The River of Life staff is here to serve you.
Our leadership team recognizes the authority of God, and realizes that we are shepherds who serve under the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. We desire to devote ourselves to prayer, to the ministry of the Word and the care of our congregation. 


Apostle Leonard Cook

Apostle Leonard Cook, Founding Apostle

Senior Pastors Leonard and Dr. Janet Cook planted River of Life Christian Center in the heart of Elkhart, Indiana, in 1996. Married 52 years, the Cooks raised three daughters and have 9 grandchildren..
In 1980 Leonard accepted an ordination to the position of Elder and was licensed with the Indiana Ministerial Association. He later attended Indiana Christian University in South Bend and continues to expand his Christian education. As a third generation minister, Leonard possesses a strong mentoring and fathering anointing to position people in their call through guiding, teaching, and training.
Leonard remains involved in outreach to the inner city through prayer walking and prayer gatherings. His civic involvements have included Commissioner of the Elkhart Housing Authority, and he has served on several boards and committees in Elkhart and St. Joseph County. Like the apostles in the New Testament, he has helped oversee events in the church and city, serving as a dedicated Elder and Gatekeeper. Apostle Leonard is currently on sabbatical.
Dr Janet Cook

Dr. Janet Cook, Senior Pastor

Dr. Janet Cook is one of the leading Christian Counselors in our area. She graduated from Trinity Theological Seminary with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biblical Counseling. She completed her undergrad work and earned a MA in Christian Ministry at Indiana Christian University (ICU). Janet serves as the Dean of the River of Life School of Ministry as well as director of Healing Streams Counseling Ministry.
She is endorsed by The Institute of Motivational Living as a Certified Behavioral Consultant and is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor with the American Association of Christian Counselors. She hosted a radio program for several years named “Word of the Lord”. It aired on 103.1 FM weekdays from 12:00-12:15.
Together Pastors Leonard and Janet make up a powerful Apostolic-Prophetic team, demonstrating God’s will for husbands and wives to stand side-by-side and minister the Gospel.


Pastor Venessa Peterson
Executive Pastor Venessa is a member of the original team who planted River of Life in 1996.  She has served alongside Senior Pastor, Dr. Janet Cook and Apostle Leonard for over 26 years. Venessa  is the mother of three beautiful children.  
As Executive Pastor Venessa is responsible for the  daily operations in the church. She also serves as director of Student Ministries. In addition to that she is responsible for the teams functioning outside of the auditorium on Sunday mornings.  
David Harris
Ron and Carole Denlinger
Sylvia Garza
Cheryl McIntosh
Jim and Carol Piekunka
Jerome McIntosh
                 Angela Moisenko
                 Cindy Granteer
Board of Directors
Dr. Janet Cook
Aaron Denlinger
Ron Denlinger
Jerome McIntosh
Angela Moisenko
Gabe Moore
Venessa Peterson
Carol Piekunka