Rev. Steve Murray, Senior Pastor
Steve was born in Wales, started school in Liverpool but has lived most of his life in the United States. The oldest of five children, Steve’s dad was an Irish Catholic and his mom an English protestant. Steve became a Christian in high school through the ministry of Young Life. Meeting Jesus and marrying Janet are the two most significant turning points in his life!
Steve received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from San Jose State University with a minor in Linguistics and a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. He served as an Adjunct Professor at Fuller from 1989-1996. From 1981 to 1995, Steve served as Associate Pastor of Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California. He then served as Senior Pastor of La Jolla Presbyterian Church in La Jolla, California from 1995 to 2005. Since 2005 Steve has never had more fun being a pastor!
His greatest honor: Being married to Janet, being a father to Lauren and Megan, and being a pastor.
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Michelle Le Beau, Director of Community Life
Michelle grew up in Los Angeles, right across the street from the Presbyterian church where her father served as Senior Pastor for 28 years. Although Michelle grew up in a loving, Christian family, it wasn’t until after she was married and had children that her relationship with God became real to her.
A graduate of Whitworth College (Spokane, WA) with a degree in Communications and Marketing, Michelle’s professional career was in Advertising, Public Relations, Marketing and Special Events. She worked for the 1992 America’s Cup Organizing Committee and ran her own Marketing Communications firm for eight years prior to joining an Internet start-up as the Director of Marketing. With two young children at the time, the corporate world was wearing her down and the perfect balance came when she accepted a position as Communications Manager for La Jolla Presbyterian Church. After working there for four years, Michelle joined LJCC in the same capacity. Recently she moved into the position of Director of Community Life, responsible for helping people get connected into the life of the church in ways that will support and strengthen their faith in Christ. Michelle believes God has been preparing her for this role her entire lifeand feels extremely blessed to have been given the opportunity to serve Him in this way.
Michelle and her husband Jim live in La Jolla with their two teenage boys, Jimmy and Jake. She enjoys house and yard projects, long walks and core classes, going to the beach with family and friends, and traveling.
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Ariane Herwig, Director of Art and Communications
Ariane grew up in Silver Spring, MD. At age 15 she was confirmed in the Catholic faith. After high school she attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). She graduated Magna Cum Laude and earned her Bachelors Degree in Visual Arts with an emphasis in Graphic Design in 2002. After graduation she moved up to Ithaca, NY to work in Prepress at Wilcox Press (now Vanguard Printing).
In 2004 Ariane moved to San Diego where she established herself as a Freelance Graphic Designer and created Thorne Design as her business. She currently offers Graphic Design services such as magazine and publication design, advertising, logos, business cards, letterhead, and brochures, when she's not working for LJCC.
Ariane is happily married to her husband, Tim. She enjoys riding her bicycle, going on walks, gardening, decorating, and taking photos.
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Mary Vattimo Rugg, Executive Director /CFO
Mary was born and raised in San Diego along with her six siblings. She received a BA in Economics from UCSD and an MBA from SDSU. She started her career as a Financial Analyst and Economist and worked at the City of San Diego for 18 years, eventually becoming the Treasurer. She also helps run her husband’s business which markets his patented product.
Mary was raised a Catholic but was a member of Mt. Soledad Presbyterian Church for 25 years, attended Faith Community Church, and now attends LJCC with her family. She and her husband, Scott, were married in 1990 and have two boys, Collin and Keenan. She enjoys attending her boys’ sporting events, jogging, and collecting sea shells.
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Scott Schimmel, 20-40's Grow Pastor
Scott will help us to promote the vision, purpose, promises and principles of La Jolla Community Church with a particular focus on younger adults in their 20’s-40’s. He will minister God’s grace by preaching, teaching, creating opportunities for spiritual growth, leadership development and ministry involvement. Scott came to know Christ when he was in college at USD, then served for ten years on InterVarsity staff at USD. He has also served on staff at Rancho Bernardo Presbyterian Church working with young adults and helping that congregation reach millennials. He is President & Chief Guide of The You School and will continue in that role. He is also an avid reader, speaker, writer, and golf fiend—and his latest challenge has been learning how to coach Little League baseball, and his wife Carrie and their three children keep him anchored in reality.
(858) 559-9020 x205
Josh Kerkhoff, Interim Youth Pastor
Josh was born in Seattle, Washington and has lived in the greater San Diego area for the past decade. The oldest son in a faithful Christian family, he became a follower of Jesus at a camp through the ministry of Young Life. There are many significant turning points in life but responding to Jesus’ invitation, marrying his wife Amy and raising young boys are 3 of them.
He received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Washington with a minor in speech communication, a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary and is currently writing his dissertation to complete a Doctor of Ministry from George Fox Evangelical Seminary. In addition to his work with LJCC, he serves as Director I Vocational Catalyst with Flourish San Diego and facilitates Vocation & Formation groups with Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also an avid reader, speaker, and rabid sports fan.
