Get to know the Leaders
of Grace Baptist...
a monthly look at two of the men who serve on the leadership

team of Grace as pastors and elders.


November 2014
John Beck and Mike Wilke

John Beck - Elder

What area do you serve in at Grace?
We have enjoyed serving in children's ministries in the past, and we presently have a Grace Group, and a college age Community Group that meet in our home every week.

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
Having recently been affirmed as an Elder, I'm most excited to see the ways that God is going to use me to serve His church. I can't imagine a greater privilege or adventure than that role.

Tell us about your family
Mary and I celebrated our 21st anniversary in July. We have a daughter who is 17 and a son who is 15. They have both grown up at Grace, and we couldn't be more proud of them and joyful about their growth in the Lord.

What do you do for work?
For about five years I have been teaching courses within the business department and degree completion program at the Master's College as an adjunct professor. That experience has been absolutely impactful for me as I have enjoyed investing in the students, equipping them to represent Christ with excellence in the workplace, and growing as a teacher. For the past 19 years I have been involved as a CEO and General Manager for a local software company. More recently, I started my own management consulting firm. Something close to my heart is to help people see their professional life as a platform for ministry and I'm involved in a local association of Christian business leaders with that in mind.

What book are you reading?
Right now I am reading a book on interpersonal communication called "Interplay." This is in preparation for a course I am teaching at Masters. It is written from an academic, somewhat worldly perspective, but I enjoy taking what can be learned from scholarly research and running that through a Biblical lens. As part of the Elder candidacy process we read several books, one of which was "Dangerous Calling" by Paul David Tripp. The book is just plain fantastic and sincerely life changing. For my own enjoyment, I just started a business book that was recommended to me called "Business Adventures" by John Brooks. Apparently it is both Bill Gates and Warren Buffet's favorite business book so I'm really curious to find out why.

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
If that opportunity included becoming instantly good at any sport, I'd probably pick Golf. It seems like something that requires a certain skill level to enjoy thoroughly and as yet I don't know that I have enjoyed it thoroughly. I guess that would be a gentle way of admitting that I'm awful:-)

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
Well I already got to have lunch with David Hegg a couple of times now so that pretty much takes the cake. Spending time with someone who's heart and mind are that saturated in God's word will give you a glimpse of what the character of Christ is really like, and that is a great blessing. You probably mean someone I haven't had lunch with already, and I'm guessing you mean someone living, so I'll say Jesus.

Mike Wilke - Communications Director

What area do you serve in at Grace?
I am the Director of Communications which covers any technical areas along with graphics, printing and weekend worship services.

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
Grace has gone through a lot of transition in the last 10 years and I'm thankful for God's hand on us, I'm looking forward to see the next chapter unfold.

Tell us about your family
I've been blessed to be married to Beth for 21 years and we have two great boys...Josh is 14 and Jack is 8.

What book are you reading or music are you listening to?
You know I don't read like most of the guys around here though I am able to read :). Most recently I read Instruments in the Hands of the Redeemer by Paul Tripp and I really enjoy listening to Crowder, Elevation Worship and Vertical Church Worship.

- If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
Basketball with the speed of CP3, the shooting of Ray Allen and the jumping of Deandre Jordan or golf is fun too.

- If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
Just one? Who came up with these questions... how about Julius Erving.

October 2014
Mike McGrath and Jared Burkholder

Mike McGrath - Elder

What area do you serve in at Grace?
We serve currently as co-leaders of Marriage Builders, a Saturday night ABF

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
We are most excited currently about the marriage emphasis at Grace as we know from experience that we will be short of what God has for our families and the family of Grace without authentic, strong, and sacrificially loving marriages. We are also very excited about the youth ministry and having the pieces come together with our staffing there.

Tell us about your family...
Shelley and I have been married for nearly 22 years. We have five kids: Garrett, 19; Brody, 17; Alleah, 15; Collette, who will be 13 this month, and Griffin, who is 3.

What do you do for work?
I am a financial advisor with EP Wealth Advisors out of Torrance, CA. I have been in that field for nearly 18 years and with this particular firm for a little more than five years.

