to undertake our part in the fulfillment of Revelation 7:9-10…”After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”” 

Heidi Wareham graduated from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She has attended RCC since she moved to Rochester in 2001. Heidi joined the staff as Missions Director in April 2009. Her top spiritual gifts are mercy and faith.

She and her husband, Ross, have one daughter: Emily. Heidi loves gardening, traveling, and taking naps in her hammock.

Laura Welch

Office Manager

My job is not a ‘job,’ it’s a family heirloom that has been handed down to me and I am honored to serve my church family until the day that I hand it down to the next generation.”

Laura has been a faithful member of RCC since 1972, and has served as our Church Secretary since March of 2000. Laura has also volunteered in our student ministry, and is actively serving on the Worship Tech Team. We are blessed by Laura’s spiritual gifts of EvangelismFaith, & Pastoral Service.

Laura and her late husband, Mike, have two kids: Cole & Josh. Laura loves spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren Bailey, Ethan, Gavin, and Karli.

April Vinyard

Business Manager

April began serving part-time in the business office in 2004 and became full-time in 2006. As Business Manager, April oversees the financial aspects of the church as well as the scheduling and use of our church facility. Believe it or not, she does enjoy more than just numbers. April and her husband, Tyler, have two children, Payton and Sage. She loves spending time with her family, scrapbooking and is a big sports fan: Go Bears, Go Cards! (In fact, Tyler proposed at a Cards game with the help of Fred Bird!)

Emilie Tapscott

Social Media Director

“My desire is to live life with passion, inspire others, and be a confident witness of God’s greatness. I love to be used by God to communicate His truths in powerful and effective ways.”

Emilie graduated from Lincoln Christian University and University of Illinois Springfield with a degree in both Bible and Communications. Emilie has attended RCC since 2016 when her husband was called to their Worship Ministry Department. Emilie enjoys organizing special events, facilitating women’s fellowship, and supporting her husband’s ministry. Emilie now serves as our Social Media Director, utilizing her Spiritual Gifts of: CommunicationTeaching, & Leadership.

Emilie and her husband, Ethan, are also passionate about marriage and serve as Pre-Marital Counselors. Emilie loves art, reading, and doing pilates. She especially loves going on adventures with her husband and experiencing God’s creation.

Julie Hart

TLL Preschool director

“I am passionate about educating children in the love of Jesus and preparing them academically for school.”

Julie studied Elementary Education and graduated with her Bachelors degree from Eastern Illinois University. Julie has attended RCC since 2013, and was hired on as our Preschool Director in 2018. You can also find Julie volunteering on the Worship & Praise Team with her daughter, Kate. Julie serves with her top Spiritual gifts of Shepherding, Encouragement, and Leadership.

Julie and her husband, Matt, have three children: Jack, Jane, and Kate. Julie loves to read books, watch movies with her family, and exercise.