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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Krista Brannon, Director of Children and Family Ministries
Krista grew up in Wichita Falls, Texas. After high school she attended Houston Baptist University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Child Development as well as Biblical Studies. After undergrad Krista moved to San Francisco, California where she attended Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. There she completed her master’s in Educational Leadership as well as certification programs for Early Childhood Education and Administration.
Krista has experience working with children and families in a number of different capacities including children’s ministry, public education, private education, missions, and non-profit. Prior to joining LJCC, she served as a missionary in Tijuana where she built homes for needy families and connected them to churches and educational resources in their community.
Krista enjoys photography, reading, traveling/cultural studies, and all types of social work.
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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 Growth 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.
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Evan Hunt, Director of High School Ministries
Evan grew up in Glenview, Illinois, the middle of three brothers. He went to Bible college in Colorado, Daystar University in Kenya, and Westmont College in Santa Barbara. After graduation, he started a church youth group in Sweden.
Evan earned an M.Div. and M.A. in Cross-Cultural Studies from Fuller Seminary. While there, he directed student activities, served as an intern chaplain at Huntington Hospital, led a small group at his church, and went to flight school to become an airplane and helicopter flight instructor.
Prior to coming to LJCC, Evan was living and serving in Haiti, starting a business, and teaching people to fly. He is a former YoungLife leader and is passionate about helping high schoolers to engage with their creator. He never turns down an invitation for a meal and would LOVE your help with the high school group!
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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, Children & Family Ministries Assistant
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.
Bree Gibson, Communications Coordinator
Bree grew up in Azusa, CA. Later she moved to Fontana, CA after marrying her husband, Mark. She served on the creative team at Summit Ridge Church in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. In March 2015 she received her Bachelor’s degree from California State University, San Bernardino in Graphic Design and Marketing.
She offers services as a graphic artist and teaches designing typography and illustration when she isn’t working for LJCC. In her free time she enjoys drawing, designing, blogging, being with family, cooking, bike riding or playing with her dog Daphne.
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