Pastoral Team

Leadership Team

Dr. Connie Dawson became the lead pastor of Radiant Church in 2011. Pastor Connie is known for her straightforward, high impact preaching and teaching with divine revelation, which brings the Scriptures to life, and generates a hunger for more of His presence. Believers are established in foundational truths as she delivers powerful insights from the Word of God. She is an intercessor who seeks to have a deep and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and the anointing she experiences in ministry is an overflow of her time of intimate prayer, worship, and waiting on God. Pastor Connie has a MA in Theology, a Master of Divinity, a MBA from the University of Colorado, and a Ph.D. in Renewal History and Theology from Regent University, VA Beach.

Dr. Dawson and Bruce served as missionaries in China for five years where Connie worked with church leaders and taught in the underground Bible schools, and Bruce taught in government universities. They also served for five years in the Philippines at the Asia Pacific Theological Seminary where Bruce worked as the assistant business administrator, and Connie ministered with local pastors and traveled as an international conference speaker and teacher.


Currently, in addition to pastoring, Dr. Dawson is a professor for Global Awakening Theological Seminary  where she teaches Church and Revival History. She is an ordained minister with the Apostolic Network of Global Awakening. Before entering full time ministry, she was the founder and administrative director of Cardiology at Saint Elizabeth Medical Center here in Lincoln.  


Pastor Connie and her husband Bruce have two married sons and six grandchildren.

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Dr. Connie & Bruce Dawson

Lead Pastor & Associate Pastor

R.C. and Julia Fries joined the staff at Radiant Church in the summer of 2021 as associate pastors. They met while attending Nebraska Christian College, where they both graduated with associate degrees in ministry. Julia went on to graduate with her bachelor's in ministry from Oral Roberts University. At 18, R.C. had a radical encounter with God, which brought him to salvation and received a call into ministry. Having grown up in Lincoln, R.C.'s heart is to see the city of Lincoln saved and brought into revival. R.C. has a passion for worship and prayer. Julia felt God's call to serve the church from a young age and even gave her first sermon at seven while serving in Mexico. Having grown up as a pastor's kid, Julia received Christ as a child. Both R.C. and Julia have a great love for the body of Christ and a desire to see the lost saved. R.C. and Julia have three young kids. They love to build, garden, camp, and worship together as a family.  

R.C. & Julia Fries

Worship Pastor & Associate Pastor

Rachel Gaarder

Children's Pastor / Office Manager

Rachel was born and raised in a Pentecostal church and began ministering to children as a young teenager. Rachel holds an associate degree in Multimedia design and a Bachelor's degree with emphases in Media Arts and Administration.  In addition, she and her husband Bradley attended Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas where they both earned a degree in Practical Ministry Theology. Rachel and Bradley have been members of Radiant Church under Pastor Connie Dawson since 2012. 

Rachel has a desire to lead children to discover who they were created to be and to connect them with a more intimate relationship with Christ.