Board of Directors

  • John Jakes-Chairman

John has volunteered at the Friendship Center for the last eight years. He came to Iowa with his wife Amy to serve at a church in Indianola 11 years ago. John and Amy have four children. He would invite your church or group to connect with this community at the Friendship Center because you will be amazed at the love these people have to give.

John works for the center as our Donor Coordinator. John works with the Executive Director on personal connections with major donors and follows-up with current major donors via personal calls, visits, lunch to thank donors for their gif(s)/support. John also provides an update on what God has been doing at the center.

  • Benjamin Bradley-Vice Chairperson

Ben has worked in church communications for 15 years and currently serves as the Communications and Outreach Director for the Baptist Convention of Iowa. Ben attends Keystone Church in Ankeny where he also serves part-time as the Communications Ministry Lead. Ben lives in Ames with his wife Sarah and their three children

  • Bobbie Thies-Treasurer

Bobbie has been a volunteer at the Friendship Baptist Center for over 11 years. She currently attends Cornerstone Church in Altoona.

Bobbie works for the center as our Financial Coordinator. Bobbie helps manage all donor databases, payroll, and tax-preparation, She has dual control with Executive Director in receiving and recording donations and is responsible for making sure that the center is up to date on the not-for-profit laws and regulations in references to reporting to the IRS, filling out the correct 990 forms, and bi-annual reporting.

  • Joni Wilkinson-Secretary

Joni has been involved with the Friendship Baptist Center since 1986. She is Administrative Assistant at the Clive Fire Department and also serves as the WMU (Women’s Missionary Union) Coordinator for the Baptist Convention of Iowa. Joni is a member of Crestwood Baptist Church.

Joni works for the center as our Volunteer Coordinator. Joni helps manage and update all volunteer contact databases, She assists the Executive Director in training and recruiting volunteers. She oversees and pursues mandatory background checks for all volunteers at the center.

  • Abby Charlton

Abby is married to RJ and, together, they are raising three kids. While she is currently a stay-at-home mom, Abby also works as an artist. She thrives on creating murals and custom work for clients in both the public and the private sector. They reside in the Drake neighborhood and enjoy getting to know their neighbors and watching their community flourish! Her family has recently embraced serving through the ministry of foster care. She and RJ share a passion for helping the relationships of families to be restored. She also enjoys helping with the kids’ ministries at Cottage Grove Church, serving there in many different roles.

  • Cody Crigger

Pastor Cody has been at Soteria Des Moines since 2002. Being an extremely talented musician and having a passion for leading worship, Cody leads Soteria’s band and congregation in worship on Sunday mornings. Cody is also Soteria’s church administrator and handles most of the executive day to day matters.

Cody enjoys sports, playing baseball and basketball.  He has an interest in photography and is always looking for the next lens to buy.  Cody also loves the outdoors and occasionally hikes Patagonia. Check out his photos and writing at codycrigger.com

He is also really excited that the Cubs won the World Series before he died.

Cody and his wife Londa have four kids.

  • Jeff Jergens

Since graduating college, Jeff has trended towards independent business ownership, both in medical devices and financial planning.  He has a passion for helping others. When not coaching, counseling, and planning for individual finances Jeff enjoys spending time with family.  He is an active member of his church (Soteria) where he serves as a deacon with a focus on outreach. He is also active with the PTA at school and serves as den leader for the cub scouts.

  • Cherian Koshy

Cherian Koshy is a Certified Fund Raising Executive and AFP Master Trainer with more than fifteen years of experience in a variety of non­profits where he has successfully helped organizations connect thousands of donors to causes they care about and raising tens of millions of dollars from foundations, governments, businesses, and individuals in the process. He currently serves as the Director of Development at Des Moines Performing Arts. Nationally, he serves as a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals External Relations Committee as well as a regular presenter at the AFP International Conference and regional workshops on fundraising. Cherian is a member, deacon, and board treasurer at Soteria Des Moines: A Baptist Church where he has served for nearly ten years. He is also the Vice President of Slingshot Consultants, which provides capital campaign and fundraising consultation to churches and Gospel-centered nonprofit organizations.

  • Samone Whitfield

Samone works as a Program Coordinator at Iowa State University. She lives in Ames, Iowa and attends Body of Christ Church in Ames.

Chris serves Iowa churches and ministries through the Baptist Convention of Iowa. He entered the ministry in 1991 at Grace Church in Des Moines, where he served as Communications Director and Pastor of Adult Ministries. In 2010, Chris became the Pastor of Small Groups at First Family Church in Ankeny, where he served until joining the Baptist Convention of Iowa in 2019. Chris and his wife, Chris, have three grown children and attend and serve at First Family in Ankeny.

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