About The Bird Family
The RiverTree Project, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the state of Iowa, was started by Erin & LeAnn Bird as a tool to help them fulfill the dream they believe God has called them to make reality.

Erin
Opening disclaimer: Despite the spelling of my name, I'm the guy in the photo to the right!...

I grew up in southwest Iowa as the son of two new Christians who helped me learn about Jesus. Through our young church, I was encouraged to go deeper in a relationship with my Heavenly Father. This created a desire in me to serve God full-time.

After attending Simpson College in Iowa for one year, I transferred to John Brown University where I majored in music (piano emphasis), minored in Bible, met my wife, and grew spiritually. In the early years of our marriage, LeAnn and I had two wonderful years serving at a school for missionary kids in Venezuela, after which we helped plant a church in the Denver, Colorado area where I led the worship.

Then in 2002, we started the young adult ministry at New Covenant Bible Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which in eight-and-a-half years grew from roughly 50 young adults to nearly 500. On top of this, I (along with a handful of leaders) started a city-wide young adult ministry that ministered to a wide-variety of young adults over a 7-year life span.

In the fall of 2008, I believed I heard God calling me and my family to leave our beloved church and city to walk by faith into the adventure of church planting. The journey first took us from Cedar Rapids to Kansas City to do a Leadership Residency at Restore Community Church.

And then the journey took us to beautiful Waverly, Iowa from where we hope to not only start Riverwood Church, but also send other church planters to other parts of Iowa and the US to continue the movement.

A little more about me:  I enjoy reading, watching Cornhusker football, dreaming of being a Hawkeye wrestler, swimming long distances, mastering Mac OS X, playing on my iPhone, listening to podcasted sermons, talking about life with my wife, losing wrestling matches to my boys, and dating my daughters.

You can learn more about me and my thoughts on my blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

LeAnn
I was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas. I made a decision as a 7-year-old to follow Christ. This decision was deeply influenced by my parents and a great church. This commitment also has become the foundation to many of the decisions I've made in life: helping start a bible study in my public high school, going to John Brown University to study math education, marrying Erin, being a missionary in Venezuela, counseling/encouraging women, and even choosing to stay home to raise our four children.

Those four children include a daughter born in 1997 in Venezuela, a daughter born in 2000 in Colorado, a son born in 2003 in Cedar Rapids, and another son born in 2006 (also in CR).  Also part of our family are our four Compassion kids, and a Wartburg College student from Belize.

Along with quality time with Erin or my kids, I enjoy conversation with friends (especially over dessert!), imagining that I made time to scrapbook, volunteering at my children's school, and playing board games.

Together, Erin and I are convinced God has called us to start a new church that will in turn help start other churches all around the state of Iowa to invite people into the river of Jesus where they can go deeper with Him.

While Erin seems quite "Internet connected," as a busy mom I have barely enough time to stay connected with friends through Facebook.

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