Richard Rieves, Lead Pastor
Richard is the Lead Pastor of Downtown Church. Richard is married to Rachel and they have three daughters, Whitney Hale, Ashley Powell and Amy Katherine Power. They moved to Memphis from Fort Collins, CO where Richard planted Grace Church PCA. Prior to this, the Rieves spent ten years in Olive Branch, MS planting and pastoring Christ PCA. The Rieves moved back to Memphis to start a new church in downtown Memphis that proclaims the gospel and witnesses its power to reconcile Memphians to Jesus and each other. Richard is a 1983 graduate of CBHS and a 1986 graduate of the University of Memphis. He has his Master of Divinity Degree from Reformed Theological Seminary.
Richard enjoys running, fishing, skiing (on snow or water), grilling and smoking ribs, turkey or just meat in general, college basketball, the beach and lake, duck hunting, good music, mountains, and rivers.
Michael Davis, Teaching Pastor
Michael Davis serves as the Teaching Pastor at Downtown Church. He is married to Serena and they have one son, Michael “MJ” Davis Jr. In 2013, Michael and his family moved from St. Louis, MO to Memphis, TN to serve as the pastoral intern for Second Presbyterian Church and Downtown Church. It was then that Michael's desire to know and understand multi-ethnic, multi-class, and multi-generational ministry began to grow. In 2014, Michael accepted a call as an Assistant Pastor to Young Adults at Second Presbyterian Church. In 2017, Michael received a call to serve as the Teaching Pastor at Downtown Church. He is passionate about expositional preaching, shepherding and equipping the people of God. He is a pastor that is urgent about gospel ministry that transforms the hearts and lives of individuals that need to be reconciled to God and one another.
Michael holds an M.Div from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. He also received a B.S. from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO. Michael has been deeply involved in several ministries in the city of Memphis. He spends much of his time serving as the board chairman of Advance Memphis.
Michael enjoys sports, photography, BBQ, jazz music, and spending time with his family.
Rebecca Rhodes, Director of Children's Ministry
Growing up in a military family, Rebecca moved around a lot, but over the past ten years the Bluff City has become home. Rebecca is married to native Memphian Michael, and they have four children, Isaiah, Ames, Nova, and Jubilee.
After college, Rebecca served as a missionary in Kenya. She and Michael joined New City Fellowship Nairobi and were challenged and encouraged by that local church to love and serve one another in Christ across socioeconomic and ethnic lines. Returning to Memphis in 2010, they became founding members of Downtown Church and moved into their beloved South Memphis neighborhood. Rebecca joined the Memphis Teacher Residency program and taught in the Shelby County Schools as a 7th grade science teacher at Kingsbury Middle School. Since 2015, she has served as an Instructional Coach for MTR.
Her years as a teacher, intentional neighbor, mom of four, and children’s Sunday school teacher have all developed her love of teaching children and desire to see holistic reconciliation happen through the Gospel of the Resurrected Lord Jesus. Rebecca desires to see all the children of Downtown Church grow in their love and knowledge of Jesus Christ, their care for His church; and to develop them as citizens of His Kingdom, as witnesses to the world, and as students of His Word.
Rebecca holds a BA in Philosophy from Covenant College and a MA in Urban Education from Union University.
Amernique Johnson, Administrative Assistant
Ambernique, born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee is a graduate of Whitehaven High School, and The University of Memphis where she earned her Bachelor’s degree of Business Administration in management information systems. She also just recently graduated from Strayer University with a Master’s of Business Administration in project management. Throughout college and graduate school, she served as vice president of a non-profit mentoring organization and started her own online boutique shortly after that. She has a heart and passion for fashion and helping others look & feel good in their clothing. Ambernique enjoys spending time with her daughter Brooklyn, reading, shopping, listening to podcasts, and giving back and helping others in any capacity she can.
TaWanda Stewart, Nursery Director
Tawanda grew up in Chicago, Illinois and moved to Memphis, Tennessee when she was 13 years old. After graduating high school she knew that she always wanted to work with children and their families so she taught Pre-K for 8 years and currently works full-time as a Child Care Resource and Referral Specialist. Tawanda has earned an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education, Bachelors in Behavioral Science and a Masters in Educational Leadership. Desiring to use her skills, passion, and love for children and families to better serve the Lord, Tawanda joined the Downtown Church staff as the Nursery Director. She has two amazing children, Te’Varius and Nolan.