What book are you reading?
A couple of books which have really convicted and challenged me recently are, "How People Change", by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp and "With Christ in the School of Prayer, by Andrew Murray. Through these works, the Lord is teaching and admonishing me about what abiding in Christ looks like and how effective, intimate prayer can happen in our lives today.

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
If I could have played any sport professionally, it would definitely have been baseball. I played as a kid into high school and thoroughly enjoyed it. If it wasn't for my inability to hit breaking balls low and away, maybe it could have worked out differently. :-)

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
If I could only choose one, I would love to break bread with Bono from U2. I grew up listening to that band and would love to see what makes him tick.


Jared Burkholder - Junior High Pastor

What area do you serve in at Grace?
I serve as the Jr. High pastor.

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
I love the emphasis that Grace has on teaching and modeling both grace and truth. Together, these embody the ethic of Christ and put on display the essential truths of the Gospel. I’m excited to be a part of that, especially with our Jr. High students.

Tell us about your family...
Janelle and I have been married for a little over 6 years. We met and started dating our freshman year of college and have been together ever since! 

What did you do before you came to Grace?
Before coming to Grace, I worked as the youth pastor at Twin City Bible Church in Winston-Salem, NC.

What book are you reading?
I am currently reading a biography of Hudson Taylor and Vertical Church by James MacDonald

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
I would love to play hockey. It’s such a fast-paced game—wish I was coordinated enough to skate like that.

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
I’m a big Francis Schaeffer fan. He was so good at bringing clarity to how the culture evidences a deep need for the Gospel. And he did a wonderful job of explaining how only the Gospel offered hope to a sin-cursed world. Would love the chance to pick his brain.


September 2014
Chris Vance and Dan Broyles

Chris Vance - Elder

What area do you serve in at Grace?
I am pleased to serve as a Chaplain for our body weekly, as a mentor of men under men's ministry and Foundations, marriage mentor with my wife Marjorie, Grace Group facilitator, Men's Book Club coordinator, and co-leader of Men’s Study groups

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
I am excited about the interest demonstrated and growth of Men's Ministries within our body; as men nurture their vertical relationship with God, their horizontal relationships mature.

Tell us about your family – how long married, kids, grand kids and ages.
Marjorie and I recently celebrated our forty-fourth year of blissful matrimony, We have two wonderful daughters and son in laws; Sarah and Brian Daly, Laura and Danny Tagliere. The Daly's have Lincoln 8 and Harper 5. The Tagliere's have three children, Alyssa 12 , Parker 10, and Reagan 8.We consider ourselves blessed to have our family living so near

What do you do for work?
Except for one day each week that I work at the TPC golf course, I am a retired physician most fulfilled by serving at Grace.

What book are you reading or CD are you listening to?
Currently I am reading "Is God a Moral Monster ?" by Paul Copan it is a review of the Old Testament ceremonial and judicial laws that God provided to preserve His people. I listen to our pastors sermons in CD form to allow God's message to soak into my thick skull.

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
If I could play a professional sport it would be America’s past time- Baseball, I am a team player, I enjoy a team victory much more than personal gain.

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
If I could have lunch with anyone it would be RC Sproul, a theological giant who lives humbly as a Christ follower.


Dan Broyles - Care & Marriage Pastor


What area do you serve in at Grace?
I am the Pastor of Care and Marriage Ministry. This includes: Marriage mentoring, Premarital, Spiritual Care, Care Groups, Adoption/foster care ministry

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
I am really excited about the future of marriage ministry and the idea of having an off-site marriage and parenting center for the community. I used to work as a social worker in the community and I have a passion to bring the love and truth of Christ to the community.

Tell us about your family.
I am married to Carli and we met as teenagers on the way to Hume Lake. We are celebrating our 17th anniversary on July 26th.
I have two children – Nate (age 9) and Nolan (age 7)

What did you do before you came to Grace?
Prior to working at Grace I worked as a social worker for Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, investigating child abuse cases

What book are you reading
I just finished reading “The Good News about Marriage” by Shaunti Feldhahn and I would highly recommend this book

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
I would play for the Lakers (They have 16 championships in their overall history)

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
I would like to have lunch with Dennis Prager (radio host)


August 2014
Jody Evans and Peter Beers

Jody Evans - Elder


What area do you serve in at Grace?
I co-teach an Adult Bible Fellowship class for newly and nearly married couples (WE2R1) on Sunday mornings. I serve in the Care Ministry through a support group, Abiding Hope. I've traveled to India on some missions trips and I also work with Mike Gaston on the Small Groups Task Force.

