Rev. Jerry Akin
Reverend Jerry Akin is a native of Columbus, GA. He completed his undergraduate work at The University of Alabama, and earned his Master of Divinity degree at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Jerry was drawn to Methodism after being introduced to Wesleyan theology, which stresses the life of Christian holiness: to love God with all one’s heart, mind, soul and strength and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. He answered the call to full time pastoral ministry in 2012. He comes to Riverside after serving as Pastor at Buena Vista UMC. Jerry has worked with the Kairos Prison ministry, served as a Chartered Representative for the local Boy Scout troop and Cub Scout pack, and is currently the Chair of the Young Clergy Family Retreat Board in the South Georgia Conference. In his free time, he enjoys writing, running, and playing the guitar. Jerry and his wife, Clare, also a native of Columbus, GA, have two children: Liam and Hannah Clare.
Director of Children’s Center
Julie Chambers is the Director of the Children’s Center here at Riverside. A born and bred Maconite, she has been in the childcare industry for the past 35 years. Julie worked at Ingleside Baptist Church’s Children’s Center from 1995-2003. She started at Riverside as the Asst. Director in 2003. In 2008, Julie was selected as the new Director. As Director, Julie has insured the center has maintained its status of being one of the top childcare centers in middle Georgia. She has spearheaded various renovation projects at the center, the latest being the updating of the front of the center with new fencing and landscaping. She is married to Mark Chambers and has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.
Dr. Rich Kosowski
Director of Music Ministries
Rich Kosowski is a child of the Midwest who was born in Chicago and grew up around Green Bay, WI. He attended high school in the southern suburbs of St. Louis, MO and attended Truman State University in Kirksville, MO, from which he earned a Bachelor of Music Education. He holds a Master of Music in Performance degree from University of Miami (FL) and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Voice Science from the University of Houston (TX). He has held different cantor, chorister, and conductor positions in churches and synagogues throughout his adult life in Atlanta, Miami, New York City, and Houston. While in Atlanta, he served as a children’s choir director in a number of local churches, and he also served as the interim director of music at Grace United Methodist Church, Atlanta, and most recently at Mulberry United Methodist Church, Macon. Rich currently serves as the Director of Graduate Studies at Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music. At TSM he serves as music director of Mercer University Opera. He is also the music director of Mercer University Youth Choirs. He and his wife, Mary Beth, have been married for 30 years. They have two children, Alex and Katie.