Terence Gray, Church Planting Resident
Terence is a native Memphian whose faith journey began in high school where he received Christ at the age of 17. He and his bride, Ashley, returned to Memphis in the summer of 2016 after serving as the youth pastor at One Community Church in Dallas, TX. Prior to serving in Texas, Terence was a pastoral resident at Fellowship Memphis, where he cultivated a passion for student ministry in a multiethnic context. He desires to see teenagers develop an authentic faith of their own and realize their potential to be apart of God’s mission. As well, Terence has a passion for music and the arts and uses hip-hop as a form of ministry to reach the next generation. In 2013 he co-founded Mission Muzic Nights a concert series and outreach to the city of Memphis through the arts. Terence currently serves as a church planting resident at Downtown Church. He enjoys Grizzlies games, seafood, reading, live music and spending time with his bride, Ashley Gray.
Adrianna Christmas, Director of Worship
Adrianna Christmas is a vocalist raised in Gary, IN. She obtained her Masters in Arts Administration from the prestigious School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. After falling in love with the students of Stax Music Academy during an internship, Adrianna returned to Memphis 2012 and has worked as the Program Manager, Operations Manager, and most recently Director of the Academy. In July 2018, Adrianna answered the call to become the full-time Music Director at Downtown Church. She looks forward to worshiping God in Spirit and truth each Sunday with her DC family as she continues to grow in ministry.
Ashley Gray, Pastoral Resident
Ashley was born in Oklahoma but got to Flower Mound, Texas as fast as she could! She has a heart and passion for united women pursuing truth in Gods Word. Ashley attended University of North Texas where she earned her degree in Broadcast Journalism with a Minor in Psychology and Political Science. She then went on staff with a global campus ministry called Campus Outreach, teaching women about Christ and showing them how to multiply their lives by making disciples. Very soon after she married her husband now of three years, Terence Gray. Ashley transitioned her ministry into high school education teaching AP Literature and Composition and Creative Writing. In Fall 2016 Ashley and Terence returned to Memphis and she continued in Education at Freedom Prep High School teaching Visual Arts. Now she is returning to full time ministry at Downtown as a Pastoral Resident focusing on Women's Ministry.
George Moore, Pastoral Resident
George is a native Memphian who loves his city. He attended Lambuth University, where he rededicated his life to Christ at the age of 18. He played baseball at Lambuth, was team chaplain his senior year, and received his B.S. in Psychology and Minor in Religion. In 2011, he returned to Memphis where he worked at Memphis Recovery Center and Streets Ministries. He desires to help people see the beauty of God’s Word and how it speaks to every circumstance they face. From 2014-2018, he worked for Agape Child and Family Services, where he helped to provide academic support and wraparound services to students and families in the Frayser Community. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Divinity. In 2016, he married his wife Ashley Moore, who came to Memphis to be a part of the Downline Emerging Leaders Program. He enjoys reading, sports, traveling, working out, and spending time with his bride.
Sirgregory Thornton, Youth Pastor
Kevin Fukala, Pastoral Resident
Kevin was born and raised in Elgin, IL and is the youngest of three sisters. Since age 9 his dream was to be a professional hockey player. His dad was into hockey; therefore, when he was 9 he started Kevin in his first season of organized ice hockey. However, during the early part of Kevin’s teenage years he began to rebel. The boundary lines in the High schools changed and he ended up attending the high school in which he was a cultural minority. In Kevin’s pursuit to find community, he found himself associating and becoming affiliated with gang life. By the time Kevin was 16 he quit hockey and pursued “street life.” Eventually, God used a near death experience and several other circumstances to get Kevin off the streets and back into hockey.
During Kevin’s last year of Junior hockey, he was called by a scout to play college hockey for the University of Central Oklahoma. College for Kevin consisted of the party life. However, God intervened by creating a friendship between Kevin and his team chaplain. Eventually, his team chaplain lead him to faith in Christ. After Kevin’s senior year of college, he went on to play minor league professional hockey. Kevin saw his career as an opportunity to advance the gospel in a dark world. In Kevin’s third season as a pro, he suffered a career ending shoulder injury while playing for the Mississippi Riverkings. Kevin believes God used this injury to call him into full time ministry. The pastor of Kevin’s local church affirmed him in this calling and encouraged him to pursue an MDIV in seminary.
After becoming a member at Second Presbyterian Church, Campus Outreach pursued Kevin and offered him a campus staff position. God saving Kevin during his college years has helped fuel his passion for college students to know Christ. In addition, his high school years taught him about different cultures and how to interact among those diverse cultures. All these experiences coupled with the gospel has given Kevin a vision for multi-ethnic multi-class ministry. As Kevin and his wife Monica have witnessed the Lord transform the lives of students, they know that holistic life transformation starts and ends with the Gospel. It is their desire to fuel God’s people with the gospel, equipping and training them for every good work in order that God’s kingdom would come and his will would be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Kevin enjoys good food, locally roasted craft coffee, iron tribe, date nights with wife, outdoors, reading, studying, friends, family, good laughs, and beach vacations.