Pastoral Staff

Stephen Riley, Lead Pastor and Student Ministry Overseer

Stephen and Delisa Riley returned with their family to Kentucky in June 2013 after ministering in Pennsylvania for thirteen years.  Stephen led outreach ministries in Philadelphia for seven years, impacting a very diverse culture.  Serving as Family Life Pastor in Lancaster County, PA for six years, Stephen ministered with a passionate heart for all generations and believes in the value of relational ministry for evangelism and discipleship.
Greatly honored to follow Joel League, the beloved founding pastor who retired in July 2013, Stephen trusts that God will continue to expand God’s Kingdom through the love and truth of Jesus Christ into neighboring counties.
Stephen met his lovely wife, Delisa, at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK where he majored in Business Administration.  After college, he served as Pastor of Youth and Church Education  at Living Waters Church from 1988 to 2000.  He earned his Master of Divinity in 1995 from Asbury Theological Seminary and is also credentialed as a Board Certified  Chaplain.
Delisa teaches high school biology at Christian Academy of Louisville where their youngest child, Jana, attends high school.  Michael is a student at Vanderbilt University and Paul is a student at Hillsong College in Sydney, Australia.  Daniel has graduated college and works and resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Philip Whitehead, Executive Pastor and Susan Whitehead, Children’s Ministry Overseer

Philip has a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Carson Newman College and a Master’s of Church Music from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Philip served as Minister of Music at Farmdale Baptist Church, Eastern Parkway Baptist Church and Hurstbourne Baptist Church – all in Louisville, Kentucky. He has also served the East Maryville Baptist Church in Maryville, Tennessee and the First Baptist Church of Friendsville, TN. Philip joined the Living Waters staff on July 8, 1990.


Philip is originally from Maryville, Tennessee. He married Susan Adler Whitehead from Pleasureville, Kentucky. Philip and Susan have two sons: Stephen and Paul. Stephen is a graduate in theology from Lee University in Cleveland TN and serves as an associate pastor at Christ Community Church in Shelbyville. His wife, Casey (Winters) is a nurse and they have three sons, Benjamin, Nathan, and Silas; Paul has a Bachelor’s Degree in vocal performance from Lee University, a Master’s Degree in vocal performance from Appalachian State University and is currently working on a doctorate in voice at the University of Oklahoma.


Marti Brown, Pastor of Urban Ministries

Marti graduated from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 1974 as a graphic design and photography major. She did her graduate work at the University of Cincinnati in Art Education.  Marti taught in the Bardstown Public School System for 5 years then stayed at home with her children until her son was in kindergarten. She then taught at Living Waters Christian School – two years in the elementary school and two years in the high school.

Marti and her family have been a part of the Living Waters family since 1994. It wasn’t long after visiting Living Waters that they knew that God had called them to this place.

Marti is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. She is married to Randy Brown. Randy and Marti are the parents of Vivian Brown Cox, a wonderful homemaker to her husband Jesse and two children, Judah Alexander and Keegan;  daughter, Lindsey, a Physician’s Assistant for the U.S. Air Force stationed at Andrews outside of Washington DC.  She is married to 2nd Lt. Tony Leibig, an officer in the Army and they have a daughter, Brynn; and son, Chase living in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

  Jeremy Cloninger, Young Adult Pastor and Social Media and Website Design

Jeremy grew up in a pastor’s home and has always had a heart for God.  As a preacher’s kid, he grew up seeing the lost saved, broken hearts healed and God’s healing power manifested in people’s lives.  He was a part of the mighty move of God that swept through Living Waters in the 1990’s and from that time has been on a passionate pursuit of the heart of God.  He has been in youth ministry and has led worship at churches and conferences for over twenty years all over the region.  Jeremy is impassioned about seeing all generations awaken to their inheritance as sons and daughters of God. Jeremy has two amazing sons…Matthew, 21, and Jonah, 19.  

Pastor Emeritus

Joel and Carol LeaguePastor Joel League, Pastor Emeritus

Pastor Joel has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Arkansas Tech University and a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary. Joel pastored United Methodist Churches in Arkansas and Kentucky from 1973 to 1981. In 1981, he founded Living Waters Church and served as the Senior Pastor from the church’s inception until June 30, 2013.

Joel is originally from Carlsbad, New Mexico. In 1965, he married Carol Gleason League and they have two children, Delisa League Riley, Joel (Jody) League, Jr.  Delisa and her husband, Stephen, have four children – Paul, Daniel, Michael and Jana Riley.  Jody and his wife, Becky, have three children – Jessica, Cristina, and Elijah League.

Support Staff


Karen Carpenter, Financial Administrator

Karen graduated from Kentucky State University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Karen came on staff May 8, 2000. Karen has been married to Don Carpenter for 41 years. They have two sons (Chip and Gabe), three grandchildren (Christian, Adrianna, and Reuben), and a daughter-in-law (Felicia). Karen was saved at age 11, but really allowed Jesus to be Lord of her life at age 34. She and Don began attending LWC in 1985 after the Lord introduced the baptism in the Holy Spirit to their family. This changed their lives, saved their marriage, and healed their broken relationships. Karen went on a mission trip in 1987 to the Philippines, Hong Kong, and China (where they took Bibles in), helped build a church in Haiti in 1988, and went to India in 2007 wth a mission team from LWC. She has been to Israel four times and Don has been three times. “I love the Lord and owe everything to Him.”


Dolores Mitchell, Pastoral Care

Dolores Mitchell has been at Living Waters since the beginning in 1981. She came on staff as Church and School secretary in 1992 and has been in the present position for the past several years. Dolores is married to Kenny who is an agent at Re/Max Realty in Shelbyville. They have six children (Dawne, Sheree, Jacquelyn, Ginny, Jim, and Mary Jane) and fourteen grandchildren.

Her prayer and heart’s desire for Living Waters is the fulfilling of John 17, “That they all may be one just as You, Father, are in me an I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me. And that the love which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them.”

Congregational Elder

Larry Southard

Larry Southard

Larry is retired after a 32-year career in state government, where he worked the final 22 years in tourism and travel research. He and his wife, Elisabeth, serve as leaders of a Life Home Group. Larry had served 12 years in the Office of Deacon, the final six years as Chairman of the Board of Elders and Deacons, prior to being ordained as Congregational Elder in April 2011.




Mike Ellis

Mike is a retired farmer.  He and his wife, Sue, have three children, Kristen Frazier, Corey Kirschman, and Sean Ellis.  They have nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.  Mike participates in the men’s prayer group and Father’s Love.


Donnie Carpenter



Gerald Sheets

Gerald is a retired correctional officer. He and wife Catherine (Cathy), have been at Living Waters since 2000. He and Cathy have been married since 1968, and have been blessed with two children and two grandchildren.

Gerald serves as a door keeper, leads a communion team, and is an active participant in the men’s prayer that meets on Sunday morning and Thursday nights. He and Cathy also serve as assistant leaders of a Life Home Group, as well as members of both the alter ministry team and the Prayer for Israel Life Group.

Gerald Terrell

Gerald has been a part of the Living Waters Church family since 2013.  He and his wife, Michelle, serve as volunteers with the Father’s Love ministry and lead a Life Home Group in Shelbyville.  They have been married for over 10 years and have three children; Brianna, Josiah, and Elianna.


Darrell Tracy

Darrell is a retired engineer from a consulting firm in Frankfort, KY.  As well as being a deacon he serves in the communion servers team, mowing team and the foreign mission committee.  Carole is a counselor at the Avenues for Women pregnancy help center.  Together they have five children, twelve grandchildren and one great grand daughter.