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
I am very excited about our emphasis at Grace on unity, growing more and more into the likeness of Christ, and being instigators of change in our world.  We have so many ways to plug into what God is doing in our world at Grace and I get excited when I see folks begin to get involved and grow as result.  I think the Marriage Mentor program is going to be a fantastic blessing to the Grace family and I hope to the community.  The construction of our new patio is also a great thing to be excited about.

Tell us about your family
Cori and I have been married for 28 great years.  We met in college, became great friends, dated each other's roommates, then realized we were dating the wrong people!  We have four great kids, all living for the Lord.  Andrew is a financial planner for MetLife and is married to Kim, a recent MBA grad.  Daniel is a production coordinator at Dreamworks and is married to Caroline, a graphic designer, working at Grace.  Ben is currently attending college in Redding, majoring in music composition.  Carly is attending Biola majoring in English.  No grandkids yet!

What do you do for work?
I am Vice President, Facilities and Office Services at Logix Federal Credit Union in Burbank.  I've been in the Facilities industry for over 30 years serving in companies in Texas and California.

What book are you reading?
I just finished Covenental Apologetics by Scott Oliphant and I'm currently reading Truth with Love: The Apologetics of Francis Schaeffer by Bryan Follis.

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
Why baseball of course, for the Houston Astros.

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
Deceased - Sir Winston Churchill Alive - Alister McGrath - President of Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics


Peter Beers
Worship Life Pastor


What area do you serve in at Grace?
Worship Life Ministries

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
The effectiveness of Pastoral/elder leadership team

Tell us about your family
Robin and I have been married for 36 years and we have two boys 2 boys, Brad and Jon and 2 grandsons Brayden who is 5 and JJ who is 2

What did you do before you came to Grace?
I taught public school for 15 years as a junior high teacher

What book are you reading?
The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan that deals with Sabbath rest.

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
No doubt, golf [I think that’s a sport]

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
Steven Curtis Chapman...I admire his talent and God’s hand in his life through the best and worst of times.


July 2014
David Cea and Mike Gaston

David Cea
Pastor to Spanish Ministries



Tell us about your family
Last February, my wife, Ana Carolina, and I celebrated our Thirty wedding anniversary. It has been a delightful journey. We met in San Salvador, El Salvador, in our early stage of life (I was 11; She was 9 years old when we come across). We were Baptize the same day in 1972, and served together in different areas of ministry. I came to the USA in 1981, went back to El Salvador in October 1983 to get married in February of 1984. Our early years of marriage were impacted for the civil war in El Salvador and God used that to move us to the USA in 1989. We have two adult children; Ana 28, graduated from CSUN and happily married with Andrew Romero; and Joshua 23, (Single), not quite done yet, but close to finish in CSUN too. Both are walking close to our Lord, and love to serve. Joshua is part of our Spanish Ministry Worship team here at Grace. We have two wonderful grandchildren, Andrew Ethan (3 years) and Addison Marry (11 Months).


What area do you serve in at Grace?

I serve as Spanish Ministry Pastor. Part of my duties includes Preaching, Teaching, Counseling and leading our Spanish spiking brothers and sister to the same purpose and mission we had committed at Grace. In addition, I lead a team in Global Outreach as a Go Team Leader. This coming June I will be leading a team to Masaya, Nicaragua in partnership with Evangelic Spanish Mission.

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
The different ministries that are serving side by side with the same goal and direction: Making and Multiplying Christ-followers. That we, as a local church, reflect and enjoy our multicultural community; that we, in a regular basis, have the privilege to see new people came to know our Lord and Savior. I’m excited about our construction project and our goal to make a large church small.

