Jarrod loves Jesus! His life’s goal is to become like Christ. Hired as Senior Pastor in 2024, he is responsible for being the spiritual leader of The Rising Church. He is committed to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, teach the Bible, guard the Doctrine of the church, engage in pastoral care, and to provide administrative leadership in all areas of church life and function. He endeavors to lead the church to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love their neighbors as themselves! He also seeks to equip the congregation to preach the gospel and make disciples of Jesus!
Before joining The Rising, Jarrod served at Open Door Fellowship for 10 years in various positions of leadership including as Administrative Pastor as well as Teaching and Discipleship Pastor. Jarrod also serves as the President of TELOS School of Discipleship, a ministry that focuses on evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development among those who are struggling with addiction, homelessness, and poverty in downtown Denver.
Jarrod has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and psychology. He received his master’s degree in Christian Studies with concentrations in New Testament Studies and Educational Ministries from Denver Seminary.
Jarrod is blessed to be married to Amy with four beautiful children!
Jarrod Irwin – Pastor Jarrod
Steve Byers has been pastor of The Rising Church since 1998. Prior to coming to The Rising he was Youth and Young Adult Minister and then Teaching Pastor at First Baptist Church of Clarendon in Arlington, VA. Steve is married to Cathy. They are a foster home family and have six children. Daughter Leah is an adult and lives in North Carolina. Their five other children were adopted from foster care and range in age from three to thirteen.
Steve has a Bachelor's Degree in Economics and History from Claremont McKenna College, a Master's in Business Administration from The University of Chicago, and Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry Degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Steve has a passion for creating genuine Christian Community in church and also creating an atmosphere that is welcoming to people without a church home or church background.
A former avid skier, Steve enjoys reading historical fiction and western novels, travel, history, and cooking. He has given of his time to help in neighborhood schools and in the Olde Town Arvada Community. He has also served on the Administrative and Finance Teams of The Mile High Baptist Association. Steve and his family live in Arvada.
Senior Pastor – Pastor Steve
Brian Lewis has been in ministry for 29 years, first as the founding Music Director of Pathways Church in Denver (1994-2000) and since then has been our Music Director and Associate Pastor at The Rising. He has a passion for the arts as a performer, teacher, and mentor, and seeks to equip others in fully realizing their gifts and talents in service to God.
Brian also leads Imago Dei, a small group dedicated to helping people use and develop their art in relation to their faith. His education includes University of Colorado, Loretto Heights College and a Master’s Certificate in Guitar from Berklee College Of Music.
As an active performing and recording musician, he has performed on over 100 albums, and is a 35-year veteran of touring, concerts and gigs. He continues to teach as Advanced Guitar Instructor at Evergreen Guitar Dojo. He plays chess and enjoys literature, poetry, film, Shakespeare, C.S. Lewis, good conversation, football, and living in the mountains. Brian and his wife Christine live in Evergreen, Colorado.
Karen Cowling brings over 30 years of experience in Special Education to her role at Mission Arvada. A volunteer since November 2017, Karen holds two master’s degrees in Speech/Language Pathology and Learning Disabilities. She and her husband, Keith, served as Denver County foster parents for a decade, creating a supportive community through a faith-based foster/adoptive parent group.
Karen's commitment extends beyond Mission Arvada; she has been actively involved with the Severe Weather Shelter Network since 2017, providing overnight shelter to the homeless during the coldest nights of winter.
As Mission Arvada’s director, Karen oversees the day-to-day operations of the shelter. Her responsibilities include supervising staff and volunteers, counseling clients, offering prayer support, and facilitating transportation to various agencies. Karen is deeply involved in advocacy and case management, connecting clients with crucial resources from dental care to mental health services. Her compassionate approach is evident in her commitment to transporting clients to court, crisis centers, or rehabilitation programs and making hospital and jail visits.
Passionate about making a difference, Karen manages administrative tasks, oversees volunteer recruitment and training, and collaborates with agencies for dental services, eye care, medical services, benefits, legal services, vital document recovery, mental health and more. Recognized for her outstanding contributions, Karen received the 2018 Image Award from the Arvada Chamber of Commerce.
Keith Cowling, Finance Director for The Rising Church, manages financial reporting and accounting for both the church and Mission Arvada. Retired in 2022 after 37 years at the Credit Union of Denver, with the last 22 years as CEO, Keith brings extensive leadership and financial expertise to his role.
Volunteering at Mission Arvada was a natural choice for Keith, inspired by the organization's impactful work and an opportunity that aligned with his background. Holding an MBA in Finance from the University of Colorado at Denver and a BA in Journalism/Advertising from the University of Wisconsin, Keith combines financial acumen with a diverse skill set.
Beyond his professional journey, Keith is committed to community service, reflecting his belief in making a positive impact. Notably, his wife, Karen, serves as the Director of Mission Arvada, and he takes immense pride in their collective contribution to the community.
As a dedicated member of both the church and the Mission Arvada team, Keith is passionate about the organization's mission and looks forward to continued collaboration in making a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need.
Cheryl Yeske has been Church Secretary and Assistant Treasurer at The Rising and Mission Arvada since February 2022. Before that, she volunteered off and on in the church office.
After a 45-year career as a nurse and case manager at Lutheran Hospital, Cheryl retired in 2018 with a passion for helping children and families. In that role, Cheryl ensured that families with newborns had comprehensive support, including housing, addiction treatment, mental health services, and more.
As Church Secretary/Assistant Treasurer, Cheryl handles diverse responsibilities, from paying bills, managing payroll and ordering supplies to creating church bulletins and planning and supporting church activities. With over two decades as a Rising member, Cheryl's dedication extends beyond her official role. She has been involved with church leadership for 10 years and currently serves as Deacon and member of the group working to find a new pastor.
Cheryl faced a personal loss in 2021 with the passing of her husband, Hap, known for his enthusiastic volunteer work at The Rising . (Church members will remember him as half of the duo “Hap & Leo.”) Despite this, Cheryl continues their legacy and remains devoted to her family—two daughters and two grandchildren.
Her conviction in the church's mission to help the homeless reflects a simple truth: "That's what Jesus calls us to do." In Cheryl, The Rising has a committed and experienced ally, blending a rich history with a deep sense of purpose.