Yakima Covenant Staff

Meet our staff at Yakima Covenant Church. Our hardworking staff is a family and are committed to putting Jesus at the center of all they do at home, work, and in the community.

  • Dean Nelson - Senior Pastor

    Coffee Profile: Velvet Hammer is intense in every category.  Sharp acidity and smooth smokey flavor. 

    Job Description: As Senior Pastor, Dean guides the church's vision and provides leadership through teaching, preaching, and empowering the staff and congregation.

    Favorite Scripture: But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.  They spread their wings and soar like eagles.  They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.  Isaiah 40:31

    Email: dean@yakimacovenant.org

  • Robert Rife - Pastor of Music and Worship

    Coffee Profile: Grande Americano in a dirty cup with bad cream.

    Job Description:  As Pastor of Music and Worship, Rob is responsible for helping to create an atmosphere of worship through music, the arts, and liturgy.

    Favorite Scripture: He has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

    Email: rob@yakimacovenant.org

  • Denise Syverson - Office Manager

    Coffee Profile: Tall nonfat mocha with extra chocolate.

    Job Description: Denise manages the general flow of office information and systems at Yakima Covenant  to ensure our church is functioning as smoothly as possible.

    Favorite Scripture: I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. Psalm 18:1

    Email: denise@yakimacovenant.org

  • Necia Davis - Nursery and Childcare Coordinator

    Coffee Profile: Black tea with almond milk and a splash of maple syrup


    Job Description: Necia coordinates our Nursery and Childcare program to provide a safe, nurturing place for children, enabling parents to participate in activities at our church.  Necia works to facilitate an environment in which children experience the delight of God's creative love, the wonders of the world around them, and joy in being together.

    Favorite Scripture: Psalm 23

    Email: necia@yakimacovenant.org

  • Clarence Leach - Custodian

    Coffee Profile: Black.

    Job Description: As custodian, Clarence works to take care of our building and grounds. Clarence ensures everything is sparkling clean, sets up for all events, and even handles minor repairs.

    Favorite Scripture: Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

    Contact: 966-1900

  • Jamie Leaverton - Preschool Teacher

    Coffee Profile: Hot or iced  lattes.

    Job Description: Jamie is the co-preschool teacher for our 3-year-old classes here at Wonderland.  Jaime works hard to teach our children all the skills they need to be successful in later schooling and in life.

    Favorite Scripture: For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but may have eternal life. John 3:16

  • Tami Abel - Preschool Teacher

    Coffee profile: Skinny iced vanilla lattes. Hot on cold days and iced on hot days.

    Job Description: Tami is the co-preschool teacher for both of our three year old classes. Tammy works hard to nourish curiosity through purposeful experiences to create a future full of lifelong learners in our preschool students.

    Favorite Scripture: The Lord is my rock. Psalm 18:2

  • Linda Marez - Preschool Teacher

    Coffee Profile: Tea.

    Job Description: Linda is the lead teacher to our AM and PM Pre-Kinder classes. Linda strives to create a dynamic learning environment where play and discovery go hand-in-hand.

    Favorite Scripture: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11


  • Talia Pierone - Preschool Teacher

    Coffee Profile: Iced or hot caramel macchiatos.

    Job Description: Talia is the assistant teacher in the AM Pre-Kinder class. Talia brings warmth, patience, and understanding to the classroom every day, encouraging our preschoolers to learn and grow

    Favorite Scripture: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10


  • Amanda Kephart - Preschool Teacher

    Coffee Profile: Lattes.

    Job Description: Amanda is the co-teacher for the three day a week pre-kinder class.

    Amanda utilizes individual and group activities to help students begin the learning process.

    Favorite Scripture: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:4-8

  • Aimee Ruiz - Preschool Teacher

    Coffee Profile: Iced or hot caramel lattes.

    Job Description: Aimee is the co-teacher in the three day a week pre-kinder class. Aimee works hard to

    encourage social interactions and foster a creative learning environment st Wonderland preschool.

    Favorite Scripture: For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but may have eternal life. John 3:16