What did you do before you came to Grace?
In El Salvador, I serve in all possible ministries, locally and nationally. Including: 6 years as an elder in a local church, 3 years as part of a National Student Leadership team; and 4 years as a part of a National Church Leadership. I obtained my Accounting Degree and work full time in different financial fields. When I came to the USA, I start serving in different Spanish spiking churches in the city of Bell, Bell Garden, Cudahy and South Gate as a Youth and Adult Sunday school teacher, Student ministry leader, Elder, temporary pastor and as an associated pastor; working full time, as well, in different fields to provide for my family needs. My last full time secular job was in a Mercedes Benz dealer.

What book are you reading?
I’m currently reading “One Marriage under God” (By H. Norman Wright) “How to Lead & Still have a life” (By H. Dale Burke) “Mañana” (Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective) (By Justo L. Gonzales)

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
Been a SOCCER player all my life and have the exceptional opportunity to practice with two different professional teams in two different countries (Guatemala and El Salvador) and decline an offer to play professionally (I know, at the time, it was a professional league in those countries) I guess my answer to this question will be my second inclination, this is for “Speed”. “A Professional Driver” Car or Motorcycle...

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
• David Livingstone, Missionary and an explorer in Africa.
• Michael Schumacher, a seven-time Formula One World Champion



Mike Gaston
Outreach and Small Groups Pastor

What area do you serve in at Grace?
I oversee Grace's local and international outreach, as well as our adult small group ministries (Adult Bible Fellowships on weekends and Grace Groups mid-week)

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
I love our worship services, and the wide variety of talented people who are so eager to use their gifts to bring us into God's presence. I also love the way our church is so responsive to opportunities to make Christ known locally and around the world.

Tell us about your family
I've been married to Murf for 32 years. We have two daughters. Amy is 25, married to Josh, and lives here in town - they made us grandparents 1 1/2 years ago when our grandson Corban was born. Minnie is 20, and is attending Moody Bible Institute in Spokane, Washington.

What did you do before you came to Grace?
I served for 15 years as a missionary church planter in Cameroon, West Africa, and then in France. Both of our daughters were born in France, which is our second home.

What book are you reading or CD are you listening to? I'm a history buff, and love to read about the Civil War and WWII, but I'm currently feeding a new interest in the history of espionnage. I'm also reading a book about the lost words of the English language, and The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. I've begun listening to Hammer Dulcimer music, and just took up the instrument, mainly because hand problems have limited my ability to play my first love, the Celtic Harp.

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
Basketball, definitely.

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
If I could extend that back through history, I would say John Muir. I am an avid hiker, and love Yosemite - it would be awesome to hear his stories first-hand!



June 2014
Rick Denny and Gabe Garcia

Rick Denny - Elder

What area do you serve in at Grace?
I serve in the worship ministry, and together with my wife sing in the worship choir. In addition to serving as a lay Elder, I am a Trustee and serve as the Secretary of Grace's Board of Elders.

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
I and my wife Christine are excited to be leading a Grace Global Outreach team ("GO-Team") to Vienna, Austria in the Fall.  This team will be providing training to the staff of the International Christian School of Vienna, where Grace's Global Partner, Amanda Howard, is the school principal.  We are looking forward to how God will use our team to encourage Amanda and her staff during our visit.

Tell us about your family.
My wife Christine and I have been married for 21 years and are blessed with two children: Hunter (age 18) and Brooke (age 15). Christine and I met each other here at Grace while we were attending the college group.

What do you do for work?
I work as a law enforcement officer for the federal government, and have been employed there for 19 years.

What book are you reading or CD are you listening to?
I just finished reading "Marks of the Messenger", by J. Mack Stiles.  The principles shared in this book have made me eager to share my faith in a cross-cultural experience. I love music - all kinds, but especially classical music. I also enjoy listening to a couple of contemporary piano composers, namely Jim Brickman and Greg Maroney.

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
Definitely tennis!  I enjoy both watching and playing the game.

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
King David. The biblical account of his life has always been a fascination for me. As a musician, solder, and king, I have so many questions I'd like to ask him.


