Doug became pastor at St. Stephen Presbyterian Church in July 2017. He grew up in San Diego, serving in youth ministry while a student at San Diego State University. He taught high school for a couple of years in the inner city of San Diego before enrolling at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey to explore pastoral ministry.
After graduating with a Master of Divinity from Princeton, Doug became pastor of Plumsted Presbyterian Church in New Egypt, New Jersey. A year later, Princeton Seminary called him to serve as a Visiting Lecturer in preaching in addition to his pastoral duties. He later returned to southern California and joined the faculty of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena in 1984. Over the years Doug has taught courses in preaching and communication, serving for a time as Fuller's Director of Chapel.
He earned a Doctor of Ministry degree at Fuller, with further graduate study in Scotland. He has served on several occasions as an interim pastor for churches in the US and in England, including at the historic City Temple in London. He has presented papers at theological conferences, spoken at numerous churches and colleges, and has taught at Allahabad Bible Seminary in India.
Doug is delighted to be serving again as a pastor, especially in our small congregation! He is helping St. Stephen Presbyterian Church become a loving and growing community which studies the Word, worships the Lord, and prays for each other. Join us!
John became our Worship Leader in July, 2017. John writes "my life is about sharing my musical knowledge, using my talents to help other performers create inspiring music, and now sharing my own music with the public in hopes that it brings them pleasure and a sense of peace." The listing of his career accomplishments is very lengthy in a wide variety of styles and sensibilities and as he has showcased his abilities as a pianist, composer, vocalist, and arranger, in virtually all art forms of music… he's performed everywhere from the Grammy Awards®, to the Nobel Peace Prize to the Michael Jackson Memorial concert, from a cappela choral work to full symphony orchestras. John's skill and commitment have made him a go-to-professional in vocal coaching, recording projects, and faith based performances in local churches and Japanese Akira Takimoto Ministries. He provides instrumental music for digital and streaming sights as well as being seen in high profile commercials for Apartments.com (in a Super bowl 50 spot), Chrysler and Hewlett Packard.
Since beginning formal piano lessons at 8 years old, John has lived a life in music, and he is passionate about sharing that music with the world.
To everyone I have already met and those I look forward to getting to know here at St. Stephen, I would like to start off by sharing my complete joy in joining your happy, uplifting community. As with most things 20/20 hindsight, it seems perfectly clear that I was meant to arrive as Director here at St. Stephen Presbyterian Preschool. I am an Angelino born and raised, and spent my first years of religious tutelage attending Sunday School and singing in the children's choir at Hollywood Presbyterian.
More often than not, I would find my way on Sundays from my own 1st grade class, (is there a better word than ditching?)to the class down the hall, Where I spent the morning helping one of my mother's best friends – in the Sunday School Preschool.Whether she told my mother of my adventures, I do not know to this day.
After attending CSUN and UCLA I hold degrees in both Child and Adolescent Development. I have spent over 35 years enjoying the many varied and overlapping facets of education. Working in and running programs including parent ed. and infant/toddlers, through preschool, elementary, middle, and high school, brings new challenges and insights every day. I have also had classroom and one on one assignments with special needs and gifted students of all ages. Please don't ask me to tell you which I prefer – just like kumquats and kiwis, impossible to compare. No two days (or children, or families, or teachers, or …) are ever the same. You never know what lies around the next corner or what small act will change – everything. Infinitely interesting and rewarding on so many levels.
The other most precious joys of my life are my two daughters Erika (28), a marketing professional who lives in Washington,D.C. and Alexis (25) an art director/pro photog for a modeling agency here in Los Angeles. In spare moments I might be found playing with our pups Tallulah and Summer, reading, riding our pony Emmy or coaching an equestrian event. If you can't reach me … I'm hopefully exploring a new destination or at the beach. Current favorite quote: Love, is love, is love. ~
My wife and I joined St. Stephen in February 1991. We came to St. Stephen as a result of our oldest daughter being enrolled in the excellent preschool here. The congregation and staff were very welcoming and before long we became involved in the life of the church beyond just Sunday morning. I became a Sunday School teacher for the elementary grades and joined the Children's Ministries Committee.
Not long after that, I was honored to serve as co-elder for Children's Ministries. I have also served on a Pastor Nominating Committee, several Nominating Committees for elders and deacons, and the Personnel Committee. I currently serve on the Stewardship and Finance Committee.
I have also spent nearly ten years as the leader for an adult small group Bible study.
In July of 2009, the church office contacted me to “fill-in” as church secretary for a few weeks while a search for a permanent secretary could take place. I felt called to the work, applied for the job, and was hired. I still enjoy the work but more importantly, I really love the other staff and the wonderful congregation here at St. Stephen.
|Jay Clifford||Elder of Finance and Preschool|
|Gloria Ellis||Elder of Personnel & Fellowship|
|Carol Gorton||Elder of Worship|
|Bette Williams||Elder of Outreach and Mission|
|Greg Myers||Elder of Property|
|Jennifer Woods||Elder at large|