Shalom! Peace to you and yours in the name and Spirit of Christ!
I grew up in a small town in northeastern South Dakota. Britton (my hometown) is a rural community
with most living there connected to the agricultural industry. My dad was a blacksmith and a welder. My
mother worked at several jobs throughout my formative years. I have one younger brother who is a civil
engineer and lives with his family in Arizona.
My education following High School included one year at the University of Minnesota (Morris), four
years at Arizona State University (from which I graduated in 1990), and four years at Claremont School
of Theology (from which I graduated in 1994).
While I was in seminary, I met Millie Mendez while she worked on her Master’s degree at CSULB. We
were married in June 1994. Millie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and works for Riverside County.
We have two children: Xenia (26) who graduated from CSULB in 2018 and is now working on her
master’s degree in elementary education, and Selena (24) who is a full-time nanny and works as the
youth director at Fullerton UMC.
My first appointment following graduation from Claremont School of Theology was as an associate
pastor at Sioux Falls First UMC in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. After three years there, we went to
Hettinger Ecumenical Parish in Hettinger, North Dakota. There I was the lead pastor of Reeder
Congregational Church, Hettinger Congregational Church, and Hettinger United Methodist Church.
Next, we went to Flame of Faith UMC in West Fargo, North Dakota.
We then transferred conferences, and we were appointed to Shepherd of the Valley UMC in Indio, CA
where I served as the lead pastor for 13 years. Next, we were appointed to Murrieta UMC in 2016.
While I was at Murrieta, I had a stroke in 2019. I returned to work two months later, and, in 2021, I
made the decision to take medical leave. I have since completed the requirements for my medical leave
and have been cleared to return to full time ministry by my doctor and the conference relations