Gabe Garcia
Pastor to College Age and Young Adults

What area do you serve in at Grace?
I have the privilege of pastoring our college/post-college ministry called Chapter 3 as well as our young profession/singles ministry called Watermark.

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
Seeing those in Chapter 3 and Watermark grow in their love for the person and work of Jesus Christ and how union with Christ bonds the entire Grace family together.

Tell us about your family.
My wife Kari and I have been married for seven years and have two beautiful children. Brandon is 3 years old and little Ana is six months.

What did you do before you came to Grace?
Before pastoring at Grace I actually worked in the Emergency Room at Kaiser but before Kaiser I pastored a college ministry in South Sacramento.

What book are you reading, CD are you listening to or movie have you seen recently?
God in the Whirlwind by David Wells, Strange Fire by John MacArthur and The Shepherd Leader at Home by Timothy Witmer. I have seen Frozen seven times against my will.

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
Basketball

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
David Hegg


May 2014
Paul Leitzell and Geoff Beckwith 

Paul Leitzell - Elder Team and Administrative Pastor



What area do you serve in at Grace?
Elder and Administrative Pastor

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
That we are focused on growing people of all ages in their walk with Christ, we are moving forward on many fronts, this is very exciting to me

Tell us about your family.
Debbie and I will celebrate 32 years of marriage this summer. She is definitely my much better half. We have three children, Carolyn 26 an ER nurse in San Diego; Annie, 24 a nurse at the VA Hospital in San Diego and Daniel 17 a Junior at Canyon high school

What did you do before you came to Grace?
I was the Executive Director of a non-profit that worked with inner city at risk youth

What book are you reading?
The Language of God, by Francis Collins

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
Hike the Pacific Crest Trail...what?...that’s not a sport?

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
My wife, we don’t get enough time together as it is. Being a celebrity is overrated!


Geoff Beckwith - Congregational Life Pastor


What area do you serve in at Grace?

  • Connections ministry
  • Care ministry
  • Campus development

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
The large number of people who are serious about growing in their relationship with Christ

Tell us about your family.
Barbara and I have been married 33 years. Elissa is married to Mike Butler and serve at Grace in worship and grace group leadership. Stephen married Janelle this past year and they return to east Asia this coming Summer as global partners. Joel is a high school freshman and serves as a teacher in children's ministry.  Kristen is in junior high and loves using her gift of encouragement and serves in children's ministry

What did you do before you came to Grace?
Worked as an accountant

What book are you reading?
Enjoying reading a book on Philippians that I use in discipleship

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
Tennis was a sport of great passion when I was younger

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
John Wooden – his reputation as a famous coach who was humble and God-centered was so unusual in an environment that tends to breed such arrogance 


April 2014
Greg Richardson and Wiley Kennedy

Greg Richardson - Elder Team

What area do you serve in at Grace?
I am Class Administrator and a teacher in Kindred Couples ABF (Adult Bible Fellowship)

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
I’m most excited about the impact I believe Grace is making in our community and around the world. Our local and global outreach efforts are unparalleled by any church of which I’ve been a part. When I consider the ways God is being glorified in the SCV through community events like the food pantry, homeless shelter or $1 car wash and in the world at large through our 2014 GO teams, I’m awed at what He is doing.

Tell us about your family.
I've been married to Karen for 35 years in June. We have two sons, Kyle & James, and two beautiful daughters-in-law, Mary & Christina, all four of whom are passionate about their relationship with Christ. Kyle & Mary have 2 children, Wyatt & Harper and James & Christina have one daughter, Taylor.

What do you do for work?
I am the Senior Credit Officer in the Commercial & Corporate lending workout group for Wells Fargo Bank.

What book are you reading, or movie have you seen recently?
I’m not much of a movie buff, but most recently saw “Frozen” (with Wyatt & Harper, of course). I’m currently reading “Radical” (by David Platt) and “Risk is Right” (by John Piper).

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
Here’s one you’ve probably never heard before – track & field (distance running – yes, that’s a professional sport).


Wiley Kennedy - Discipleship Pastor


What area do you serve in at Grace?
I oversee the Pastors and Directors for College, High School, Jr. High, Children’s, Women’s and Men’s ministries.