Natalie Breyer, Director of Junior High Youth Ministries
Natalie grew up in Cypress, California along with her older sister and amazing parents. She spent two years at Long Beach State University before transferring to Point Loma Nazarene to finish her undergraduate degree in Sociology. She was raised in the Episcopal Church with her family but began participating in an amazing non-denominational youth group in seventh grade and stayed there through high school. As a young adult she was shaped by her youth leaders through things like mission experiences in Ecuador, which have given her a love for working with youth and for cross cultural experiences. In the past year with the Jr. High group she has loved building relationships and seeing the students grow as individuals and as a family. She is constantly amazed at these students and their growing hearts towards Jesus. This past year has been full of camps, soup kitchens, summer breakfast clubs and even a few stitches. Her highlights with our LJCC Jr. High, while incredibly difficult to choose, were summer camp and beach camp. Both were days full of games, worship, surfing and getting to know the students on a new level.
Natalie is currently pursuing a Masters in Theology at Fuller Seminary and is excited to see where God takes her through this. She is equally as excited to spend more time with the Jr. High group, continuing to learn and grow alongside each other! She loves all things outdoors and is a proud LA Kings fan.
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Ryana King, Director of Children's & Family Ministries
Ryana grew up in Oceanside, California and moved to San Diego in 2010 to attend Point Loma Nazarene University. She recently graduated with a B.A. in International Business and minors in Sustainability Studies and International Development Studies. Ryana has traveled with several international organizations and missions teams working with children all over the world.
Ryana accepted Christ as a child but didn’t understand what a relationship with God meant until high school, so her mission is to engage children on Sunday mornings and help them experience God in their lives. She has a passion for children’s ministry and seeing kids grow to love and serve Jesus Christ.
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Drake Oswald, Facilities Director
Drake grew up in a suburb of Seattle, Washington. He was raised in the church, and the youth group he attended was pivotal in his relationship with Christ. He graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a degree in Latin American Studies. Drake and his wife, Angela, grew up in the same church. They were married in 2011, and moved to Nicaragua to serve as missionaries. They came to San Diego to fix up a relative's house and couldn't leave the sun and beaches. Drake has been helping out in various ways in the LJCC office since June of 2014.
Drake enjoys reading, walks, gardening, and house-projects. He loves fixing all things broken or in need of improvement.
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Barbara Imamoto, Office Administrator
Barbara Imamoto joined the LJCC staff at the end of August 2015. Barbara has been blessed to serve and volunteer at LJCC for the past five years in Children’s Ministry and as a member of the Alive and Growing Leadership Team. She has also blessed us by volunteering her time and talent on a variety of Human Resources/office projects. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom of 7-year-old twins (Samantha and Nathan), Barbara was a Human Resources professional with 16 years of progressive HR experience. Barbara is excited to join the LJCC team to continue to serve and be part of God’s work at LJCC. She received Christ as her Savior as a young adult and was baptized at La Jolla Shores.
(858) 558-9020 ext. 207
Janet Griffin, Office Administrator
Janet Griffin grew up in Orange County and though she attended church all her life, it was as a young adult that she asked Jesus into her heart. In 2013 she moved to San Diego to marry her husband Chris. They visited LJCC on Palm Sunday of 2015 and became members in November. Janet’s past roles include Music Assistant for a School District in San Juan Capistrano, an Administrative Assistant for the IT department with the Orange County Register, an Office Manager for Webster University, a Seamstress and a mom to two boys (the best job).
The opportunity to work with the staff at LJCC is an answer to much prayer and she looks forward to how God will use her to support the work of LJCC.
(858) 558-9020 ext. 207
Arlana Holland, Caring Ministries Coordinator
Arlana has a heart for the Lord and ministering to those in need. This has been a calling on her life since she was a little girl. She was oftentimes ministering to adults before she really understood what she was doing.
Arlana received her B.A. in Business Administration from The University of San Diego and a Master’s of Divinity from Bethel Seminary. She is a hospice Chaplain and Volunteer Coordinator, a motivational speaker and speaks on Christian topics. She serves part time as the Caring Ministries Coordinator at LJCC. She is the founder of The Sherwood Equestrienne Foundation which ministers to our youth through the use of horses and is an accomplished horsewoman herself.
Arlana is also responsible for starting a Bible study at Donovan Prison through LJCC and has ministered to the young ladies in juvenile hall for many years. She loves the outdoors, to travel and share the Good News! She has two sons, who are 24 and 28.
Send Arlana an email:
Heidi Nguyen, Communications Assistant
Born and raised in San Diego, Heidi was drawn to the Catholic faith with the help of her family. With a degree in Management Information Systems from SDSU and an Interactive Media Certificate from SDCE, she is pursuing her passion for design while also working for a greater cause. In the past, she volunteered for The Catholic Diocese of San Diego and is also currently interning for the Media Arts Center San Diego with their upcoming events. Recently, she has joined the LJCC staff in August 2016, opening new doors for herself and others to the path of faith.
In her free time, she enjoys volunteering for animal organizations (especially Pug Rescue of San Diego), dabbling into art of different mediums, and writing short stories.