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
Seeing people come to know Christ and seeing people walking in their relationship with Christ daily!

Tell us about your family.
Lia, my best friend, and I have been married 25 years. We have 3 kids – Katelyn, a freshman at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago; Mackenzie, and freshman at Santa Clarita Christian School, and Wyatt a sixth grader at Santa Clarita Christian School. 

What did you do before you came to Grace?
I was a Marketing executive for a manufacturing company and was with the company for 20 years.  I specialized in the supervision and leading of teams for large product development projects.  It was a mission field for me and I really enjoyed representing Christ in the marketplace.

What book are you reading?
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by Martin Lloyd Jones. Sycamore Row by John Grisham – I love legal thrillers. (My dad is a retired judge.)

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
Football

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
John Grisham


March 2014
Ron Thompson and Aaron Miller

Ron Thompson - Elder Team

Ron, tell us about your family.
This spring, my wife, Barbara, and I will celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary. We have too adult children, both girls, and three grandchildren, with another on the way in the summer.

In what area do you serve at Grace?
I am an Elder and an ABF leader/teacher. I serve on the Board as Vice Chairman, but have also served as the Board Secretary for several years. I am the lead teacher for the Among Friends ABF on Sundays. This has been my primary teaching position at Grace for the last 5 years. I love the class, which are best characterized as Young Families. I've served under Pastor Kennedy in leading the Premarital Classes at Grace for the last year and an half. I love pouring my time into building up marriages and young families.

What do you do for work?
After over 30 years with AT&T as a Training Manager, I retired about 3 and an half years ago, dabbled in consulting (church leadership and non-profits), taught out at the LA County Pitchess Jail, until I went to work for a school information and management software development firm as their Training Director.

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
That we have a renewed focus on building up marriage and families, not just here at Grace, but throughout the community. We have a very healthy and dynamic relationship on the board between the elders and the staff. It is a pleasure to serve with these men.

What book are you reading?
I just finished the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson (fascinating insight to a man who had secular vision but spiritual blindness) and am looking to read the new biography on Johnny Carson. I'm a 'techno-thriller" fan when it comes to secular fiction. I also like reading books by Mark Dever, David Platt and this guy named David Hegg.

If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
Hands down, Hockey: an odd choice for a Southern California native, who never skated as child, but I love the game and would have loved to play goalie.

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
This would be total fantasy, but Francis Schaeffer would be my choice. Although he passed away almost 30 years ago, his writing always stimulated my thinking and made me realize that Christianity, to be lived and practiced to it's fullest, required our heart, our soul, and our MIND. I think a lunch with Francis Schaeffer would be spellbinding!


Aaron Miller - Student Ministry Pastor


Aaron, tell us about your family.
Married 11 years to Ingrid Miller. 3 kids Noah-6; Jossalyn-5; Kensington -3

What area do you serve in at Grace?
High School Pastor

What are you most excited about at Grace right now?
The various ministries concentrating on the same goal-making and multiplying Christ-followers; I'm liking the patio construction too.


What did you do before you came to Grace?
Pastor of Student Ministries at Colonial Baptist Church in Cary, NC

What book are you reading, CD are you listening to or movie have you seen recently (Christian or secular)?
Book - "Preaching Christ in the Old Testament" and "Flags of our Fathers" the last movie I saw was Thor 2 and I'm currently listening to Cold Play in my car.

- If you had a chance to play any professional sport what would it be?
Baseball

- If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would it be?
Teddy Roosevelt or Winston Churchill



February 2014
Gene Newman and David Hegg


Gene Newman - Elder Team Chairman

Gene, please tell us about your family.
In March, Monique and I will celebrate our 32nd anniversary.  We have two sons, two daughters-in-law, and two grandkids.  We’re currently working hard to be good grandparents for Elijah (3 years old) and Levi (20 months old).  Our oldest son (Scott) is serving as the Student Ministries Pastor at Santa Cruz Bible Church, and our younger son (Brett) is serving as the Youth/Family Ministry Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Bishop, CA.  

In what areas do you serve at Grace?
In addition to serving on the Elder Team, I lead a Grace Group and serve in Global Outreach as a Go Team Coordinator and Team Leader.  This coming September I will be heading to the Middle East to lead a wheelchair distribution team in partnership with Joni and Friends.

What do you do for work?
I worked in Public Education for the Los Angeles Unified School District until six years ago when I took a somewhat early retirement. During my years with L.A. Unified, I taught Adapted Physical Education, and also served in administrative capacities as a Principal and Central Office Administrator.

After leaving the Public Education arena, I accepted a position with Act Beyond (a mission agency) which focus’ on church planting among the least reached people groups of the world. 

What is something that you are currently excited about for Grace Baptist?
I’m excited as we launch into a multi-faceted ministry to strengthen marriages at Grace Baptist. When marriages work well, God is glorified and family members experience optimal love and support. My prayers are that our investment into marriage will return rich dividends.

Are there any books you have read recently that you would recommend?
I’m currently reading Radical (by David Platt), When Helping Hurts (by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert), and A Shelter in the Time of Storm (by Paul Tripp).

If you had a chance to play a professional sport, what would it be?
I played football in college and coached High School teams during my years with L.A. Unified, so I guess I would have to say “Football”; however, being a professional skier also resonates.

If you could have lunch with a well-known person, who would it be?
I’m going to “push the envelope” on this question and request lunch reservations with a few people…

  • The late Eric Liddell (1924 Olympic Gold Medalist and Missionary to China)
  • The late John Wooden (UCLA Basketball Coach)
  • Tim Keller (Author and Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York)

 David Hegg - Senior Pastor


David, tell us about your family.
Cherylyn and I have been married 36 years, and very happily! I married the best person I’ve ever known, and we love what God has given us in each other. We have 3 grown children. Each has married very well, loves Christ, and is active and serving in a local church. We could ask for nothing greater! Abby (31) is married to Ben Borders, she is a stay at home mom and they have two daughters (Kate, 4 and Audrey, 2), and they live in San Jose where Ben is Manager of Product Revenue for Apple; Ellen (28) is married to Luke Dickman. They live in Corona for now. Luke just finished his Electrical Engineer degree. Ellen teaches school, and Luke is the IT Director for an electronics firm. Andy (25) our son is married to Emilee; They live in Pasadena, and he is a Riverside City firefighter.

What is your role at Grace Baptist?
I serve as Senior Pastor. My duties include preaching, leading the staff, and bringing visionary leadership to the Elder Team.

What books are you currently reading?
I am currently reading: "God is Love" (Gerald Bray’s new Biblical Theology); "Darwin’s Doubt," by Stephen C. Meyer; and “Covenantal Apologetics” by K. Scott Oliphint (I have been asked to write a review of Covenantal Apologetics for Themelios)

What are you most excited about at Grace Baptist, right now?
I am very excited to see our church family growing in both truth and love. We continue to be passionate about reaching out to our community and our world, with both love and the truth of God’s redemptive message … the Gospel. I am very thankful for the giftedness found in our church family. Our musical abilities are a rare treasure that allows us to offer a broad enough range of styles to represent the wide array of God’s amazing attributes. We also have thousands of folks using their gifts in every area you can think of, all to the glory of God. It is very exciting to see folks come to recognize both their sinful condition, and the forgiveness Christ offers, and turn ravingly to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We are seeing this on an ongoing basis here at Grace and it never gets old! Lastly, I have a heart to pour my life into the next generation of Christian leaders and followers of Christ. We have a growing number of young staff and young people here at Grace, and it is very gratifying to have a place in their lives, walking along with them as God grows them and uses them in wonderful ways for the Kingdom.

If you had chance to play any professional sport, what would it be? sorry we had to ask :)
If you have to ask, you don’t know me well! SOCCER of course, for Arsenal, in the English Premier League!

If you could have lunch with any well-known person, who would you choose?
Jesus would be my first choice, but I assume you’re probably thinking about regular people. If I could choose anyone from history, it would be Charles Spurgeon; If I were limited to someone alive today it would be Barack Obama.

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